Recently in Chemical Burns Category

June 5, 2012

Smoke Inhalation Occurs at Factory Where Industrial Batteries Overheated and Leaked

In eastern Pennsylvania last week, a machine battery at a production plant overheated and ruptured, and then began leaking acid onto other batteries that were nearby. This caused the other batteries to melt and release poisonous smoke that filled the entire building.

Although all employees evacuated safely, a number of them later in that week experienced breathing problems, coughing, headaches and other illness. Doctors who treated these employees said that in most cases, the lungs and throat are mildly inflamed from the smoke inhalation (the smoke contains hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide in it, both of which are potentially deadly in humans). The doctors' suggested remedy: Drink lots of water and take Advil or another ibuprofen product to reduce the inflammation in the body. It was fortunate that no employees touched the leaking batteries, as it is very easy to suffer third degree burns from battery acid.

Although there will probably not be a lawsuit filed against the company for legal liability due to negligence--batteries do sometimes overheat and leak--this story is a good reminder for anyone who work in an industrial facility: make sure the facility has working smoke detectors, and also know where the emergency exits are so you can escape quickly even if visibility is bad due to a smoke condition. Also, be sure to get your face down to the floor in order to avoid smoke inhalation--when there is smoke or fire, the cleanest air to breathe is down at floor level.

If you or someone you know suffers an injury such as third degree burns or smoke inhalation, you should call Kramer & Pollack LLP in Mineola, New York so that the personal injury attorneys in that firm can determine whether another party has legal liability for injuries suffered, and if the injured party has a strong legal case.

December 21, 2011

Chemicals in Household Cleaners Can Cause Severe Burns, and Even Death

In Portland, Oregon last week, a 59-year-old man suffered severe chemical burns on more than half of his body, all because he tried to do something we all do at one time or another: He tried to clean stains from his clothing with a cleaning solution.

Cleaning chemicals have strong, dangerous odors that can overpower a person and make them unconscious quickly. What's more, the chemicals can also create severe burns when they come in contact with the skin. When using such cleaning chemicals, people should wear protective gear and work only in a well-ventilated area, or else risk suffering burns to the skin, eyes, or lungs.

The Portland man came home from his job working on a crane. He told his wife he was going to use chemicals in the bathtub try to clean grease stains from his coat. But when his wife came home a few hours later, she smelled an overwhelming odor similar to paint thinner. She then found her husband in the bathtub, with his clothes drenched in a solvent-based chemical. She called emergency medical personnel.

The paramedics arrived and carried the semi-conscious man to the front yard to start first aid. A fire crew also arrived and put the man in a hazardous-materials suit. The man had severe chemical burns on more than 70 percent of his body, and an ambulance took the man to the Oregon Burn Center.

Firefighters investigated the bathroom, which was small and not ventilated. They found a three-gallon bucket with only a little bit of solvent left. For a full 30 minutes, the firefighter used electric fans to clear the dangerous fumes from the house.

If you or someone you know does suffer a severe burn injury or a smoke inhalation injury, you should call Kramer & Pollack LLP in Mineola, New York so that the personal injury attorneys in that firm can determine whether another party has legal liability for injuries suffered, and if the injured party has a solid legal case.

March 5, 2010

Chemical Burns (part II)

Management:

First aid should be administered as soon as a chemical burn has occurred.


  1. Remove the cause of the chemical burn.

  2. For liquid chemicals, remove any clothing or other items that the chemicals may have spilled on. Wash thoroughly any chemicals off the skin under running water for 15-30 minutes.

  3. For dry chemicals, wash the area with a large amount of water to flush the chemical from the skin; don't use small amounts of water as they may activate the chemicals. If there is no water then brush the dry chemical with a clean cloth.

  4. Loosely cover the burn with a dry, sterile bandage.

  5. If the chemical gets into the eyes, the eyes should be flushed with water immediately, continue flushing the eyes with running water and get medical help immediately, if there are contact lenses try to remove them.

  6. If the chemical substance is swallowed or inhaled, seek medical attention immediately.

  7. Minor chemical burns will generally heal without further treatment. However if there is a second or a third degree part I, part II burn or if there is an overall body reaction, then get medical help immediately.

  8. Don't do the following: a) Apply any household remedy to a chemical burn. b) Break blisters or remove dead skin from a chemical burn.

  9. Call your doctor and/ or proceed to the nearest ER.

Prevention:

  1. Wear protective clothing: goggles, gloves, and clothing.

  2. Store all chemicals out of reach of children, in tamper proof containers.

  3. Don't mix different products that contain toxic chemicals because they can give off toxic fumes.

  4. Avoid using potentially toxic substances in the kitchen or around food.

  5. Don't ever store household products and chemicals in food or drink containers.

  6. Only use chemicals that give off fumes in well ventilated area. Store chemicals safely immediately after use.


This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.

March 4, 2010

Chemical Burns (part I)

Chemical burns of the skin are burns that happen when strong acids or strong bases (alkalies) come in contact with the skin. Chemical burns follow the standard burn classification (first part I, II, second and third degree part I, II), most chemical burns occur on the face, eyes, arms and legs.

Clinical features:

The exact clinical features of a chemical burn depends on the type of chemical substance involved, it's concentration, it's physical form, duration of contact, site of contact, whether or not the skin is intact and if the substance is swallowed or inhaled. Symptoms may include:


  1. Redness, irritation, or burning at the contact site.

  2. Pain or numbness at the contact site.

  3. Acidic chemicals cause a black dead skin because they denature proteins.

  4. Alkali chemicals cause deep tissue injury to the skin because they denature proteins and cause saponification (hydrolysis) of fats.

  5. If the chemical substance comes in contact with the eye it may lead to vision changes or complete loss of sight.

  6. If the chemical substance is swallowed or inhaled this may lead to vomiting, headache, cough or shortness of breath, faintness, weakness, dizziness, muscle twitching, seizures, irregular heartbeats or cardiac arrest.


This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.