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What is the Most Dangerous Chemical?

  1. Apr 14, 2015 #1
    what is the Most Dangerous Chemical or poison in the world?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2015 #2
    I would say Sodium Cyanide (NaCN).
     
  4. Apr 14, 2015 #3

    Borek

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    Plenty of things that are much more poisonous than cyanides.

    But in general, this is a very poorly defined question. Litvinienko was killed using about 10 μg of polonium. Polonium is not a compound, it is an element. Botulinum toxin is lethal in concentrations 1000 times smaller. It is a protein, so it can be qualified as a compound, but its exact composition can depend on the bacterial strain used to produce it. Neither plutonium nor botulinum toxin is dangerous if correctly handled.
     
  5. Apr 14, 2015 #4
    Dioxygen difluoride might be a good candidate in terms of violent reactivity with virtually anything. And that's at less than -150oC

    http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2010/02/23/things_i_wont_work_with_dioxygen_difluoride.php [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  6. Apr 14, 2015 #5

    SteamKing

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    Dihydrogen oxide is particularly deadly. It's all around us. We breathe it in with every breath, but if we breathe in too much, we die. We need to consume a certain amount of dihydrogen oxide each day to maintain health, but if we go for more than a few days without consuming any, we die. Yet, this chemical is not regulated by any agency in the world.
     
  7. Apr 14, 2015 #6
    If you want to see a lot of dead people, one should go ahead and regulate it. Not sure why you promote the opposite.
     
  8. Apr 14, 2015 #7

    Borek

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  9. Apr 14, 2015 #8
    tert-Butyllithium
     
  10. Apr 15, 2015 #9

    OCR

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    This one is very, very nasty ...

    It also claimed the life of Karen Wetterhahn...
    Borek is right...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin

    Dihydrogen oxide can be very dangerous... with improper usage.

    The same holds true for "dihydrogen monoxide" (DHMO)...
     
  11. Apr 15, 2015 #10
  12. Apr 16, 2015 #11
    DNA??
    Is DNA Poison??
     
  13. Apr 16, 2015 #12

    Borek

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    You have not limited "dangerous" to "poisonous" in your opening post, now you are shifting the post goals.

    I told you it is a very poorly defined question, this answer shows why. It is not that difficult to prove why DNA is so dangerous - after all, it is a necessary compound without which we would not evolve, and we ARE dangerous, aren't we?
     
  14. Apr 16, 2015 #13
    can you prove that DNA is a poison??

    i am listening.
     
  15. Apr 16, 2015 #14
    My reply 'DNA' was somewhat 'tongue in cheek'.
    But in the sense that it is a chemical which can lead to drastic transformation of it's environment and requisition other chemistry to achieve that end, it certainly poses a threat to environmental stability.
    The emergence of cyanobacteria, the first photosynthesisers, led to dramatic changes in the composition of Earth's atmosphere, which previous had little or no free oxygen, and that led to the near-extinction of oxygen intolerant life forms which had been doing quite well until then.
     
  16. Apr 16, 2015 #15

    eXa

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    Estrogen...
     
  17. Apr 20, 2015 #16
  18. Apr 20, 2015 #17
    finally i found it!!
     
  19. Apr 20, 2015 #18

    Borek

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    What have you found? Three people each speaking of a completely different chemical they have DEALT with, not the one they KNOW about. So, which one it is, and why do you assume those mentioned earlier in the thread are not more dangerous?
     
  20. Apr 20, 2015 #19
    i found the video about (what is the most dangerous chemical).
     
  21. Apr 20, 2015 #20
    A lot of people die from H2O :smile:
     
  22. Apr 20, 2015 #21
    of course:biggrin:
     
  23. Apr 20, 2015 #22
    If you are talking about deaths relevant to mass, Polonium is probably the most toxic per gram. It's extremely hard to manufacture and there is no cure. So, if someone dies from Polonium poisoning, you can be pretty sure a government had a hand in it.
     
  24. Apr 20, 2015 #23
    i'm told hydrazine (C2H4) is quite up there


    DNA based viruses.
     
  25. Apr 21, 2015 #24
    You have to define dangerous. Dangerous can be broken into toxic and hazardous. Toxic means how much of the substance can kill you and hazardous means how easily it can enter your body to harm you (The easier a substance enters your body the more hazardous it is; eg. through your lungs by breathing it). So with that definition, the most toxic (potent) chemical that we know of is Batrachotoxin. It is found in certain species of frogs. The most toxic protein (meaning not a chemical but a protein made from a bacterium) is Botulinum toxin (a.k.a. botox). Inhaling just 13 billionths of a gram can kill and adult. Botulinum toxin is perhaps the most dangerous substace we know of since its both highly toxic and hazardous.
     
  26. Apr 21, 2015 #25

    Mark Harder

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    One way to think of 'dangerous' in chemistry is a destructive chemical you can't isolate yourself from. I believe that methyl-mercury is one such. A chemist recently was working with a sample of the stuff as part of an NMR experiment, I believe. She was wearing gloves, but spilled a tiny amount on one of her gloves. It diffused right through the glove and her skin. It killed her of acute mercury poisoning. Not immediately, mind you, but in a matter of days, I believe it was. This type of hazard is particularly insidious because you don't know it's even happened to you at the time, having taken what you thought was the adequate precaution of using gloves, you don't think to wash the stuff off and get to an ER. Hydrogen fluoride(hydrofluoric acid) is like that. It's commonly used in the semiconductor industry, so many people use it. It goes through skin fairly quickly and slowly attacks bone. I think they become flexible, or rubbery or something like that. HF is not an extremely strong acid, so it doesn't burn you right away. I know of one chemist who refuses to wear gloves when handling chemicals. He wants to know immediately when he spills something on his hands so he can wash it off and take other measures, if needed. There is something to be said for NOT applying a protective covering that could end up cloaking something dangerous... What you don't know can indeed kill you, especially if you give it a little time to do so.

    A startling example is simple iron! We need iron to live, but iron in usable form is not common enough in nature that we can get enough from scounging nuts and berries and the like. Our bodies have evolved to scarf up iron from our intestines without limit, since placing limits on our iron intake was not necessary during the prehistoric millenia when food, especially the rich protein and iron sources like meat, was scarce. Iron in our intestines is avidly grabbed and held by a protein in the liver for storage there. A nurse I once knew told me a sad story about a pregnant mother taking iron supplements who had a young child to care for as well. The child got into her tonic and swallowed a whole bunch. When the mother found out, she thought little of it - how could iron hurt you? In a matter of days, the child fell ill and when his illness grew alarming the mother sought medical attention. Sadly, so much of his liver was destroyed by then he couldn't be saved. If human tragedy is your measure of danger, iron should be near the top of your list.
     
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