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Author: Subject: first acid burn?
nezza
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[*] posted on 18-12-2014 at 00:58
Chemical burns


Bromine is the worst stuff for burns. I got 1 drop on my thumb and it burnt it immediately. Of the acids hydrochloric is pretty slow to burn skin (eyes are a different matter) and if its washed off quickly its usually OK. Sulphuric needs instant dousing with LOTS of water and nitric will stain and burn skin pretty much instantly as well.
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Mesa
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[*] posted on 18-12-2014 at 03:10


I'd had half a dozen or so encounters with small amounts of conc. acids(HCl and H2SO4 for the most part) and followed the "wipe away from skin with dry towel/toilet paper, pour a little sodium bicarbonate on it if it stings after that" procedure. I must have gotten a bit over-confident/impatient over time and assumed that something as weak as glacial acetic acid would be fairly easy to use without harm.

I filled up a capful to suck up with a syringe(the 70ml syringes don't fit in the neck)and splashed a bit on my hand when putting the cap back on the bottle.

Needless to say that was incentive enough to stop flaunting basic lab procedures due to laziness. GAA starts burning the second it hits your skin, and it hurts.
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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 18-12-2014 at 05:30


Speaking of glacial acetic, this is pretty horrific:

http://www.ismp.org/nan/files/20130121.pdf

Quote:
An experienced pharmacist, yet new to the institution, placed glacial acetic acid at the window for pickup. This was used for 2 days instead of a diluted form. The undiluted solution resulted in burns to the extent that the wounds would not heal, necessitating disarticulation at the hips.




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[*] posted on 18-12-2014 at 06:11


Quote: Originally posted by Mesa  

Needless to say that was incentive enough to stop flaunting basic lab procedures due to laziness. GAA starts burning the second it hits your skin, and it hurts.


Really? I've spilled GAA on my hands multiple times, and never felt any real burning. The first time wasn't really my fault, it was a general chem lab at the local college where we were asked to measure out 8ml of GAA in a 10ml graduated cylinder with no conical funnel at the top. Of course no one thought that this might be difficult from a 1.5L stock bottle.
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unionised
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[*] posted on 18-12-2014 at 06:14


It's a long while ago, but the short version of the answer is that I was about 8, the acid was sodium bisulphate and I was about as sensible as you expect an 8 year old to be, so when I spilled it on my leg (wearing shorts) I didn't bother to clean it off properly. It took a while, and the burn wasn't serious- red, sore and itchy- but it might have taught me to be more careful next time.
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feacetech
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[*] posted on 18-12-2014 at 19:17


Glacial acetic acid.

during the early days of my first job I was filling a 10mL measuring cylinder with GAA.

I didnt wear gloves thinking vineger bah it will be fine (I always wore safety glasses and a coat).

Of course I spilt some down the side of the cylinder (or this wouldnt be a burn story).

I didnt think much of it and washed it off after i finished doing what i was doing (so several minutes had passed).

The next day my thumb and forfinger felt very tight and looked a little black under the skin like it was brusied.

For about two weeks I had the urge to constantly lick (and run under a tap) my thumb and index finger as the skin felt so tight like it was going to burst, it was not pleasent.

No scares or breaks to the dermal tissue though


"GAA starts burning the second it hits your skin, and it hurts."

It doesnt always so it may be to do with how sweaty your hands are, how many small breaks in the skin there are, or how sensitive your skin is.


[Edited on 19-12-2014 by feacetech]
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TGT
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[*] posted on 18-12-2014 at 21:01


I have found Sulphuric Acid that I use is 98 percent and when I got a dribble of it on the back of my hand it did not much damage as I washed it off quickly. I think to get a Sulphuric Acid burn, you have to leave it in contact long enough to do damage. More dangerous is getting it in your eyes. Nitric I have noticed the same, but it reacts a little quicker and stains for a long time. The stain was the most trouble from that incident. In my opinion, bases are much worse.

TGT
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DrMario
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[*] posted on 19-12-2014 at 10:16


I have been lucky so far - no acid or base accidents. However, I did get a few drops of 35% H2O2 on my hands, and that burns like a mother..... It, however, doesn't have lasting consequences, if the quantity is small.

I should point out that I was doing lots of chemistry experiments as a kid (between the ages of 7 and 12), and survived that phase accident-free. And nowadays I handle concentrated sulphuric, nitric, hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids, as well as concentrated KOH solutions, as part of my research. And the abovementioned H2O2. I have a very healthy respect if not terror, for concentrated H2SO4, HNO3 and HF. Perhaps my nightmare scenario is getting 120C-hot piranha anywhere on my body - very few organic materials are going to survive, so there's little in terms of protection one can do.
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Romain
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[*] posted on 20-12-2014 at 06:00


My only chemical burn was at school, while making soap with NaOH and coconut oil. We were molding the soap with our hand (with gloves) and some of the soap dripped in my sleeve. I didn't notice it right away, and an hour later it started burning, so I got rid of my lab coat and rinsed. I don't have any scars.

I did get a few burns with my soldering iron though...




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kecskesajt
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[*] posted on 20-12-2014 at 08:36


My first acid burn was from H2O2.35%...If you spill on your hand you cant wash it down,it will turn your skin white for a few days.But dil. HNO3 will cause orange stains.
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[*] posted on 20-12-2014 at 12:58


Quote: Originally posted by DrMario  
I have been lucky so far - no acid or base accidents. However, I did get a few drops of 35% H2O2 on my hands, and that burns like a mother..... It, however, doesn't have lasting consequences, if the quantity is small.



