Most dangerous chemicals?

  • #1
Rougesang
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Hi, to begin with, I am a bit of a chemistry noob.

I came across this YouTube video from a channel called SciShow explaining the 5 most dangerous chemicals.


In short these are the 5 chemicals listed in the video and why.

”Germany, 1939. In a secret bunker on the German-Polish border, Nazi agents were experimenting with a deadly chemical they named Substanz N. This chemical was extremely dangerous, boiling upon exposure to air, exploding upon contact with water, and releasing lethal hydrofluoric acid when decomposed. The Nazis planned to use Substanz N to arm their troops and melt Allied bunkers. However, they eventually deemed it too risky to work with and discontinued the experiments. This gives a glimpse into the realm of the most dangerous chemicals in the world, some of which even the Nazis found too extreme.

One such chemical is chlorine trifluoride, a highly potent fluorinating agent that can ignite violently upon contact with various substances, including things like bricks and asbestos. This compound is so reactive that it outperforms oxygen as an oxidizer, making it extremely hazardous to handle. Chlorine trifluoride is known for its ability to burn through concrete and dirt, highlighting its extreme danger. Azidoazide, another compound, is considered the most explosive chemical ever created, with its sensitivity being beyond the capabilities of measurement. Even the slightest disturbances can lead to explosive reactions, making it a nightmare to work with.

This is a free summary of a YouTube video autogenerated by
studygeniuspro.com
Dimethylcadmium, on the other hand, stands out as one of the most toxic chemicals gram for gram. This compound, a deadly organometallic substance, is known for its acute and chronic effects, swiftly affecting the bloodstream and major organs with toxic compounds of cadmium. The carcinogenic properties of dimethylcadmium further accentuate its lethal nature, making it a severe threat to human health. Despite its explosive and flammable characteristics, it's the extreme toxicity that makes dimethylcadmium stand out as one of the most dangerous chemicals in existence.
Thioacetone provides another perspective on chemical danger, being acclaimed as the world's smelliest compound. While not explosive or carcinogenic, the foul odor of thioacetone is unbearable, causing people to fall ill and leading to city evacuations. The pervasive stench of thioacetone showcases the diverse forms of danger that chemicals can exhibit, extending beyond physical harm to psychological and social impacts.
Lastly, fluoroantimonic acid claims the title of the strongest corrosive agent and the most dangerous acid ever created. This super acid, 10 quadrillion times stronger than sulfuric acid, poses a severe threat due to its ability to rip through organic tissues and even bones upon contact. The extreme reactivity of fluoroantimonic acid limits the ability to conduct experiments with it, as it devours glass and fume hoods, emphasizing the need for cautious handling and observation from a distance.”


Now to my question regarding this as I struggle to find conclusive information. Are these the 5 most dangerous chemicals in the world or are there others that they have missed? Maybe some have occurred since the video was released 9 years ago that have to be considered? What would you classify as the most dangerous? Looking forward to learning and seeing your opinions on the matter!
 
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  • #2
Kind of a dumb video, IMO. Like a beauty pageant or Hollywood awards. Dangerous is a nebulous term.

Anyway, I'll throw out a vote for 235U and 239Pu. These could destroy the world as we know it.
 
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  • #3
Rougesang said:
Now to my question regarding this as I struggle to find conclusive information. Are these the 5 most dangerous chemicals in the world or are there others that they have missed?
Why do you care? Are you planning on becoming a mass murder or something?
 
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  • #4
DaveE said:
Kind of a dumb video, IMO. Like a beauty pageant or Hollywood awards. Dangerous is a nebulous term.

Anyway, I'll throw out a vote for 235U and 239Pu. These could destroy the world as we (humans) know it.
That is very true, but I couldn't really muster a better term, since the video just appeared in my youtube flow and it got me thinking. Oh wow, I have never heard of either. How come would you say? (I will google it but, limited knowledge might lead me to not comprehend it I suppose)
 
  • #5
Thread is in Moderation for Mentor review...

After a Mentor discussion, the thread is reopened provisionally.
 
