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Author: Subject: first acid burn?
scrubs2009
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 05:02
first acid burn?


So 2 days ago I was working with a mixture of potassium chlorate and sugar. I added a drop of 18 mol sulfuric acid and while that didnt provide enough for ignition it was enough for the sulfuric acid to splatter everywhere (including on my right hand and foot) this resulted in my very first acid burn! So now im curious, when and how did you guys get your first acid burns?
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Little_Ghost_again
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 05:58


Quote: Originally posted by scrubs2009  
So 2 days ago I was working with a mixture of potassium chlorate and sugar. I added a drop of 18 mol sulfuric acid and while that didnt provide enough for ignition it was enough for the sulfuric acid to splatter everywhere (including on my right hand and foot) this resulted in my very first acid burn! So now im curious, when and how did you guys get your first acid burns?

Like you and most other peoples first acid burn mine was down to utter stupidity in not having gloves on and safety gear.
The first burn should be the last burn, 18mol acid and you burnt your hand and foot, very lucky for you that you had EYE protection on!! You did didnt you?
Funny enough I asked my dad what his most painful acid burn was, he looked at me and said
"Acid burn? how the hell do you get burnt by acid?"
According to him few people get burnt with acid as natural selection normally removes them before they get a chance to mess with it.




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Amos
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 06:33


I've been in the hobby 10 months; still haven't injured myself with chemistry yet. I did get the tiniest drop of 35% sulfuric acid in my eye when I was just starting out, but I washed that out immediately without incident.



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Jylliana
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 06:37


When I was 16 or 17 years old and I just started college, I knocked over a beaker with concentrated hydrochloric acid.
Not aware that it should be kept in the fumehood, I took it over to my table/desk, knocked it over by accident and ruined 4 more people's lab journals and school books. My hand was covered in the acid but I held it under the running tap asap and I wasn't injured visibly.



[Edited on 17-12-2014 by Jylliana]




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xfusion44
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 07:16


Mine wasn't from acid, but from base. I was pouring sodium hydroxide solution into the graduated cylinder and it somehow splashed all around (tiny drops of it) and one apparently landed on my hand and it was really strong burning feeling, like when you burn yourself on something hot and until I didn't washed it away, it was becoming even worse. And I still have scar from it after one year... I was apparently too confident and I wasn't wearing gloves - when you are doing someting dangerous, please wear them, because if something happens to you, you'll be sorry, trust me, the scar doesn't look nice, although it's small. (at least I was wearing goggles :D)



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scrubs2009
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 07:46


Quote: Originally posted by xfusion44  
Mine wasn't from acid, but from base. I was pouring sodium hydroxide solution into the graduated cylinder and it somehow splashed all around (tiny drops of it) and one apparently landed on my hand and it was really strong burning feeling, like when you burn yourself on something hot and until I didn't washed it away, it was becoming even worse. And I still have scar from it after one year... I was apparently too confident and I wasn't wearing gloves - when you are doing someting dangerous, please wear them, because if something happens to you, you'll be sorry, trust me, the scar doesn't look nice, although it's small. (at least I was wearing goggles :D)



....looks like someone.....dropped the base.....:cool:
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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 08:27


Quote: Originally posted by scrubs2009  
this resulted in my very first acid burn!


And hopefully your very last.

I'm with Little_Ghost_again on this one. Comparing scars in chemistry makes you look reckless.

Anyone who brags about burning themselves with chemicals is exactly the reason why so many good reagents are becoming less OTC. I would ask this in a job interview to see whether someone was going to be a liability in the workplace. Would you hire carpenter who bragged about how many fingers he accidentally cut off over the years, and pay for his health insurance?




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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 08:29


Quote: Originally posted by Little_Ghost_again  


The first burn should be the last burn.

And if only life was that simple.:D
I have no idea what my first "burn" was, but I'm sure it was HCl on the hand or some other "harmless" acid.
Since then I've had 98% nitric acid (by far the worst, you can't get it off fast enough), 98% sulfuric acid, more HCl and plenty of other acids/bases.
I use HCl so often that I'd run out of gloves twice a month if I used them every time I pour HCl, so I always bare-hand that one.
Sulfuric aid on the other hand I try to use gloves and goggles whenever I use it (a lot) but it still manages to bite me somewhere on occasion.
NA was an untamable flesh-eating monster for awhile because it would catch every pair of gloves I wore on fire!:o
But later I found some OTC gloves that can withstand it's oxidizing rages, so RFNA is in the palm of my hand now.




