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Plastique?
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t***@gmail.com
2017-10-08 03:27:25 UTC
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When did mothballs become napthalene?
When this movie was made, i.e. when I was a kid, what we called ‘mothballs’ was formaldehyde in some sort of plasticizer / solidifier that ‘melted’ over time ... I’m guessing a sublimation of the volatile bits, with the only residual being the horrific smell left on the wool clothing, but it was the only reliable way to keep moths from eating up your winter wardrobe so people just dealt with smelling as though they’d just come from the morgue.
Peter Fairbrother
2017-10-08 13:13:21 UTC
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Post by t***@gmail.com
When did mothballs become napthalene?
When this movie was made, i.e. when I was a kid, what we called ‘mothballs’ was formaldehyde in some sort of plasticizer / solidifier that ‘melted’ over time ... I’m guessing a sublimation of the volatile bits, with the only residual being the horrific smell left on the wool clothing, but it was the only reliable way to keep moths from eating up your winter wardrobe so people just dealt with smelling as though they’d just come from the morgue.
Mothballs were never made from formaldehyde. They used to be napthalene
(sometimes with camphor), which smells a bit like formaldehyde. Later
some used dinitrobenzene; but not for much longer.

Napthalene mothballs have been banned in the EU for about 10 years,
dinitrobenzene is likely to be banned soon.

Modern mothballs contain things with lots of numbers in their very long
names, like 2,3,4,5-tetraflourobenzyl
trans-2-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)3,3-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate (yes,
really a thing in mothballs) which no-one has gotten round to banning,
or even properly investigating, yet.


-- Peter Fairbrother
Peter Fairbrother
2017-10-08 13:26:52 UTC
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Post by Peter Fairbrother
Post by t***@gmail.com
When did mothballs become napthalene?
When this movie was made, i.e. when I was a kid, what we called
‘mothballs’ was formaldehyde in some sort of plasticizer / solidifier
that ‘melted’ over time ... I’m guessing a sublimation of the volatile
bits, with the only residual being the horrific smell left on the wool
clothing, but it was the only reliable way to keep moths from eating
up your winter wardrobe so people just dealt with smelling as though
they’d just come from the morgue.
Mothballs were never made from formaldehyde. They used to be napthalene
(sometimes with camphor), which smells a bit like formaldehyde. Later
some used dinitrobenzene
ooops - p-dichlorobenzene, not dinitrobenzene. Sorry.


; but not for much longer.
Post by Peter Fairbrother
Napthalene mothballs have been banned in the EU for about 10 years,
dinitrobenzene is likely to be banned soon.
Modern mothballs contain things with lots of numbers in their very long
names, like 2,3,4,5-tetraflourobenzyl
trans-2-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)3,3-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate (yes,
really a thing in mothballs) which no-one has gotten round to banning,
or even properly investigating, yet.
-- Peter Fairbrother
Thomas Prufer
2017-10-08 14:02:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Fairbrother
Mothballs were never made from formaldehyde. They used to be napthalene
(sometimes with camphor), which smells a bit like formaldehyde. Later
some used dinitrobenzene; but not for much longer.
Napthalene mothballs have been banned in the EU for about 10 years,
dinitrobenzene is likely to be banned soon.
Not a second too soon -- I had a wood "camphor" chest and some wool blankets
rendered unusable by the stench of naphthalene.

ISTR seeing a mothball attachment for a vacuum cleaner: a lot (a pound? half
apound?) of mothballs would be put in a container, attached to the vacuum
cleaner, and the cleaner placed in a closet with the moth-ridded fabric. You
tape up the cracks around the door, plug the electric cord in, and the vacuum
recirculated the air through the mothballs, vaporizing the lot in (ISTR) an hour
or three. This would kill the moths.

The smell of a pound of naphthalene vaporized must have been remarkable...


Thomas Prufer

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