Shelley (argosy) wrote in little_details,

Dangerous Drugs/Toxic Chemicals in High School Chemistry Lab

Time: Modern Day
Setting: Suburban Virginia

This is not the main focus of my story, and is probably not a very likely scenario. So I'm interested in anything that is possible at all, even stretching the suspension of disbelief. I don't need complete realism, but I'm really lost searching here.

Picture the most well-equipped high school chemistry lab in the world. What is in the chemical stores that could be used as a poison to kill someone?

Now add an incredibly brilliant, talented high school junior with unlimited unsupervised access. What kind of illegal drugs and poisons could he make? What might he need to order that's not available either in the lab or over the counter? For example, a teacher in Bakersfield was arrested for making methamphetamine--he was caught when he ordered red phosphorous. Eventually my kid will get caught too, so if he orders chemicals that will later get him flagged, that's okay for the story.

So he could conceivably, however unrealistically, make meth, but could he make anything else? Ecstasy? LSD? (this kid is a supergenius who could handle the potentially toxic steps, but would he be able in any way to get the ingredients and/or the equipment?)

Ideally, I am looking for him to manufacture a drug in his high school lab that at a certain dosage would put an average person to sleep, but would kill a 50ish man with an underlying medical condition. It doesn't matter what the condition is--high blood pressure, weak heart--I can change it to fit the drug. If this drug is normally used for recreation all the better.

If you have an idea of the effects/best delivery system I'd appreciate that too.

If there's nothing that fits that bill, are there any poisons he could manufacture that would just kill the same man outright--whether he takes it all in one dose or is poisoned over time? (I'd rather have the teenager *make* the poison, but if there are lab chemicals toxic enough to kill someone when administered orally, that would work too). The man must, however, be well enough to go into work (at a museum) the day he dies.

Also, what is the general process for ordering chemicals and equipment for a high school? My reading has led me to believe that the government is watching orders of chemicals very carefully...

Search terms I've used: "poisons in high school chemistry lab", "making drugs in high school chemistry lab", "toxic chemicals high school chemistry lab", "poisons organic chemistry lab". Any other search terms also appreciated.
Tags: uk: education, usa: education: high school, ~medicine: poisoning, ~science: chemistry
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