Talk:Picric acid

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Reference to homemade pycric acid[edit]

"The most common route is through aspirin, since this is the most widely available of the three." Is this sentence correct? It makes me think that it was written by someone referring to homemade pycric acid, I do not have the exact figures, but seems hard to believe to me that aspirin is easier to get than phenol or bencene, which have hundreds of industrial applications, and are, by the way, precursors of aspirin. This sounds like a reference to home prepararion of pycric. --Paiconos 16:00, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

"or even acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin)." No-one in their right mind would use asprin to make picric acid unless it was homemade. So this reference to asprin still seems completely inappropriate to me. Iomesus (talk) 08:38, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Placement of a Sentence[edit]

Should not the sentence "Picric acid was one of the agents in the Halifax explosion." be under History, as opposed to under Uses, where it currently is? --Blutpanzer 15:15, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like an improvement to me. Agree with moving it. Georgewilliamherbert 20:22, 21 February 2006 (UTC)


A reference question[edit]

I have found picric acid listed in the contents of a first aid kit from early 1900's - why would it be in a first aid kit - used for what?

You can sign comments or questions using four ~ characters in a row. That gives the name/date combination you see all over...
Picric acid was used as an antiseptic, according to some notes I have. No longer, of course... Georgewilliamherbert 07:14, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

"Highly" toxic?[edit]

While nitrogen dioxide may be "highly toxic" as in, T+ using the European convention of labelling hazards, I am very hesitant to use it in text because firstly, WP:NOT. Also, it sounds sensationalist instead of reserved and objective. Lastly, if the NO2 produced from the standard nitration of phenol is in the same order of magnitude as that generated when you open a bottle of HNO3, or when you use aqua regia, then I won't say it is really very toxic. Afterall, the dose makes the poison. --Rifleman 82 10:16, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

All NO2 is extremely toxic. If you can smell it, you may well have just inhaled a lethal dose. It forms HNO3 on contact with the water in your lungs, and burns your lungs out from the inside. You die of your lungs filling with fluid some hours later. There is no known way to prevent death after exposure (well, perhaps an immediate lung transplant, but good luck with that...
People regularly die from contact with it from either decomposed or red fuming nitric acid, or other industrial sources. It's bad. Really. If you're handling it outside a fume hood, and not wearing a respirator or good filter mask, you're risking your life.
People are a little blase about it because most of the time the fumes (which are heavier than air) sink away from breathing height and dissipate safely. If you ever get a faceful, you're in very bad shape. Georgewilliamherbert 22:25, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
I guess that includes me (= blase about it). Thanks for the info. =) --Rifleman 82 00:25, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

NO2 is not extremely toxic unless you breathe visible fumes, which is hard because your respiratory system blocks the passage right away. Its effect is not complex like the one of HCN or H2S. It is mainly corrosive. I've inhaled it several times (not pure of course) and I'm still alive. It is just a corrosive gas like chlorine, ozone, fumes of bromine and iodine. The toxic effect compared to pure corrosion of lungs is small. If you can smell it, you may well have just inhaled a lethal dose. -> that is absurd. Utter ignorance. That would mean that opening a bottle of fuming nitric acid would be suicidal.Endimion17 (talk) 14:31, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Use in motorcycle engines[edit]

Picric acid was early used in motorcycle engines, added to the fuel to increase power for racing. It generally destroyed the engine, sometimes violently. It's not been used during the last 80 years, though. Research into the history of this use could result in additional material for the article. I cannot do it now; the margin on my available time is too small. Snezzy (talk) 09:49, 6 December 2009 (UTC)