Sulfuric Acid

Sulfuric acid is a clear, colorless and odorless liquid. It is water-soluble and capable of causing serious damage, especially when the chemical is at high-concentration levels.

Concentrated sulfuric acid is extremely corrosive and can cause serious burns when not handled properly. This chemical is unique because it not only causes chemical burns, but also secondary thermal burns as a result of dehydration. This dangerous chemical is capable of corroding skin, paper, metals, and even stone in some cases. If sulfuric acid makes direct contact with the eyes, it can cause permanent blindness. If ingested, this chemical may cause internal burns, irreversible organ damage, and possibly death.

When handling sulfuric acid or when using products that contain concentrated sulfuric acid, it’s important to prioritize safety precautions. The following minimum protective equipment should be worn when working with or around sulfuric acid:
  • Respirator
  • Long rubber gloves
  • Boots
  • Industrial apron
  • Chemical safety goggles
  • Face shield
It’s also a good idea to have access to an eye-flush station if sulfuric acid is at your workplace. Another important consideration when handling this dangerous chemical is that it can react violently if it comes into contact with water.

Each type of exposure can pose serious hazards to your health and should be managed immediately and appropriately by a medical professional to minimize damage and health risks.
  • Skin Contact – If sulfuric acid comes into contact with your skin, immediately flush the affected area gently with lukewarm water for at least 30 uninterrupted minutes. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Eye Contact – If sulfuric acid gets into your eyes, immediately flush the eye(s) with water for at least 30 minutes. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Ingestion – If you ingest sulfuric acid, rinse your mouth immediately with water. Do not induce vomiting. Continually rinse your mouth with water and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Inhalation – If you inhale sulfuric acid aerosols, seek fresh air and medical attention immediately.

Safety Week 2016 | May 2-6