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  • #6
phinds said:
Why do you care? Are you planning on becoming a mass murder or something?
Haha kinda expected that question, fair one as well. But no not at all, and if I were, I probably wouldn't succeed well with chemicals at all considering. Just happened to get the video in my feed, watched it and found it interesting tbh
 
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  • #7
Fentanyl has a lethal dose of about 2 milligrams (0.002 grams), and is currently responsible for about 75,000 accidental deaths per year in the US. One of those deaths was the son of a friend. It qualifies on both the total number of deaths and on the lethal dosage.
 
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  • #8
Gold, probably. Consider all the wars and crimes around it.
 
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  • #9
jrmichler said:
One of those deaths was the son of a friend.
I'm so sorry for you and your friend's loss, JR. I've started carrying Narcan in my medical kit now on my EMS shifts. I wish I was there to respond.
 
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  • #10
Sorry, this thread is a bit of a trigger for me. I'll pause it for a bit.
 
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  • #11
Vanadium 50 said:
Gold, probably. Consider all the wars and crimes around it.
Don't forget carbon!
 
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  • #12
Okay, thread is back open again.
 
  • #13
Rougesang said:
Are these the 5 most dangerous chemicals in the world or are there others that they have missed?
"All" chemicals/guns/drugs/narcotics/... are/can be "the most" dangerous/addictive/... in the world; whatever it is that just did "the damage" needing fixing/compensation to "you" is it.
 
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  • #14
Humm... I'm seeing a trend here. Uranium, Fentanyl, Gold... all used productively by humans, all dangerous when misused by humans.
 
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  • #15
From a chemistry standpoint, the classics tert-butyllithium and methyl mercury are two of the nastiest reagents I can think of. I'd be willing to work with t-BuLi but I stay far away from skin penetrating heavy metals reagents.
 
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  • #16
Rougesang said:
Haha kinda expected that question, fair one as well. But no not at all, and if I were, I probably wouldn't succeed well with chemicals at all considering. Just happened to get the video in my feed, watched it and found it interesting tbh
From a practical perspective in the lab, strong acids and bases can do a lot of damage.
Ammonia solution too, if you accidentally drop a bottle in the sink.
Not quite the same status as Uranium, ricin or Methyl Mercury but you are less likely to encounter those.
 
  • #17
pinball1970 said:
From a practical perspective in the lab, strong acids and bases can do a lot of damage.
Ammonia solution too, if you accidentally drop a bottle in the sink.
Not quite the same status as Uranium, ricin or Methyl Mercury but you are less likely to encounter those.
I'm still wondering where people get Fentanyl from.
 
  • #18
fresh_42 said:
I'm still wondering where people get Fentanyl from.
It is prescribed by GP's. That is one channel
 
  • #19
fresh_42 said:
I'm still wondering where people get Fentanyl from.
I know you are not a fan of the site but...This from wiki


Fentanyl continues to fuel an epidemic of synthetic opioid drug overdose deaths in the United States. From 2011 to 2021, prescription opioid deaths per year remained stable, while synthetic opioid deaths per year increased from 2,600 overdoses to 70,601.[21] Since 2018, fentanyl and its analogues have been responsible for most drug overdose deaths in the United States, causing over 71,238 deaths in 2021.[22][21][23] Fentanyl constitutes the majority of all drug overdose deaths in the United States since it overtook heroin in 2018.[22] The United States National Forensic Laboratory estimates fentanyl reports by federal, state, and local forensic laboratories increased from 4,697 reports in 2014 to 117,045 reports in 2020.[24] Fentanyl is often mixed, cut, or ingested alongside other drugs, including cocaine and heroin.[24] Fentanyl has been reported in pill form, including pills mimicking pharmaceutical drugs such as oxycodone.[24] Mixing with other drugs or disguising as a pharmaceutical makes it difficult to determine the correct treatment in the case of an overdose, resulting in more deaths.[11] In an attempt to reduce the number of overdoses from taking other drugs mixed with fentanyl, drug testing kits, strips and labs are available.[25][26] Fentanyl's ease of manufacture and high potency makes it easier to produce and smuggle, resulting in fentanyl replacing other abused narcotics and becoming more widely used.[27]
 
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  • #20
pinball1970 said:
It is prescribed by GP's. That is one channel
GP?
 
  • #21
fresh_42 said:
GP?
Sorry Fresh, General Practitioners, British speak for Dr.
 
