Sunday, March 23, 2014


Good morning, ladles and germs.

On this fine early morning, let us turn our attention to chemistry. More to the point, let us meditate upon the following equation:

2NH3 + Cl2 → 2NH2Cl

Translation: Ammonia plus free chlorine released from the decomposition of NaOCl (bleach) equals chloramine gas.

It’s actually much more complex equation than that, but you get the point; and while chloramine gas isn’t as shagnasty as its cousin chlorine, it is somewhat more persistent.

Yes. Our trusties Inmate Workers are apparently attempting to gas Intake by pouring bleach down a drain full of ammonia.

Given the fact that at least one of the Usual Suspects involved can probably produce fourteen different varieties of Illicit Recreational Pharmaceuticals with $28 and 20 minutes free reign inside a Circle K, yet has spent several minutes staring in bumfuzzlement at the yellow-green gas drifting lazily through the kitchen says indictable things about the American Educational System ... but I digress.


SadPanda has been notified, and water has been poured down said drain until the fizzing/smoking stopped (probably N2H4, better known as liquid hydrazine – a component of rocket fuel, by-the-by) and the smell went away.

Irritatedly yours, I remain:



Jess said...

In a less polite society, the offender would be required to process the fumes through their nasal cavities.

Suisan R said...

Well, Texans are well-known for being rather polite.

ScribblersDad said...

Dog! Your signature blue italic font has gone missing! At least on my computer. Did you give it the heave-ho? Say it ain't so!

BTW, planning on being in Indy for NRA?

Rick Street said...

+1 Jess

Old NFO said...

Oh wow... just... WOW... Teh stoopid actually DOES burn in this case!

Sabre22 said...

At least it is Not Unsimmetrical DiMethyl Hydrazine whucih is theZFuel or Oxidizer for a lance Missile ( Mid 80s ) So I am not sure LOL i work at the local regional prison and that does not surpise me at all.

Auntie J said...

I'm sitting here and still giggling over "shagnasty."

I must find a way to work this into normal conversation.

Gladorn said...

I'm pretty happy that my facility restricts the number/types of chemicals in the back of the facility. 1) Hydrogen Peroxide. 2) Generic window cleaner. 3) Generic soap water for mopping. 4) Some type of blue water for buffing/scrubbing the floors. It's cheap, but it does a heck of a job! 5) Grease cutter, and of all the chemicals we have this is the only nasty one, so inmates are not allowed to handle it. 6) Pepper Spray - Applied to the inmates as needed. (I'm so going to get a write-up for that bad joke.)

We used to also have floor wax and paint, but we haven't seen that since the budget crunch.

We do not issue out bleach or any similar chemical agent. As a matter of fact, it is not even allowed in the secure portion of the jail. It can be used as a weapon. But it can be easily replaced by the hard work of an inmate.

Due to the fact that we are a newer facility, the laundry section has a secure room for their chemicals and the inmates have no access.

pediem said...

It is not only your Inmate Workers who have discovered that little magic equation, Sir.

It constantly amazes me how many times I have to treat patients in the ER who think that they can magically whiten their bathroom fixtures by mixing bleach and ammonia.

Robin Bobcat said...

But... but... if one stuff-in-bottle makes clean, then two stuff-in-bottle makes even MORE clean, right?

I'm reminded of the time our Diazo Printer broke in my drafting class. For those unfamiliar, it's a device that makes blueprints, and uses ammonia at concentrations MUCH higher than 'clean your floors'. Had to evacuate the entire building until the hazmat crews arrived.

Mike Van Pelt said...

Hydrazine... the best description I've read of this fine substance is "Toxic, flammable, carcinogenic, explosive, corrosive... practically everything but radioactive."

Yeah, on the list "inadvisable things to do with grocery store chemicals", the bleach/ammonia thing is right near the top of the list.

Webfoot Logger said...

I'm told that ammonia/bleach does a number on moles . . .

Anonymous said...

Hydrazine will give off a nice brownish smog. Do run away.