DANGERS of working with Strong PEROXIDE .. a read and learn article
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Author Topic: DANGERS of working with Strong PEROXIDE .. a read and learn article  (Read 83961 times)
Sea Wolf
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« on: January 11, 2009, 09:55:13 PM »

    Ok. Lots of recent questions about peroxide. Below are links to two pages that I have put together. This was an article in one of the recent issues of Breakthrough Magazine. I didn't bother to scan and toy with my OCR settings so it is just scanned as a .jpg. Some areas are a bit blurry but it is entirely readable. Admittedly, this person was using an even stronger peroxide than BO, but I do know some of you out there are using this stronger version

    Read this folks ... and be aware of what you are playing with. RIGHT CLICK over the pictures and choose "VIEW IMAGE" to see these big enough to read. You may have to Ctrl,+  a few times to enlarge. If you want to just read the content, scroll below 3 posts to where Lisa M has retyped the entire article. Enlarged pictures from the article are below it.

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 *** Bill or Ken, it is/was not my intent to do anything wrong by posting this from the magazine. It's just that the information contained therein could possibly save someones life or at least their property by getting them to think. If this crosses the line and is not permitted, please take it down.***
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 06:35:30 PM by Sea Wolf » Logged

 
pims
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2009, 10:16:52 PM »

WOW... I think I'll stick with my 3% for now! 
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Lisa M
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 11:37:33 PM »

Holy cow.  Sea Wolf...I read the whole thing too!  Wow.  I had to zoom in really close to read it.  And so it really sinks in...I typed it all again.  (I do that...to set things in my mind...how to's etc.)

Here is the story, typed up, so others can read it too.  (I too hope Mr. Cammack won't mind the reprinting.)  It's worth the read & then some.  Wow.

Quote
MY NAME IS CHRIS CAMMACK.  I WAS born and raised on a cattle ranch in Western South Dakota where I developed a love for the outdoors and hunting.  At the age of four I could have told you I was going to be a taxidermist when I grew up.  Upon graduation from Sturgis High School I attended the Montana School of Taxidermy in Helena, Montana.  When I graduated from there I returned to the ranch where I built my shop complete with my own tanning equipment. 

I had been doing European skull mounts for a few years, boiling and bleaching, using powdered hair bleach and 40 volume hydrogen peroxide.  I was getting fairly white skulls, but I wanted something better.  I had tried every hair bleach I could find, as well as magnesium carbonate, Oxi-clean, and laundry bleach, but I never produced horns that were the transparent, snow-white, plastic-looking skulls that professionals got.  After my first season of business I had 80 deer and antelope and 25 bison skulls scheduled for European mounts, so I needed something better.

Earlier in the year I was on a antelope hunt with Joe Kulis who told me he was getting a beautiful white skull, and to try soaking skulls in 35 percent hydrogen peroxide.  He also warned me to be careful because the first time he tried it, he put the skulls in a plastic container and left for the weekend.  When he returned, he found only the horns.  The peroxide had eaten the skulls and eaten through the container.  With so many skulls to do I decided to get some strong hydrogen peroxide.

I called a local chemical company to price it, and discovered I could buy 50-percent hydrogen peroxide cheaper than 35-percent, so I ordered some of the 50-percet.  I also got the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on it and read it to see what kinds of containers I could safely use.  Recommended containers were stainless steel, polyurethane, or aluminum containers.  I decided to use an old 64-gallon, stainless steel cooking pot, and I poured in all 55 gallons of 50 percent hydrogen peroxide.  Into that I was able to submerge three bison skulls at a time.  Having been warned that contaminations could cause problems, I put the pot in my utility room out of my main work area.

THE FIRST SKULLS I put in were three buffalo skulls.  I checked on them every hour but was not satisfied with them, so after three hours I decided to take them out.

When I took them out I discovered that the horns were falling off the skulls.  Trying to stop the reaction, I ran over and started rinsing them off with water.  Much to my surprise, they got extremely hot and the bone started to melt.  Then it got so hot that the bone started dripping off!  That should have set off a mental alarm for me to get rid of the stuff right there, but I am a hard-headed learner.  I decided to try soaking some skulls for only one hour, and it worked so well that I proceeded to use this process for the rest of the season.

