Toy Caps

Six different brand names of caps designed for use in toy guns were examined, two of which were the paper roll type; the others were the individual plastic cup type that is placed on the "anvil" of the toy gun.

Analysis of discharge particles revealed that both spherical and irregular particles were present, with approximately 1 in 12 spherical. The particle size range was from 3 to 160 ^m. The elements detected were aluminum, calcium, chlorine, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, lead, sulfur, antimony, silicon, titanium, and zinc, with calcium, chlorine, potassium, phosphorus, lead, and silicon the major elements. Antimony and lead did not occur together and none of the samples examined would be confused with FDR particles as their elemental profile differed. A small proportion of the particles containing either lead or antimony met the criteria for "single" element FDR particles.

At the time the tests were conducted, children in Northern Ireland played with "devil bombers," which consisted of a solid mixture rolled up in a piece of waxed paper. When thrown with force against a hard object they exploded creating a loud bang. Visual examination of the contents revealed a mixture of woodlike material (cellulose) and sandlike material (silicate). Elemental analysis of the mixture showed silver, silicon at major level, aluminum at minor level, and potassium, chlorine at trace level. Its exact composition was not determined but it would appear that cellulose was a fuel, silicate was a frictionator, a silver compound (azide or fulminate?) was the explosive, and potassium chlorate was the oxidizer.

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