Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mr. Hazmat Handles Deadly Plutonium-238 Humidifier Bacteriostatic Fluid!

me with lab goggles
Okay, I was blogging last week about how I received my annual shipment of new stuff for my humidifier, 'cause it's getting to be humidifier season again. Some new filters, a new bottle of bacteriostatic fluid.

And said bottle of bacteriostatic fluid had on it the most dire warnings about not getting a drop of this stuff on you, nohow, no way:
Do not get in eyes, on skin, or on clothing. Wear protective eyewear (goggles or face shield), protective clothing, and rubber gloves... Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling and before eating, drinking, chewing gum, or using tobacco. Remove contaminated clothing and wash before reuse.
Yeah, right, Plutonium City...

Anyhow. First time I filled the humidifier, and tried to measure out the bacteriostatic fluid using the bottlecap (as per the instructions), I discovered that said bottlecap is one of those "childproof" caps— y'know, the type that nobody but a child can get off? You gotta press down on it, then twist. Said childproof bottlecap is constructed with two layers, sort of like two bottlecaps, one right inside the other.

This means that you cannot possibly use the bottlecap for measuring, without getting copious amounts of the deadly bacteriostatic fluid in between the inner and outer layers of the bottlecap.

So that when you put the bottlecap back on the deadly bottle, there is no way José that you can avoid having said deadly fluid come pouring out from in between the layers of the bottlecap and all over the place.

I'm sorry, but if the lawyers at the humidifier company, writing their bogus dire anti-lawsuit warnings, want to joke us by making us believe that we are somehow actually intended to suit up in a full-body environmental suit before handling their deadly fluid— and I quote, right off the label, "Wear protective eyewear (goggles or face shield), protective clothing, and rubber gloves"— well, then you'd think they would at least provide a bottlecap for the bottle which did not render the exercise of measuring with the bottlecap (as also mandated in the instructions) a nigh-impossible exercise in hazardous-materials futility.

(Does that paragraph-length sentence parse, or not? I honestly don't know. I don't care. By now I'm just mad.)

So. I got out from beneath the kitchen sink the old bottle of bacteriostatic fluid, almost empty, same ingredients, same percentages, from the same company. Only a little older, and without any stupid dire warnings on the label, and mostly with a much more functional bottlecap. As I know from using, and almost using up, said bottle over the past year or two.

I got out the older bottle. And I poured the contents of the newer bottle right into it.

Gasp! Deadly! Plutonium 238!!! "Wear protective eyewear (goggles or face shield), protective clothing, and rubber gloves"! Well, as you will see from the photo above, I did indeed wear genuine lab goggles, à la chemistry class. And the deadly fluid did not run riot and splash up into my face, or anything.

Since I was remiss in not wearing "protective clothing, and rubber gloves", I did get a drop or two of the lethal fluid on one fingertip. Which is still less than I would've gotten on myself every day, with that damn childproof cap on the new bottle! I declined to wash my hands with water for 15 minutes and then seek medical help, as mandated on the bogus warning label in case you get any of this liquid plutonium on your skin. No, I just washed my hands thoroughly and carefully with water and soap.

Which is the way we used to do things back in the old days. Back in the old days, y'know, before common sense up and died?!

I repeat, I did not call 911 afterwards, and sob about the drop of deadly humidifier fluid that I got on my finger, and then wait for federal agents to swoop in with black helicopters, busting my front door down, coming running in, wearing hazmat outfits and carrying laser-sight rifles, barking out orders, stapling plastic sheeting over all interior surfaces, and quarantining my house before they hustle me away to an undisclosed location, like a scene straight out of The X-Files.

Oh well. If my finger turns black and falls off, the humidifier company lawyers can no doubt worm out of my ensuing lawsuit by pointing to the photographic evidence, right here on this blog, that I was clearly only wearing lab goggles, and not "protective clothing and rubber gloves" as well, when I handled their hellish radioactive plutonium concoction.



Blogger Paul Burgess said...

BTW, why does it not surprise me that the bottle which has a hysterical anti-plutonium warning label on it, is also the very same bottle which has an unusable, dysfunctional, "dribble all over the place" bottlecap?

No, it doesn't surprise me at all. In fact, somehow in a strange way it makes sense.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 8:02:00 AM  

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