Is it baking soda?

Is it baking soda?

Philip Levy

Atlanta, Georgia

Reference is made to James J. Onder`s article “Rescue Guidelines for Air Bag-Equipped Vehicles” (December 1997).

In the article, corn starch or talcum and sodium hydroxide are listed as some of the compounds used in the air-bag systems. The author states further that once an air bag has deployed, a mixture of sodium hydroxide and water will produce baking soda.

Based on the chemical composition of the corn starch, talcum, and sodium hydroxide, one of the major components for baking soda–calcium–is not present. Therefore, I challenge the statement that the by-product of sodium hydroxide and water would be baking soda.

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