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scrubs2009
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 08:30


that wasnt ment in a "Hey guys I got burnt am I a kewl yet?" way, I was saying that with unhappiness. Lack of hearing tone of voice can be a bitch huh?
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Atrum
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 09:50


I haven't been burned by acid yet. I have however ruined a few shirts when handling sulfuric acid. I'm glad I'm not made of cellulose.
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Brain&Force
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 10:01


One of my fingers had 6 molar HCl exposed to it which washed off without incident.

Speaking of which, do acids burn on contact with cuts?




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Mailinmypocket
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 10:17


A drop of 88% formic acid somehow ended up on the top of my hand last year. It can't have been more than 20 seconds before I felt an itchy sting... The skin came off similar to how a blister peels off and left a crater which now is a scar that seems there to stay. A picture is somewhere on SM, in the "bad days in the lab" thread if I remember correctly.

Never had other chemical burns but strong formic acid burns very quickly it seems and is very damaging to skin.
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Jylliana
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 10:42


Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  
One of my fingers had 6 molar HCl exposed to it which washed off without incident.

Speaking of which, do acids burn on contact with cuts?

I think they do. Since our skin is a protective organ, and with a cut that protection is gone. I think you'll start to feel the burn after the dissolution of the first few cell layers, where the pain receptors come in.

That's just my theory, though, i'm no expert.

Acids and bases(and a lot of other stuff) let you at least know very clearly where you may have a tiny skin injury, I know from experience :P

[Edited on 17-12-2014 by Jylliana]




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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 11:38


I've had fuming nitric acid and bromine on my skin before. Luckily, both times it was only one small drop or smear. When I got the nitric acid on my skin, I wiped my hand on my pants, and discovered that nitric acid acts upon trousers. :D They have a little bleached spot on the pant leg from the acid.

Both compounds produced no pain, IIRC, but turned the exposed skin orange for a few days. The nitric acid burn peeled after about a week, and left clean skin underneath. I do not have any scars as a result of this.




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aga
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 12:16


Only acid burns i can remember were on clothing.

Never do chemistry Naked is my motto.




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Little_Ghost_again
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 13:02


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
Only acid burns i can remember were on clothing.

Never do chemistry Naked is my motto.


Arnt some forms of bio chemistry more fun naked? Soon as I know for sure I will confirm :P.
i did get a bad burn from hydroxide, but I make soap alot so now I ALWAYS make sure I am well protected. Actually my dad got hold of a pigs eye and put a tiny drop of hydroxide on it, goggles and face shield now for me ;), but I handle 25kg sacks when I order it so i dont take any chances




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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 13:31


Bromine turns exposed skin brown for about a week. I got a drop on my hand once, and my mom thought I had melanoma.



As below, so above.
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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 13:33


A good motto, aga, one we should all follow.
Never really gotten an acid burn. Just....Burns. I have a few places on my skin where there could have been a tiny drop of something like tannic acid, but I kind of doubt that tannic acid could do such.
In regards to burns, I have only performed one successful thermite related reaction, involving the typical Iron oxide/aluminum, along with sulfur, on top of a piece of copper sheet metal. The goal was to get the copper to react with the sulfur at the high temperature. As a side note, some copper sulfide and copper sulfate/ite were noticed, the latter being bluish crystals from spattering sulfur (T'was the first time (and last) I saw 'molten' sulfur, rather pretty, wish I hadn't wasted it all then.). After the thermite had finished reacting, I decided I hadn't chosen the best reaction spot, and went to pick it up by the four corners of the sheet of copper metal. It slid down out of my grasp, melting four small lines in my fingertips. That wasn't fun.
I have ruined a few shirts and shorts with bleach and Hydrogen peroxide prior to owning a lab coat (my parents actually bought me one). I have one pair of brownish green shorts, with bright green stains on the cloth. I can't tell if it's from bleach, peroxide (likely) or tetrachlorocuprate(possible). I still wear them to school. Stains aren't as much of an indicator of recklessness, I think, as scars, but state your own opinions, of course.