ONE DAY, after bleaching 25 skulls and at least 80 deer skulls, I was bleaching the last 5 deer skulls I had.  I put them in around 8:00 p.m., went upstairs where we live, and set the timer for one hour.  When I returned, it looked like a bubble bath had exploded in the bleaching room!  I put on my chemical protection suit and gloves and took the antlers out of the potthe skulls were already gone.

I got a bucket and scooped up all of the suds and rinsed out the room.  It took a while to finish cleaning up, however, the pot continued to get hotter and hotter and was not stopping!  I ran to get some help, and by the time I got back the pot was boiling over.  In a state of panic I sent my wife for help while I continued to try to dilute it with water to cool it off.  Above the pot it was more than 250 degrees! 

I got on the phone with someone at The Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (CHEMTREC) and told him that I had 50 percent hydrogen peroxide that was boiling over and I didnt know why.  His first instruction was to get a fire truck there.  CHEMTREC provides emergency personnel with information on safety measures in handling hazardous chemicals involved in accidents.  CHEMTREC is a voluntary program operated by 165 U.S. member companies.  Assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Its nationwide emergency telephone number is (800) 424-9300.

By this time I couldnt see anything in the shop from the vapor coming from the pot.  I had every window, door, and the garage doo open, and steam was rolling outit looked like the whole place was on fire.  We live in a small town so most of the town had gathered by this time. 

The CHEMTREC man set up a conference call between the head chemist from the manufacturer along with him and me, and the head chemist said we must have had iron in the pot.  As soon as he told me that, I realized what I had done. 

Earlier that day I had dropped a bone in the pot.  Trying to get it out, I used a long metal hook and started to fish for the bone.  It didnt take long before I gave up, went back to whatever I was working on, and never thought about the bone nor the hook again.  That was approximately at 11:30 a.m.

After that I noticed a small amount of heat coming from the pot, but I blamed it on the fact that I had been using it non-stop for three straight days.  I told the chemist about this and told him that I did not leave the hook in the pot.  He said that didnt matter.  Once it starts, it doesnt stop. 

At this point I couldnt see anything in the shop and I was instructed by the chemist to move as much air into the area as possible, then to get out of there!  Because the reaction produces pure oxygen, we were getting too high of an oxygen level in our shop and home, and it was at high risk of combusting and blowing up.  I had many fans running and shut off the rest of the electricity.

We all stepped back and waited.  By midnight the fog had cleared a little and I had several guys with us, so after putting on rain suits and chemical gloves, we went in anc carried out the half-empty pot.  At 2:00 a.m. it was still boiling. 

The next morning I was calling around trying to figure out what happened.  I talked to a chemist in California who said whats left is just pure water and that what caused the reaction will still be in the pot.  I strained the ten remaining gallons of water and ran a magnet through what used to be my clients skulls.  I came up with five pieces of iron no bigger than a grain of sand, which we figured to be flakes of rust off that iron hook.

I cleaned up the mess and washed everything in my shop because whatever we touched would instantly turn our hands white from the residue that was left on everything.  The paint peeled off everything in that room.

TWO DAYS after the incident I swore I could smell smoke in the shop but couldnt find anything.  Then I pulled a plastic trashcan out from under a wooden bench to find the back of the trashcan melted and the bottom half of the contents burned!  As near as I can tell, a rag that had hydrogen peroxide on it combusted and a plastic paint can at the top of the trash can melted through and put out the fire.  Thats the only sense I could make out of it.  I know without a doubt that God reached down and put out that fire.  There was a half-burnt calendar and a cardboard box in that can.  I tell this story with my head hung with shame that I neglected the safety precautions that I had read and didnt take seriously.  I am fortunate to still have a shop and a home.

I hope you can learn from my experience and never see anything like it.  I am currently using hydrogen peroxide diluted to 15 percent, using distilled water, and soaking for 48 hours.  I do the process in a small building away from my house and shop.  I thank God for sparing my life and my home.

We use dangerous chemicals every day, so please be very carefulnever get comfortable around them.

Chris Cammacks shop is in Prairie Mountain Wildlife Studio in Union Center, South Dakota.
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Lisa M
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2009, 11:39:06 PM »

I hope none of us never need the 1-800-424-9300 number for CHEMTREC, but you can bet your biscuits I'm tacking their number in 3-4 different places.