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  • #22
Has Clostridium sp had a mention? In terms of natural toxins this microorganism needs a mention.
Responsible for a lot of deaths historically.
Tetanus, botulism and gas gangrene.
 
  • #23
pinball1970 said:
Sorry Fresh, General Practitioners, British speak for Dr.
I thought that "G" meant "general". I wondered how they were allowed to prescribe it. I don't think there is a way to get it from what we call "house-doctor".
 
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  • #24
fresh_42 said:
I thought that "G" meant "general". I wondered how they were allowed to prescribe it. I don't think there is a way to get it from what we call "house-doctor".
In the US they can prescribe it, but they won't. In practice it comes from specialists: Anesthesiologists (pain management), palliative care, etc. You need a DEA license and have to deal with records and paper work.

Except in the hospital, where lots of specialists use it for procedures. IV Fentanyl and Versed is sort of the standard for sedation or part of general anesthesia.
 
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  • #25
I have read about a British girl who died (liver failure) from an overdose of paracetamol. I don't remember the exact dose, but it wasn't much. And if you do not like liver failure, then there is still ibuprofen (kidney failure). And you surely do not want to survive, but probably will, an ASA overdose.

One doesn't need opioids to cause damage. This entire thread only exists because nobody ever said what "dangerous" in the OP actually means.
 
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  • #26
fresh_42 said:
I'm still wondering where people get Fentanyl from.

As if it was ever a problem to buy illegal drugs.

I am not an organiker, so I am not going to pretend I know for sure, but my understanding is that fentanyl is easier to synthesize than many other abused substances.
 
  • #27
These Novichok organophosphates are said to be extremely toxic. The Wiki article claims the most lethal one has a lethal dose of 0.1 mg. It's believed these were used in the attempt to poison Alexei Navalny.
 
  • #29
Alcohol, hands down. It kills more people than Fentanyl.
 
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  • #30
docnet said:
Alcohol, hands down. It kills more people than Fentanyl.
Probably because more people drink alcohol.
 
  • #31
I hold little hope for this thread as it was apparently just a drive-by stink bomb by the OP. But if people are trying to take it seriously, "dangerous" is ill-defined. Both risk and prevalence enter into it.

Xenon platinum hexafluoride is, or at least should be, highly toxic. And corrosive. But its not like you will find a 55 gallon drum of it lying around.

Edit: I think it is technically xenon hexafluoroplatinate.
 
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  • #32
fresh_42 said:
I'm still wondering where people get Fentanyl from.
Precursor chemicals from China (they are reportedly quite cheap).
Shipped to Mexico where the drug cartels manufacture the Fentanyl.
Smuggled across the border to the USA (and probably other countries).
It started out as an cheap additive to enhance illegal street drugs.
Has since expanded to being a stand-alone street drug.

Extremely potent, extremely addictive, extremely lethal. The "extremely addictive", along with cheap, was/is the reason it was added to street drugs.
The drug dealers didn't seem to care about the "lethal", it is potent enough to easily and rapidly turn the occassional drug user into another addict (repeat customer).

At least here in Southern California, all of this was reported a bit at a time in the public news/press,
 
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  • #33
Tom.G said:
Precursor chemicals from China (they are reportedly quite cheap).
Shipped to Mexico where the drug cartels manufacture the Fentanyl.
Smuggled across the border to the USA (and probably other countries).
It started out as an cheap additive to enhance illegal street drugs.
Has since expanded to being a stand-alone street drug.

Extremely potent, extremely addictive, extremely lethal. The "extremely addictive", along with cheap, was/is the reason it was added to street drugs.
The drug dealers didn't seem to care about the "lethal", it is potent enough to easily and rapidly turn the occassional drug user into another addict (repeat customer).

At least here in Southern California, all of this was reported a bit at a time in the public news/press,
I wonder if the fentanyl used by anesthesiologists has the same origin
 
  • #34
docnet said:
I wonder if the fentanyl used by anesthesiologists has the same origin
Hopefully any drugs used in a medical context have been quality checked to shreds.
 
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  • #35
docnet said:
I wonder if the fentanyl used by anesthesiologists has the same origin
My medical care team gets all of its drugs from the cartels. Cheaper and less paperwork.
 
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