Thats interesting, since I've gotten drops of 35% H2O2 on my hands numerous times, but felt no burning sensation whatsoever... It only bleaches my skin white. Maybe some people aren't as susceptible to the pain response




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[*] posted on 20-12-2014 at 13:24


Up to this point, I have been fortunate enough (and safe enough) not to get injured by my chemistry hobby. Of course, I haven't handled anything more dangerous than 30% HCl. I think I remember hearing somewhere that the most common lab injury is puncture wounds from things like glass tubing. Ouch!
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[*] posted on 20-12-2014 at 17:40


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?

Yes they do. It hurts. A lot.
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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 20-12-2014 at 19:56


I was lucky enough to get two liters of 35% hydrogen peroxide for free, it only burns if in contact with skin for over 15 seconds, also the white stain lasts a mere 3-5 hours. Maybe my skin is different? I have a lot of calluses on my hands.

[Edited on 22-12-2014 by Zyklon-A]
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[*] posted on 21-12-2014 at 01:26


my first and only acid burns were from when I was in my days of making energetic materials. I placed a drop of conc sulfuric and 90% nitric onto the back of my hand.

I lasted about 4 seconds before the pain and depth of the burn got too severe and I had to wash it off.

I always use vinyl gloves and safety glasses. Vinyl is an excellent rubber in my opinion, great for everything.




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[*] posted on 21-12-2014 at 07:00


Quote: Originally posted by Zyklon-A  
I was lucky enough to get t liters of 35% hydrogen peroxide for free, it only burns if in contact with skin for over 15 seconds, also the white stain lasts a mere 3-5 hours. Maybe my skin is different? I have a lot of calluses on my hands.


Your skin is different than mine, for sure.

And so is your luck.
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feacetech
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[*] posted on 21-12-2014 at 13:09


Quote: Originally posted by TGT  
I have found Sulphuric Acid that I use is 98 percent and when I got a dribble of it on the back of my hand it did not much damage as I washed it off quickly. I think to get a Sulphuric Acid burn, you have to leave it in contact long enough to do damage. More dangerous is getting it in your eyes. Nitric I have noticed the same, but it reacts a little quicker and stains for a long time. The stain was the most trouble from that incident. In my opinion, bases are much worse.

TGT


Dilute Sulphuric burns much more readily that conc.

It depends on how sweaty you are.

battery acid will burn you faster than conc.

I have had the odd splash of 98.5 sulphuric on me and had no burn due to being able to wash it off quickly and not being sweaty
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[*] posted on 25-12-2014 at 01:37


I think the most important thing is to be careful! Many experiments will appear burn accident, but did not appear in my life.:P Remember this feeling and do not let it happen again!




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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 26-12-2014 at 09:14


Quote: Originally posted by DrMario  
Quote: Originally posted by Zyklon-A  
I was lucky enough to get t liters of 35% hydrogen peroxide for free, it only burns if in contact with skin for over 15 seconds, also the white stain lasts a mere 3-5 hours. Maybe my skin is different? I have a lot of calluses on my hands.


Your skin is different than mine, for sure.

And so is your luck.

Yeah, Zyklon-A, calluses seem to be what protect me to, I wouldn't be surprised if that's what makes the difference. In being more honest on this forum, I get ~20% HCl on my hands every so often, and sulfuric acid at ~50%, or at least used to, but I really haven't ever had a chemical burn. It might have to do with calluses, as I have rather hardened hands (Typical Portuguese thing).




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bismuthate
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[*] posted on 26-12-2014 at 09:21


SO3.
It kills (in terms of pain and literally) I sniffed a very small amount accidentally.
I guess that counts as an acid burn due to the H2SO4.
Also my skin is pretty resistant to acid burns.




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CuReUS
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[*] posted on 27-12-2014 at 08:55



Quote: Originally posted by bismuthate  
SO3.
It kills (in terms of pain and literally) I sniffed a very small amount accidentally.
I guess that counts as an acid burn due to the H2SO4.
Also my skin is pretty resistant to acid burns.


are you the same guy from this video ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6MfZbCvPCw

i burnt myself once while working with hot phenol :(
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bismuthate
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[*] posted on 27-12-2014 at 09:05


No.
Also I wonder if anybody has been burnt while extracting Capsaicin.




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[*] posted on 27-12-2014 at 14:05


Quote: Originally posted by nezza  
Bromine is the worst stuff for burns. I got 1 drop on my thumb and it burnt it immediately.

no one mentioned hydrofluoric acid?
I remember it burns your nerve endings so you can't feel it. I remember carrying it very carefully by putting gloves on, wetting them, dipping my wet gloves in sodium bicarbonate, and putting on another pair of gloves.
If it burnt through my gloves, i could hear and feel it instead of not feeling the pain and having it eat through my hands.
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[*] posted on 27-12-2014 at 22:51


Quote: Originally posted by bismuthate  
SO3.
It kills (in terms of pain and literally) I sniffed a very small amount accidentally.
I guess that counts as an acid burn due to the H2SO4.
Also my skin is pretty resistant to acid burns.


I can vouch for that one. Just finished distilling some SO3 for the first time; those fumes are vicious!!




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[*] posted on 28-12-2014 at 04:42


I haven't had any real accidents in Chemistry. Clothes and gloves on the other hand, are another story. They saved me a few times...

There was this one time, a long time ago, when I was using acetone in a bowl to remove the air in Styrofoam. As is my protocol, no real protection is needed to work with acetone. I was pressing it down, when the bowl slipped and a few mLs of Acetone went right into my eyes. Oh did that hurt. I washed them immediatly and no harm happened. Perhaps the worst "burning" effect I had.

[Edited on 28-12-2014 by HgDinis25]
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