Consumers warned about plastic ‘Drano’ bottle bombs
It reads more like an urban legend, one of those hard-to-believe stories that drop into your e-mail inbox, but it’s no laughing matter. Plastic “Drano” bottle bombs are a real threat, according to Snoops.com, and some people find pleasure in exploding them for fun or leaving them in mailboxes or yards where, if disturbed, they can explode in about 30 seconds, severing fingers and causing second- and third-degree burns on the skin.
The bombs are easy to make. Just pour a little store-bought Drano (a product used to unclog drains), water, and a small piece of foil into a plastic bottle. Secure the lid and shake. Within seconds, the mixture explodes. Don’t believe a bomb can be made that easily? Just watch this YouTube video made by two engineers.
This video was sent out as a warning by the Washtenaw County Sheriffs Department in April 2010 after two Drano bombs were left in the yards of residents of York Township, Michigan. Similar bombs were also found in mailboxes in Methuen, Massachusetts.
What occurs when the items are mixed together is a chemical reaction that causes the liquid to boil. Pressure builds inside the bottle and it quickly explodes causing acid and plastic bottle parts to spew. That acid can cause serious burns, blindness and can be toxic if the fumes are inhaled.
Consumers are urged to be mindful of plastic bottles found in their yards or mailbox and to call 911 if they become suspicious.