Translation talk:Laser ammo txt/en
the present version of the text says:
I'm not prepared to risk poisoning our own troops with deuterium gas by cutting corners.
deuterium is in common use in analytical chemistry, and no one is talking about deuterium being poisonous as far as i have heard.
a little search in the net revealed that deuterated water can indeed be poisonous, but not quite as poisonous as would be of any concern in practical contexts.
considering the low molecular weight of deuterium, it would be expected to spread extremely fast in atmosphere.
therefore, the gaseous deuterium would have very little time to form deuterated water before it gets diluted in atmosphere.
also, i would expect deuterated water to be much richer in deuterium atoms than deuterium gas, and the amount of deuterium that would need to fit in this d-f cartridge would need to be enormous.
i would expect deuterium to be a hazard, though, because deuterium is essentially hydrogen, and a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen in suitable proportions is explosive.
avoiding hydrogen leaks requires special attention in labs because the detonation can be very easy to initiate, and because the air-tightness measures must be very strict due to the small size of the molecule.
also, hydrogen is soluble in some metals, i don't remember from the top of my head if steel tubing was ok for hydrogen.
therefore, i suggest to replace the 'deuterium poisoning' statement with something like:
deuterium can form a boom-boom gas when mixed with air.
As was previously pointed out, Deuterium is pretty harmless. It poses the same danger as hydrogen: it is highly flamable. Even deuterated water "heavy water" is not really dangerous unless you ingest large quantities. Contrary to a popular misconception, deuterium is NOT radioactive.
The real danger in the DF-cartridge is the fluoride. It is highly volatile, corrosive and forms toxic compounds with most anything it comes in contact with. So the described precautions are sensible, but are applied because of the fluoride and not the deuterium.