The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban

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The universal solvent


When Irish Dan and friendly_bandit worked at Disneyland, they got to use lots of interesting chemicals. This was partly because they were janitors, and partly because Disney was always interested in testing out new ideas, and manufacturers loved to send their cleaning supplies there for beta testing, so to speak.

There were all the weird orange colored ones, the ones that didn’t work, the ones that worked great but went away because they were “bad”, etc.

One of them was “Inhibisol”, which came in a small aerosol spray can. This stuff was truly amazing! If there was permanent Sharpie marker graffiti on a bathroom wall, you could spray it on and the ink would just drip on off the tile. Incredible. Of course if you got a whiff of it you’d be on your knees, and after working with it for a while a person really needed to sit down and rest a bit, but hey, it got rid of the Sharpie marks.

Later on Irish Dan worked at an experimental oil refinery in El Monte. This place was full of great toys: huge tanks of pressurized molten tire rubber, acids, caustics, everything that has ever been used to burn things, and big ol’ tanks of toxics. One of these was called “tri”. It was fun, he said, because if you put a glove on and forced your hand down in the drum it would pop your hand back out like it was liquid rubber or something!

Turns out Inhibisol and “tri” were the same thing: 1,1,1-trichloroethane, which is an incredibly dangerous chemical only now used for specialized cleaning of things like rocket engines, or for removing the last little bit of water from glacially pure ethanol, etc. It’s also not so good for the ozone layer.

And that’s how deadly chemicals saved Christmas.

Tags: chemicals, cleaning, deth, disney, doom, doomed, doomsong, inhibisol, phear, poison, solvents, tri, trichloroethylene, universalsolvent
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