Thank you for sharing this Sea Wolf.  ;)
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Sea Wolf
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 12:27:13 AM »

Thanks for retyping that, Lisa. I was lazy and just scanned the pages. You either have a darned good WPM rate .. or did you use OCR software? :)  No one has to zoom in on those pages. Simply right clicking on them and looking at the jpg itself should produce a huge page without having to enlarge anything but your retyping is an easier read.
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2009, 12:31:16 AM »

I will stick to my 20 volume from Sally's  . Take a little longer but a heck  of alot safer.
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tariadamar
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009, 12:32:01 AM »

yeah i know the stuff is really bad i actually don't use it at that strength i dilute mine but it is good to know.
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brash
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 12:14:11 PM »

wow.  that can be dangerous stuff.  though i was careful but will make sure i'm more careful. like to see ken lock this at the top for a week so everybody sees it.  thanks again sea wolf
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 01:17:20 PM »

Thanks Sea Wolf for that post. Absolutely something to keep in mind. I think I'll stick to my 3 % for now... And post the Emergency numbers!
And thanks Lisa M, for the re-type!!
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 02:42:34 PM »

Yep....I posted a few questions about this stuff last week, and learned a LOT about how strong it is. Here is another tip to remember/try for those using rubber gloves when handling this stuff:

I bought the Soft Swim C chemical to use (its 27.5% peroxide) and took the advice of others and the MSDS sheet. I wear safety glasses and have been wearing rubber gloves while handling it. Yesterday I went out to the shed to pull the skulls out  of the peroxide mix. Reached down in there, pulled them out, and dunked them a few times in the bucket of water I have to remove as much liquid as possible. After that, I was looking at the skulls and my fingers on both hands starting burning some. So over to the faucet, pull the gloves and start rinsing. You guessed it, fingers start turning white, and they burned some for the next couple of hours even though i rinsed for 15 minutes under cold water. After I was done with the water rinse and cussing intially, I went back to see what happened and "Tested the gloves". To do that is simple...run some water down into them and squeeze the wrist (like your closing up a water balloon). Turns out, I had small holes in a few of the fingers and one thumb on each glove which is where the peroxide got in. It happened because I made the mistake of using those gloves the night before to skn a skull and prep for the beetles. Must have done it with the knife...or on the teeth??Dunno....but that stuff does burn just like the label said.  Anyways...tip of the day:

DEDICATE 1 pair of good rubber gloves to the peroxide handling, and TEST THEM regularly. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Im new around here, BUT that tip listed above is a good example of something that could happen to any one of us messing around with a strong peroxide mix....so figured I'd post my 2 cents. Have a great afternoon!

Thanks for posting the article sea wolf. I doubt anyone would have a copyright problem with it...because the intent of the article is to inform people about the dangers.  am also going to write down that phone number and put it in a few places for safety.

LISA...thanks for taking the time to RETYPE it, just in case the article did need to be pulled. Taking the time to do that so the info can stay on Taxi.net is appreciated so we/others can reference the data later.
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 08:42:01 PM »

thanks seawolf, just bought 27% the other day and planning on utilizeing that, now I'm going to be extra careful. My tennants have been busy as beavers and doing great, don't want to know i'VE WASTED MY TIME OR THIERS.
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Bob Katz
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 08:57:50 PM »

long, long time ago I wanted to try and bleach out a grey squirrel. Put a tail and peroxide in a plastic butter container covered it and left it in the sink in the kitchen. A while later while spending quaulity time with the family there was an explosane it the kitchen, very little mess, butter tub, but no tail. scared me to death.....
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craig_cougar03
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 10:54:38 PM »

very insightful post Sea Wolf
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2009, 12:18:26 AM »

 Nice article but it tells of a severe chemical reaction caused by someone trying to use 50% H2O2. 50% is getting close to fuel grade,and is by far to strong for this purpose.  Now everyone is posting about going back to 3%. I think the best lesson that can be learned for this article is to know what you're working with and the handling requirements. Also if you get some one the strong stuff on your hands it can be neutralized with bi sulfite or thiosulfate to stop the burning. I've also used sodium bicarbonate in cold water to neutralize skulls after they are removed for the H2O2 but have never tried it to neutralize when I've gotten some on my hands. I imagine most common alkalines would work to raise the Ph someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2009, 04:26:37 AM »

WOW. I use the strong peroxide and I am always very careful but I'll be extra extra careful now!
Is there a chemical response team in the UK. Id like that number at hand, just in case!
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