Delayed effects

Pin holes in my jeans, above the knee. How did that happen? I don't remember them being there before I put them in the laundry. There were a half dozen on each thigh, ranging in size from just a few broken threads to something I could put a pencil through.

I wore them anyway; they're my work grubbies, intended to get dirty or damaged.

While titrating a sample, I realized a possible route to those holes. The sample was about 2 litres; the chemical dropped in from well above the edge of the container. If micro-drops had splashed back out, unseen, and landed on me, the chemicals involved could have eaten holes in my jeans. But I hadn't noticed them until after doing laundry. After getting them wet.

Here's a funny paradox for you: 98% sulphuric acid is safer (or at least easier to store) than 50% sulphuric acid. Why? Because 98% doesn't have enough water in it to dissolve the acid and activate it. Not saying it isn't still very dangerous stuff: it is, and if water gets in the tank you're in trouble.

Maybe the chemical droplets stayed on my jeans until the water activated it enough to eat a bit of the fabric, until the wash cycle diluted it to the point where it couldn't do anything anymore.

I think it's time for a lab coat. Must ask the boss for one. It's safety gear!

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