Lead salts for 'Dragons breath' demo?

Discussion in 'Supporting Chemistry' started by Techitude, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. We do the Dragons Breath demo of metal salts in ethanol in a spray bottle that you spray over the bunsen flame to produce the flame test colours.

    I normally use copper, lithium, potassium and sodium salts to get the colours but a teacher has asked for a lead salt, stating "I've had it before" but I'm not 100% happy giving out lead for him to vaporise!

    Does anyone else use lead salts in their flame tests and is it safe (I have checked Cleapss that suggests no but it isnt specific to this use)
  2. For me its a straight no but then again they will have prepared a risk assessment for the procedure? :p
  3. I am going to say no but had to appear slightly receptive to the idea when originally asked as it was the HODwho wanted it ;)
  4. Lead only gives a greyish white colour anyway which is dull compared with others like strontium, barium and calcium which are other alternatives to offer and give showy colours,as well as the normal copper, potassium etc.
  5. Just what I was going to say - it's not particularly impressive. Really not worth the risk.
  6. He wanted it specifically to show the white colour, said he had done it before but he has graciously accepted my new rules of 'no lead dragons breath' irrespective of what the previous techs used to give him.

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