Symptoms of Chemical Exposure
Chemicals and reactions to them can vary so much. They can burn inside of the body as well as the visible exterior.
Symptoms of chemical exposure and burn:
- Bluish lips and bright red skin
- Bumps or blisters on the skin
- Labored breathing
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Allergic reaction (may include hives, itching, swelling, vomiting)
Symptoms of an airway burn:
- Change in voice
- Labored breathing – coughing wheezing
- Bluish or charred, burned lips
- Singed hair – bangs, eyebrows, nose hairs
- Burns on face or neck
- Dark, charred mucus
Treatment for Chemical Exposure
- Remove the cause of the burn. Brush off dry chemicals, avoid getting them on you or in anyone’s eyes. Remove contaminated jewelry and clothing from the area.
- Flush the chemicals off the skin with cool, running water. Do this for at least 15 minutes.
- Loosely wrap the burned area with clean cloth or sterile gauze.
- Check for signs of shock — fainting, pale complexion, and rapid, shallow breathing. If they seem to be in shock, lay them flat, elevate feet 12″, and cover with a blanket.
- Get the person to stop, drop, and roll to extinguish the flames. Wrap them in a rug, coat, blanket, whatever is available.
- Call 911.
- Check breathing. If breathing has stopped, be sure airways are open and begin CPR.
- Cover burned areas with clean cloth or sterile gauze. (Do not remove any clothing that is stuck to the burn.)
- Do not break the burn blisters.
- If fingers or toes are burned, separate the digits with a clean cloth or sterile gauze (no adhesives).
- Take steps to prevent shock. Lay them flat and elevate the feet about 12″. If this hurts them too much and you do not think they are going into shock, don’t force this position.
- Monitor pulse and rate of breathing until medical assistance arrives.
- DO NOT apply ointment, butter, ice, or any household treatment to the burn. They can intensify the burn.
- DO NOT breathe, blow, or cough on the burn. It can increase the possibility of infection.
- DO NOT touch or disturb blistered or dead skin.
- DO NOT give the person anything to eat or drink.
- DO NOT immerse in ice water or put ice packs on the burn. This can send the person into shock.
- DO NOT remove clothing that is stuck to the skin.
- DO NOT place a pillow under the head of a person with an inhalation burn. It can further constrict breathing.
Treatment for Severe, Exterior Chemical Burns
Important DO NOT List for Chemical Burns
The number for the poison control center is 1-800-222-1222.
This information is provided as a service of TSR Injury Law. Our partners are skilled, compassion personal injury lawyers with years of experience in workplace injuries, third party liability claims, and chemical burns. Chuck Slane recently won a case for the victim of a workplace chemical burn. The victim was awarded $1.9 million. If we may be of assistance in your quest for justice, call 612-TSR-TIME or submit our free consultation form.