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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 13:37


I was boiling a mineral sample in nitric acid, and it spattered as I went to take it off the hot plate.



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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 13:54


Acid burns from mineral acids such as HCl, H2SO4, HBr etc. are not nearly as bad as burns from strong base. I got burned the other day draining an HCl generator line that has HCl and H2SO4 in it. (don't ask). I had a few things to do before rinsing it off and by then I could feel it and got a small scab a day or two later. Burns from HF are another story since you may not feel anything before serious damage is done.



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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 17:33


Quote: Originally posted by Little_Ghost_again  
Funny enough I asked my dad what his most painful acid burn was, he looked at me and said
"Acid burn? how the hell do you get burnt by acid?"
According to him few people get burnt with acid as natural selection normally removes them before they get a chance to mess with it.

Quote: Originally posted by Little_Ghost_again  
Actually my dad got hold of a pigs eye and put a tiny drop of hydroxide on it, goggles and face shield now for me ;)

He sounds fantastic.
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 18:17


I guess I've been lucky that I've never sustained a chemical burn so far. The scariest incident I found myself in was pouring about 50 millilitres of distilled yellow fuming nitric acid into a storage bottle. Some dribbled down the side without me realizing, and I picked the container up. Luckily, I was wearing heavy rubber gloves and the acid didn't permeate it. It did however leave a large brown streak and made the area of contact extremely brittle.



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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 18:29


We use NaOH daily in the bakery and it causes a strange sensation on the skin. The food grade product we get comes in pure white prills, but sometimes when you measure it out you can get a tiny piece on your skin and you wont realize it, until it gets wet. Then, rather than burning, it starts itching first, and quickly the itch becomes almost unbearably itchy, then the burning feeling starts. Luckily, running water seems just as effective as an acid to treat the problem.
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[*] posted on 17-12-2014 at 20:41


The feeling of NaOH solution is strange ... very slippery. I've heard that this is because it's saponifying the oil on your skin, making a slippery human soap. In fact, sodium carbonate solutions have the same feeling.

They should use these solutions to replace water in waterslides. ;)




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[*] posted on 18-12-2014 at 00:06


I never had an acid burn during my hobby time. I am doing this for nearly 30 years already. I normally do not wear gloves, except with very toxic things (e.g. solution containing As or Hg). Conc. HCl, H2SO4, NaOH, HClO4 and NH3 do not scare me, but I do treat them with respect. I of course sometimes get something on my skin, but this NEVER goes unnoticed, I am very aware of what happens to the chemicals while I pour them and as soon as some of the liquid gets on my skin, I rinse under a running tap, which I have at my workbench. I never had adverse effects, even 70% HClO4 does not cause burns when rinsed away within 10 seconds or so.

Some chemicals are so corrosive that I do not handle them differently. I do not handle them by hand (no pouring, and not holding the receiving bottle or tube in my hand). I have some oleum (20% SO3) , HNO3 (> 90%), Br2, HF (48%) and the few experiments I did with these I did by taking a tiny amount of the chemical out of the bottle with a pipette (PP for the HF, glass for the others) and then transfer it to the receiving flask or tube and I do this in a sink, so that any spills (drops at most) simply can be flushed away by opening the tap.

Finally, I want to say that working on microscale also strongly reduces the risk of large spills on your body or clothes. If I get any drops of corrosive stuff on my skin, then it only is at one of my fingers, a few drops.

The only time I had a real burn was not at home, but at school (now 32 years ago). I was doing experiments with conc. H2SO4 and spilled some drops of it on my bare foot (it was very hot that day and most people walked around in the class rooms on bare feet). It felt bad, painful, a little bit like touching the skin briefly with a lighted cigarette. Nowadays this never could happen in a high school. There is no conc. H2SO4 anymore for the kids and kids do not walk on bare feet anymore in schools, certainly not in chemistry classes. Back in 1982 we still had lots of fun in school with chemistry :D



[Edited on 18-12-14 by woelen]




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