Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chemically Burned Hands-Fun!

We were on the street in the very early morning hours when we needed to test the substances we seized.  It was discovered that we were all out of testing kits so one had to be scrounged up and it turned out to be one of the old Marquis Testing kits.

If you have never used these kits the are a short plastic straw with a small glass ampule on either end.  You pop the top put trace amounts of the illicit narotic that is to be tested into the tube, put the cap back on and then crush the top and bottom ampules.  If it turnes blue/purple you positively field tested cocaine or heroin, way to go guy!

Ok back to the story, I decided not to use the old kit and wait for some new ones to show up.  While this was happening I was rolling one of the little ampules around my fingers talking to the assembled and currently inactive group.  Now what you need to know is that this ampule containes concerterated Sulfuric Acid.  A very strong acid (or if your the Blues Brothers "Glue...strong stuff").  The glass on the ampule is thin so it can be crushed in your fingers, while its safely in the plastic straw (you know what going to happen next).  I was lost in thought trying to solve a minor problem when I put a little too much pressure on the ampule and *POP* it went, splashing my hand in acid and embedding a thousand tiny glass shards into my right hand.

Knowing that if I said anything or admitted my hands were burning off or someone realized what I had done, I would be reliving this moment once a month for the rest of my career to be capped off as a small vignette at my retirement party, I put a fake smile on my face, placed my left hand over my right (causing it to start burning with acid) and slowly, calmly walked to the bathroom.  I then proceeded to wash my hands.  At this point a little High School chemistry came back to me and I realized while my hands were clean they were still burning and turning yellow.

Start the frantic searching for some alkali! At the kitchenette I found some Comet Cleanser and after about ten washings the burning finally stopped.

The result, bright yellow streaks throughout my left and right hands and two burn marks.

See Law Enforcement is dangerous and...I am a dumb-ass. But I didn't get caught, but they did ask if I was obsessive-compulsive about hand washing.

No comments: