Sand won’t save you this time.

No, it certainly won’t.

Holy crap that is some scary stuff.  Ever felt like burning a bucket of sand?  Just get yourself some chlorine trifluoride.  Asbestos contaminating your house?  This will burn it right up.

There’s a report from the early 1950s of a one-ton spill of the stuff. It burned its way through a foot of concrete floor and chewed up another meter of sand and gravel beneath, completing a day that I’m sure no one involved ever forgot. That process, I should add, would necessarily have been accompanied by copious amounts of horribly toxic and corrosive by-products: it’s bad enough when your reagent ignites wet sand, but the clouds of hot hydrofluoric acid are your special door prize if you’re foolhardy enough to hang around and watch the fireworks.

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