If you have ingested a chemical that may be poisonous or may cause burning in the throat or esophagus, call your local poison control center of the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) immediately. When you call, make sure you have the chemical container with you so you can let the poison control staff know the details of the chemical. The Poison control staff will help you determine the steps to take next.
Most chemical burns that occur on the skin are treated by rinsing the area with room temperature water. It is imperative that chemical burns are treated correctly to prevent damage.
Chemical Burns rinsed with Water
You need to flush the area for 20 minutes. Be especially careful not to use a hard pressured source of water because the impact of the water my further damage the area. The person with the burn should remove the chemical substance from the skin if it is possible.
As the area is being flushed, you can have the person with the burn remove clothes and accessories that have chemicals on it. If after 20 minutes, the burning sensation is still present, then flush the area with flowing water for an additional of 10 to 15 minutes.
Chemical Burns not rinsed with Water
Some chemical burns worsen when flushed with water.
Carbolic Acid or Phenol: This chemical does not mix with water, therefore, use isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) to flush the chemicals off the skin. If rubbing alcohol is not available, you should flush with great quantities of water. * Never flush the eye with alcohol!
Sulfuric Acid: If the burn is not very severe then the wound should be flushed with a mild, soapy solution. Sulfuric Acid feels hot when added to water, yet it is better to flush it with water then to leave it on the skin.
Hydrofluoric Acid: This type of burn can be flushed with a baking soda solution (to make the solution, use a small amount of water). After you flush the area with baking soda solution, then flush the area with water. * Never flush the eye with a baking soda solution!
Dry Powder: Dry powders, such as dry lime, need to be brushed off the skin first because adding water can produce a liquid that burns. After the powder is brushed away, flush the area with water for 20 minutes.
Metal Compounds: These types of burns should be covered with mineral oil.
When it comes to having a chemical in the eye, the most important thing to do is flush the eye with plenty of water. Doing so may prevent serious eye damage.