From: McGrath Edward J <Edward.McGrath**At_Symbol_Here**REDCLAY.K12.DE.US>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] And ANOTHER likely methanol "accident"
Date: Fri, 26 May 2017 17:28:24 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: BLUPR03MB4374B8F58C5CC2A5000EB2896FC0**At_Symbol_Here**

Wow.  Where to begin.


First and foremost:  There are MANY more ways to teach about Newton's third law, about projectile motion, and about combustion that are much safer, much more effective at teaching, more relevant to students' lives, and yes, much more engaging than reckless risks like these.


As for the two video clips:  I liked the way the ImaginationStation guys (Toledo) talked about safety first and wore the goggles, but the face shields were never in front of their faces!  Furthermore, "it's ok, it went into the streetÉ"  REALLY???  My luck, that would have been the moment I would have walked by and gotten hit on the head!


As for the other video:  it illustrated a very real and sobering danger:  it takes very little expertise and very easily obtainable materials to cause serious injury and property damage in this manner.


All of these incidents speak to a desperate need for oversight of safety in schools:  hazard analysis, risk assessment, standard operating procedures, and prior approval of all hands-on investigations


And if you'll pardon my feeble attempt at irony, these safeguards aren't rocket science either!  Seriously, if your local school district doesn't have a safety plan in place, please forward these articles to your school board.


Eddie McGrath


Edward J. McGrath

Supervisor of Science

Red Clay Consolidated School District

1502 Spruce Avenue

Wilmington, DE  19805


(302) 552-3768


We did not inherit the Earth from our parents.  We borrowed it from our children.


From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Kirk Hunter
Sent: Friday, May 26, 2017 12:19 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] And ANOTHER likely methanol "accident"


Probably more likely to be either an "alcohol rocket", alcohol rocket launcher" or an "alcohol canon."  Use those search terms for a plethora of scary YouTube videos.

Most of the videos use soda bottles and are ignited by a BBQ sparker. Here's a demo of these launchers on a news program. This guy does emphasize safety, but....

This one  uses a 5-gallon water bottle and a butane lighter. The cap has a small hole in it.  Notice the high level of safety precautions in this video. <said with dripping sarcasm> 

I'm wondering if this is what was being done at the school?

Again, why do teachers think they have to do explosions????

Kirk Hunter


On Fri, May 26, 2017 at 10:37 AM, Wilhelm, Monique <mwilhelm**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

Whoosh bottle, maybe?  From the way the student described it.  Could have been any alcohol.

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Date: 5/26/17 10:21 AM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: [DCHAS-L] And ANOTHER likely methanol "accident"

Scant on details, but note the similarity to last week's: alcohol, fire and being done outdoors.  Once again, ask yourself why someone would do an "experiment" outdoors as part of a chemistry classÉ.because they realized there was a danger and this was their way to deal with it?  That sound you hear is my bloodied forehead pounding on the desk.

A high school student was rushed to the hospital after he was injured in an explosion during a chemistry experiment in New Jersey Wednesday.

The incident happened during an outdoor lab session at Perth Amboy High School during an eighth period chemistry class.

Students told Eyewitness News that experiment involved some type of alcohol. They said the teacher tried to light a match under a gallon-size container, but it didn't work because of the wind. One of the students - the one who was hurt -- then took the matches, tried to light the bottom and the experiment exploded, burning the student.

Several students were nearby when the blast happened, and they said they barely escaped the flame.

"He lit it, and when he lit it he was crouched down," a student said. "So his face was like right there. As soon as he lit it exploded up. It exploded right in his face."

The student who was burned ran from the scene to the nurse's office, and then was flown to the hospital for treatment.

Video version of the report with a few more details on the injury:

The high school web site contains no information.  However, if you'd like to know more about the school and, in particular, how to contact the Principal, see  I think Mrs. Rodriguez would benefit from hearing from some DCHAS members today.

Rob Toreki

Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
you know and trust.  Visit us at<>
esales**At_Symbol_Here**<mailto:esales**At_Symbol_Here**>  or toll-free: (866) 326-5412
Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012

--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional secretary at secretary**At_Symbol_Here**<mailto:secretary**At_Symbol_Here**> Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas

For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional secretary at secretary**At_Symbol_Here**
Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas


Kirk Hunter
Department Chair
Chemical/Environment Laboratory Technology and
Pharmacy Technician Program
Texas State Technical College
3801 Campus Drive
Waco, Texas 76705
(254) 867-4859 (o)
email: kirk.hunter**At_Symbol_Here**

--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional secretary at secretary**At_Symbol_Here** Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.