According to Wikipedia.com, a chemical burn “occurs when living tissue is exposed to a corrosive substance (such as a strong acid, base or oxidizer) or a cytotoxic agent (such as mustard gas, lewisite, or arsine). “
Chemical burns are different from regular burns and can be severe, if not life-threatening. These burns can occur either in a household or factory setting where strong chemicals are used.
They can also occur during a manufacturing factory explosion, such as the one that occurred on January 24, 2020 in Northwest Houston, Texas. This explosion is believed to have involved Propylene. However, investigators do not know whether the gas actually caused the explosion, or the Propylene gas tanks exploded as a consequence of the accelerant starting a fire.
Fortunately, there were no known chemical burns that resulted from this accident. However, there could have been. Incidentally, two people were killed in this accident, so it is safe to say this was a very serious accident.
Regardless, it is crucial to store chemicals in a safe place where they are not easily accessible in either home or factory. According to ScienceDirect.com, “cleaning agents were the most common causative agent [of chemical burns].” It is easy for small children to get hold of these chemicals and either drink them or spill them all over themselves, causing horrific burns that can result in death.
What should you do when involved in a chemical burn accident?
There is also, however, a category of chemical burn injuries where all reasonable protections have been taken to prevent the chemicals from burning the person using them, and yet a burn still occurs. Therefore, the question is what you should do, if you are burned as a consequence of using a dangerous chemical even though you’ve taken all the necessary precautions to prevent the compound from making contact with your skin.
Here is a short list of the salient points should you end up being burned by a hazardous chemical:
Seek medical attention
The first step is to ensure that you get medical help. The sooner the chemical is removed from your skin, the less severe the burn will be. Hazardous chemicals can cause second degree burns on both your hands and wrists as well as your eyes.
Hire a professional attorney
The next step is to seek compensation for medical expenses related to a chemical burn. The worse your injuries, the longer they will take to heal. And, the longer you will be unable to work. Thus, you will need funds to pay for your medical expenses as well as cover the costs of a possible extended period of unemployment.
Chemical burns can be life-threatening or debilitating. Thus, it is vital to ensure that you follow the manufacturers’ guidelines when using them. Also, it is equally important to make sure that you only use a particular chemical for its stated purpose. If you follow the manufacturers’ guidelines, the risk of a chemical burn injury will be substantially reduced.
Image Credit: Chemical burn via Rashid Valitov/Shutterstock