Safety Measures For Sulfuric Acid Accidents
One day I was given the task to make a report on a certain chemical called H2SO4. I was totally dumbfounded as I had no idea what it is and what I should research about it. In fact, I did not even have an idea how to buy sulfuric acid since I do not use it in my everyday life. Or so I thought.
For starters, I tried to find what this H2SO4 really is. Well, a simple researching in the internet told me that the chemical is commonly known as sulfuric acid. And, as my research grew more intensive, I found out a lot about the acid that made me realize its benefits to some industries.
It is actually used in some industries that help produce some of the basic necessities that we use in our everyday lives. For one, the chemical is used in agriculture to produce fertilizers that can be used in crop production. An example of these fertilizers is phosphate fertilizers. The chemical is also an important ingredient in making detergents and other household cleaning products. It is also used in other industries that make steel, industrial explosives, iron, lead acid batteries and dyes.
However, amidst all of these uses, sulphuric acid is feared for its hazardous effects. At first I also felt worried because of the fact that it is widely produced. However, I found out that the chemical can only become dangerous if proper precautions are not met in its handling, storage and disposal. Yet, sometimes, accidents do happen. So what should be done in case such emergencies occur? To ease my apprehensions, I decided to include in my research the measures that can be done when emergencies involving sulfuric acid occur.
The chemical has three entry points in the body: the eyes, the skin and the respiratory system. Depending on which entry point is affected, the safety mechanisms also vary.
If the chemical gets to the eyes, the patient should flush the eyes with water right away. This should be done continuously within thirty minutes, alternately lifting the lower eyelid and the upper eyelid. Then, after this is done, one should go to a medical professional for the necessary medications.
If the chemical gets in contact with the skin, the most appropriate thing to do would be to immediately take off the clothing that also came into contact with H2SO4. Make sure that while removing the piece of clothing, the patient does not affect other areas to avoid more damage. Then, wash the affected area with mild soap and water continuously for twenty minutes. Afterwards, get medical attention for further treatment.
If the chemical gets inside the body through the respiratory system, get the patient out of the place where he or she has inhaled the acid. Make the patient stay in a place where there is plenty of fresh air. If the patient has stopped breathing, give the patient rescue breathing. A CPR would also be needed if the patient’s heart stops beating. In giving these first aid measures, make sure that you know what you are doing to avoid further complications. If you are successful with your first aid measures, bring the patient to the medical clinic or hospital where he or she could be given professional care. Once the chemical affects the respiratory system, there is possibility for pulmonary edema. However, the symptoms usually become evident hours later. That is why the patient should be monitored for forty-eight hours.
Such measures mentioned above will only be necessary if there have been lapses during the use of sulphuric acid. This should be avoided at all times in order to prevent accidents that may cause the lives of a lot of people.
Overall, H2S04 is a very useful chemical. This I found out in my short encounter with sulfuric acid. However, because of some people’s carelessness in handling the product, it becomes highly dangerous. Let us not make our faults become the reason why the acid becomes notorious than it already is.