Safety suggestions for aqua regia

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 10/10/05-11:11:14 PM Z
Message-id: <>

None of these formulas are rocket science, and time is always a
compensating variable, like developing a gum print -- but I ASSUME that
when the HCL has fumed for a couple of years, it's lost strength. I also
note my surprise that the muriatic acid was sold in plastic that did NOT
hold up.... wonder what it did in the storeroom of the big chain I bought
it from... !?

Anyway, I made some suggestions about safety in the original article,
which didn't cut any ice so to speak with Sullivan, who said the warnings
were "often couched in humorous context which tended to dilute the serious
[sic] of the warnings." I said, if so, the government was wasting
MILLIONS on their this-is-your-brain/ this-is-your-brain-on-drugs
campaign, but that I anyway wasn't the LEAST BIT couching or humorous, the
notion being further evidence that the entire hoo hah was contrived. Plus
"The wide and semi-casual use of nitric [in printmaking] confirms my
suggestion that this 'dedicated' campaign [and] its tone stem from another

However, I'd suggest that whosoever has P-F #4 and is thinking Aqua Regia,
re-read "The Gold Flap": It gives the "collective" voice on the topic,
examines the facts as known, touches on the law and "the literature" and
even amplifies some issues of the chemistry. A sidebar titled "Chemistry
and Reality of aqua regia" (page 42) quotes real chemists, actual *facts,*
even talks moles, NO gas per cubic foot, and risks of various levels of

However, here's something I added to Liam's tale (from my own experience)
P-F #3, page 30:

QUOTE: Both hydrochloric and the mixed acids give off corrosive fumes. The
operation should be on a high counter or table so you do not stand above
it breathing in fumes. You also need a good light, and, if indoors, good
ventilation as well as a large open container of plain water in case of
accident. You are of course wearing gloves and eye protection." On page
23 I harp on for god's sake don't leave those trays open, COVER THEM!

Someone else somewhere along the line said he'd learned to strap heavy
rubber bands around the containers of these strong liquids, so they
wouldn't slip out of control when wet. I think he'd had an accident & lost
all his gold.

Now looking at #3, I see Liam is wearing his Gromit T-shirt --with the
caption, "Make My Day" (it looks like). Liam, have you still got that
shirt? I saw "Wallace & Gromit and the Were Rabbit" Saturday night...
Disappointing. It got critical raves across the board, but in point of
fact was nowhere near as good as "Creature Comforts." Ruined by success I


Received on Mon Oct 10 23:11:25 2005

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