From: Samuella Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] 2 Girls Burned During Chemistry Experiment At High School In The Bronx
Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2018 10:31:56 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: f39dc0af-5dc6-62d6-0d42-9a992706a7ac**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <495D7FD5-6E30-4767-93A0-1C32741A8EBE**At_Symbol_Here**>

Okay - So here is an explanation of what they were doing.ĺ Since when is this an experiment?

A fire snake, also referred to as a black snake or sugar snake, is a classic science experiment you can do right in your own kitchen using a baking soda and sugar mixture and a fuel to ignite the reaction.

When the baking soda gets hot, it makes carbon dioxide gas. The pressure from this gas pushes the carbonate from the burning sugar out, producing the snake reminiscent of popular intumescent fireworks.

This food-based chemistry experiment is not to be confused with the carbon snake, which uses concentrated sulfuric acid instead of baking soda. In either case, don't eat the resulting snake, and only touch it once it has cooled completely.

Once again, schools in New York are not supposed to have solvents in use where there is fire according to the NY Department of Education Science Safety Manual, p. 13.

1. Make sure that all rooms containing chemicals are properly ventilated. There is to be NO
FLAME in the room when using flammable, volatile liquids such as alcohol.


On 10/6/2018 8:11 AM, DCHAS Membership Chair wrote:
I'm sharing this with the list as it's possible that CHAS members may be asked about this kind of event by people who hear of it by rumor.

- Ralph

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -Two teen girls suffered third degree burns when an experiment they were working on in chemistry class caught fire in the Bronx Friday.

It happened at around 1:40 p.m. at Morris High School on Boston Road in the Morrisania section.

According to officials with the FDNY, the students were making a carbon sugar snake. The experiment involves using alcohol, and while the experiment was underway some vapor escaped and made contact with the flame that was being used to create the snake, officials said. Flames shot across the table, causing burns to the face, hands and hair of two girls, 15 and 17.

‰??From what I saw her arm was on fire, her sleeve,‰?? one student said. ‰??When I saw her running down the hall that‰??s what I saw.‰??

Investigators say a teacher was in the room at the time, but it‰??s not immediately clear how a chemical was able to get close enough to a flame for this to happen.

After the ordeal students were allowed to gather their belongings and go home for the day. Even though their classmates are expected to recover, it has many feeling shaken.

‰??FDNY and EMS immediately responded to this serious incident, and students are in stable condition being treated for non-life threatening injuries,‰?? said Miranda Barbot of the Department of Education. ‰??The safety of our students is our top priority, and FDNY is conducting a thorough investigation. The lab will be out of use until it is completed.‰??

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We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do everything with nothing. Teresa Arnold paraphrased from Konstantin Josef Jire€?ek (1854 ‰?? 1918)


Samuella B. Sigmann, MS, NRCC-CHO

Senior Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair/Director of Stockroom

A. R. Smith Department of Chemistry

Appalachian State University

525 Rivers Street

Boone, NC 28608

Phone: 828 262 2755

Fax: 828 262 6558

Email: sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**


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