Friday, March 09, 2007

How (not) to get rid of old diethyl ether

These darn old containers of diethyl ether that you need to get rid of... have you ever considered opening them with an axe and then pour them down the sink?

"A University of Washington pharmacology professor pleaded guilty in federal court today to charges of illegally dumping a chemical down a laboratory sink.

Daniel Storm, 62, last June broke open five containers of ethyl ether with an ax and dumped the contents, according to a release by the U.S. Department of Justice. UW health and safety inspectors had surveyed Storm's lab and determined that five containers of ethyl ether, which is highly flammable, needed to be disposed, but Storm didn't want to pay $15,000 out of a lab operations account to get rid of the substance properly. Storm then concealed the dumping, according to the Justice Department.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors have recommended Storm be given probation when he is sentenced June 18. He faces a maximum five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Storm continues to work at the UW, where he faces an internal disciplinary process."

Well, as this post in The Seattle Times illustrates, it is - quite surprisingly - not too good an idea!

C!

3 comments:

Daniel Sejer said...

He looks like such a nice guy (http://www.stormlab.org/). Who would ever have guessed he was an axe wielding ether dumping psycho? Then again if it was going to cost me US$15000 I might consider picking up the axe myself. D!

dark_mage said...

It wasn't his own money and by law you have to have that stuff (now who wants the highly explosive peroxides floating around) properly handled that's why in lab everything has its waste beaker

joshua said...

$15,000!! how big were the five containers? tanker cars? i go through a lot of liters of ether--i hope it's not costing that much to get rid of.