Alkaline products include lime products, plaster and mortar, oven and
drain cleaners, dishwasher powders, fertilizers, and sparks from "sparklers."
They can cause serious damage in a very short time, depending on the type,
strength, and the length of time the alkali is in contact with the body.
Alkaline chemicals are able to penetrate and damage the deeper layers of
When a chemical burn occurs, find out what chemical caused the burn.
Call a Poison Control Center immediately for more
information about how to treat the burn. When you call the Poison Control
Center, have the chemical container with you, so you can read the contents
label to the Poison Control staff member.
Most chemical burns are treated first by rinsing (flushing) the
chemical off your body with a large amount of cool water, but not all chemicals
are treated this way. It is important to treat the burn correctly to avoid
Some alkali burns are made worse if rinsed (flushed) with
The most important first aid for a chemical in the eye is to immediately flush the substance out with large amounts of
water to reduce the chance of serious eye damage. For any chemical burn to the
eye, see the topic Burns to the Eye.
December 27, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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