Concerns squashed over potentially dangerous chemical

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COLLEGES have stated that there is no need for alarm after nationwide concern over the storage of a chemical.

Across the country, bomb squads have been called in to carry out controlled explosions on the element 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine, a solid compound used when testing for the presence of hydrocarbons.

The explosion is triggered by friction, something that the compound is extremely sensitive to.

Ben Searle, Portsmouth College

There have been controlled explosions in Leeds, Wigan, Nottingham and Dublin, among other places - with other schools being alerted about this happening.

Ben Searle from Portsmouth College said: ‘It is not a restricted chemical, but it has to be kept damp to be safe.

‘The explosion is triggered by friction, something that the compound is extremely sensitive to.’

A senior science technician at St Vincent College in Gosport said: ‘We have stored it for many years – the correct way to do so is inside a container with 1cm-deep water, as recommended.

‘Only schools storing it incorrectly are affected.’