Chemistry of Hazardous Materials

Concentration of carbon monoxide is particularly important to the EH and S professional at the scene due to the high affinity of the gas to hemoglobin thus affecting the normal functioning of vital body organs such as the heart.

Combustion of polyacrylonitrile which is a polymer leads to production of highly toxic fumes of hydrogen cyanide a sit contains nitrogen, and carbon as basic building blocks. Similarly, several oxides of nitrogen are produced and these often undergo reactions in the atmosphere to from nitric acid. Burning the products in a place with no oxygen yields substantial amounts of carbon monoxide due to incomplete combustion of the carbon therefore increasing the number of products after combustion.

Trinitrotoluene is used as a military explosive as it can be conveniently handled when being processed. The chemical is quite stable in that after it has being processed it rarely undergoes subsequent reactions. Such a property is enhanced by its nonhygroscopic nature which reduces the chance of forming unstable compounds with metals which are used to pack the processed trinitrotoluene.  This makes it resist blows and friction especially when being transported.

 1·  Most of the polymeric materials are highly carcinogenic such that care should be taken to protect all uncovered body parts so as to minimize the chances of getting into contact with the chemicals.

1·  Polymer dust such as hydrogen cyanide causes intense irritation to the eyes of those who get into contact with them. Consequently, the corrosive nature of most polymers makes them equally dangerous.

1· Some of the polymers are present in either vapor or liquid form hence making them more dangerous due to the motion of molecules.


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