Chemical burns involve injury to a part of the body caused by short- or long-term exposure to a chemical substance. They are generally caused by acids or bases, which are caustic products that can cause damage on contact.
What are the causes and risks of the injury?
Chemical burns usually occur on the surface of the body, such as the skin or eyes. However, chemicals may also be inhaled or swallowed, causing lung or gut damage.
Acids used at home that can cause chemical burns are as follows:
acetic acid, used in dyes, hair wave neutralizers, and disinfectants
formic acid, used in airplane glue
hydrochloric acid, used in toilet bowl cleaners, metal cleaners, and soldering fluxes
hydrofluoric acid, used in rust removers, tile cleaners, and tanning
nitric acid, used in metal engraving
phosphoric acid, used in rustproofing, disinfectants, and detergents
sulfuric acid, used in drain cleaners, metal cleaners, and automobile battery fluid
Bases used at home that can cause chemical burns include the following:
ammonia and phosphates, used in detergents and cleaners
calcium hydroxide, used in mortar, plaster, and cement
calcium oxide, or lime, used in cement
silicates, used in detergents
sodium and calcium hypochlorite, used in pool chlorinating agents and household bleach
sodium carbonate, used in detergents
sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, used in drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and denture cleaners