Here are some interesting facts that writers may find helpful. These facts came from a couple of my Occupational Safety and Health classes:
Eugene Meyer, Chemistry of Hazardous Materials:
- “On average, the detonation velocity of an explosive is a staggering four miles per second.”
- Definition of “Brisance”: the shattering power of an explosive substance.
- The shock wave and brisance is what causes eardrums to rupture and lungs to collapse when a person is in proximity of an explosion.
(Lung collapse and internal organ damage are things that are frequently overlooked by writers in explosion scenes.)
- Detonation of nitroglycerin: “Heated gases expand so rapidly they can occupy approximately 10,000 times their initial volume”
- “The EPA has estimated that approximately 25% of the methane emitted into the air is linked to the belching of livestock”
- “Methane constitutes 10-15% of the gases linked to global warming”
John Timbrell, Introduction to Toxicology:
“Natural” peanut butter is often made from peanuts not sprayed with a chemical that prevents mold. As a result of this ‘natural’ process, aflatoxin may infect the peanuts and be passed on through peanut butter. Aflatoxin B1 is a very potent liver carcinogen and hepatotoxin; a level of 1 ppb [part per billion] in the diet may be sufficient to cause liver tumors.