Simply put, chemical burns refer to the irritation and damage to human body tissue as a result of exposure to chemicals, by direct contact with the substance or any associated fumes. These burns can occur at work, home, or even at school. They can happen as an accident or a form of an assault. While only a few people in the US die after exposure to chemicals at home, most chemicals common to both storage and living areas can cause serious injuries. If you believe you got exposed to toxic substances due to someone’s negligence or assault, get in touch with a reputable law firm such as Walker Morgan for legal counsel.

Causes

Many chemicals, either strong bases or acids, cause burns. You can always check the medical details on labels of dangerous chemicals to determine the toxicity level of a given chemical. Consumer education and general precautions can minimize the risk of burns and other related injuries. Some of the common household products known to cause chemical burns include concrete mix, metal cleaners, bleach, pool chlorinators, and toilet or drain cleaners.

Note that these are just a few of the household products that can cause chemical burns. It’s recommended to keep cleaning products’ labels as it makes it easier for the medical experts to determine what someone has been exposed to and how it can be handled. If you are ever exposed to toxic substances while at work or school, seek medical attention immediately and contact your attorney.

Seeking medical attention

After exposure to chemicals or toxic fumes, seek immediate medical attention if;

  • The burns cover your hands, face, groin, face, buttocks, a large section of your body, or even a major joint.
  • You have suffered deep chemical burns meaning that the burns affect the deeper layer of your skin or other inner tissues.
  • The burns made your skin look leathery.
  • You have difficulty in breathing, or your respiratory organs have been affected by the burns.

It is recommended to seek emergency care in case the chemical burn is larger than three inches in diameter or seems to be deep. In case the exposure was minimal, and you have received first aid, visit a medical practitioner to conduct a thorough review of the burns, analyze the type of chemical you were exposed to, and establish whether or not further medical care is necessary. The doctor can administer the treatment or refer you to another expert in case your burns require specialized medical care.

Preventing chemical burns

To eliminate the risk of chemical burns, implement the following tips.

  • Ensure all chemicals in and out of your home are locked in cabinets where kids or unauthorized individuals can’t access them.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and implement all safety precautions when handling toxic chemicals.
  • Wear safety gear and the right eye protection gear when using chemicals. Remember, your safety is essential.

You should also be alert to chemical burn risks at home or your place of work.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Chemical Burns: Overview, Treatment, and Prevention," in Medicalopedia, August 12, 2019, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/7670/chemical-burns-overview-treatment-and-prevention/].