And "pyridine with its pile of dead fish smell is no great shakes either, but again, commonplace for organikers."But the general public and TV news doesn't see it that way. Yesterday evening, one of the medical school lab buildings at the University of Minnesota was evacuated after a pyridine spill occurred. It was the lead story on at least one of the local TV stations, who were treating it as if it was a chemical warfare attack. Sure, the spill occurred in the hallway (this probably could have been prevent with better lab techniques) and so it entered the general ventilation system which certainly would lead people to evacuate just from the smell, but no one was going to get sick or die except maybe from psychosomatic inducement.
Chemophobia is alive and well.