Department

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-16-2015

Abstract

A popular children's arts and crafts toy made international headlines when it was discovered that 1,4-butanediol had been substituted into some of its formulations. The chemical 1,4-butanediol rapidly converts to the date-rape drug g-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) upon ingestion and resulted in the accidental poisoning of some children. In this experiment, students extract 1,4-butanediol from commercially available toy beads (or prepared simulations) using their knowledge of pharmaceutical chemistry, solubility, etc. Using case studies available in the literature, students develop a quantitative analysis experiment for 1,4-butanediol extracted from the toy beads and, through approximation, relate the extractable amount of 1,4-butanediol to dose-response data for GHB. In this way, student learning is linked to current events, making routine analyses relevant and engaging.

Journal

The Chemical Educator

Journal ISSN

1430-4171

Volume

20

First Page

1

Last Page

3

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