Mar 24, 2015 07:37 PM EDT
Some people might wonder why good science education is important for everyone, even if you don't intend to become a scientist. But in reality, a basic understanding of biology, physics, and chemistry are vitally important to certain every day events. They may even come up on more rare occasions, like if you're planning a pool party.
Perhaps you're the event organizer on behalf of Jägermeister in Mexico, as reported on Business Insider. The goal is to create a cool fog effect in the pool, and you have a poor understanding of both chemistry and basic safety practices. So instead of just getting some fog machines and putting them around the pool you decide to poor highly volatile chemicals into the pool.
The organizers decided to go with liquid nitrogen. You may be familiar with liquid nitrogen from demonstrations in which it freezes objects solid in mere seconds. It also creates a cool fog effect when poured on water, similar to dry ice. Disclaimer: dry ice is solid carbon dioxide and also would have been a terrible idea at this party.
While this stunt certainly did create a lot of fog, it also displace oxygen in the air and produce noxious nitrogen trichloride. Tragically leading to 8 people requiring hospitalization and putting one in a coma. The company is reportedly investigating the incident along with the local attorney general in Leon, Mexico
Hopefully everybody makes a speedy recovery and no permanent damage is done. But the moral story is don't use high-powered cryogenics, or really any other volatile chemical at a party. The exception of course being ethanol, drink responsibly.
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