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Hydrochloric Acid hazards relate to its classification as ‘Corrosive’ or ‘Irritant’, according to its strength. Above 25% by weight, Hydrochloric Acid hazards are classified as ‘Corrosive’ whilst between 10% and 25% Hydrochloric Acid has an ‘Irritant’ classification.
There are many potential Hydrochloric Acid hazards. It can cause serious burns to skin and eyes. The vapours of Hydrochloric Acid are Corrosive and can cause damage to the respiratory system and the skin. Hydrochloric Acid damages mucous membranes and may form pulmonary oedemas. Inhalation of the vapours of Hydrochloric Acid will result in coughing and irritation to the respiratory system. Severe exposure will result in breathing difficulties. Acute inhalation may cause inflammation of the respiratory tract and chest pains. Hydrochloric Acid can cause severe damage to eyes, including lacrimation and conjunctivitis.
Ingestion of Hydrochloric Acid can cause burns to the mouth, oesophagus and possibly the gastrointestinal tract. Ingestion may also result in circulatory shock, variation in pulse, myocardial infection and perforation of the stomach. Even at low levels ingestion can promote tooth corrosion.
Long-term exposure to Hydrochloric Acid may cause gastritis, bronchitis, dermatitis or photo-sensitisation. Although dilute solutions below 10% are not formally classified, these would still have an Irritant effect on prolonged contact with skin and cause eye irritation.
Hydrochloric Acid produces Hazardous reactions with a variety of substances. Reaction with Sodium Hypochlorite and Potassium Permanganate produces Toxic chlorine gas. Reaction with Cyanide compounds can produce very Toxic Hydrogen Cyanide.
Hydrochloric Acid is Corrosive towards metals and reacts with metals to produce Hydrogen gas. On reaction with a base, for example Sodium Hydroxide, heat is produced. This generation of heat is known as ‘exothermic’. Hydrochloric Acid reacts with Ammonia to produce dense white fumes of Ammonium Chloride. Great care must be taken when storing Hydrochloric Acid as storage containers will pressurise if exposed to heat.
Although not classified as environmentally hazardous, ecological effects cannot be excluded after release. Hydrochloric Acid will affect the pH of water with associated risk of harmful effects to aquatic organisms.
Hydrochloric Acid, in its concentrated form, is a solution of Hydrogen Chloride in water, also known as Fuming Hydrochloric Acid or Muriatic Acid. The chemical expression for this material is HCl, which represents one Hydrogen and one Chlorine.
http://www.hydrochloric-acid.co.uk/hydrochloric-acid-hazards | Saved Friday, November 18th, 2011 - 5:34 AM