True tales of a laboratory safety officer


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So long ago now. My moms first teaching gig was chemistry at a catholic girls school. The lab store room was full of stuff that needed to go. She asked the county hazmat about the more burny boomy stuff and they said nothing was big enough for them to have to come out and just use a big field and let it react.
Well after having fun watching nice different colored fire for the phosphorus, potassium and other small bits of stuff we had a 1lb hunk of sodium to react off as well. We had a used steel 60 gallon drum that had been a trash can in the garage for a long long time, we filled it with water then I had the honors of dropping in the sodium. I took off running heard the boom and looked back to see the drum some 6ish feet in the air with water spraying out a hole in the bottom.


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