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Hazardous Corrosive Materials

Hazardous Corrosive Materials will damage any other substance once they come into contact - dissolving the structure of the other substance. A corrosive may damage metals, inorganic materials, and organic materials – or all three. The type of damage used to legally define corrosion is the effect on living tissue - many corrosives will destroy living human skin. The test for hazardous corrosive materials used by the United States Department of Transportation is the effect of the material on the skin of albino rabbits. If damage occurs to the skin, the substance is considered a corrosive.

The three common types of hazardous corrosive materials are acids, oxidizers, and bases.

H2S

Hydrogen Sulfide

Hydrogen Sulfide is a colorless gas with the strong smell of rotten eggs. It is very corrosive, heavier than air, and highly toxic. It is commonly present in sewer gas. It is also a dangerous component or byproduct of many industrial processes. Many hazards have been created by the production of hydrogen sulfide in unexpected locations. It has been found at dangerous levels in many refineries, agricultural and wastewater treatment facilities. This has often resulted in hazardous conditions because of the extreme toxicity of this chemical.

The presence of hydrogen sulfide has the potential to endanger employees exposed to it. Workers entering confined spaces should be especially careful and all facilities with significant amounts of hydrogen sulfide should consider the hazards created by this dangerous chemical..

H2SO4

Sulfuric Acid

Sulfuric acid is a colorless, odorless thick liquid that is soluble in water. Sulfuric acid is dangerous to people as it readily decomposes living tissue and can cause blindness if it contacts the eyes. Sulfuric acid reacts with and corrodes many metals and other materials. It is a common acid used for many industrial and consumer applications. Virtually every automobile or truck battery contains sulfuric acid. It is also used extensively in the refining, wastewater processing, cleaning chemicals, battery manufacturing, chemical synthesis, and as an acidic drain cleaner as well as in the production of fertilizers.   

The use of sulfuric acid endangers employees that work around those processes. All facilities with significant amounts of sulfuric acid should consider the hazards created by this dangerous chemical.

NHO3

Nitric Acid

Nitric acid is a highly corrosive mineral acid. Usually colorless, it can take on a yellow tint due to decomposition into nitrides of nitrogen and water. Nitric acid is dangerous to people as it readily decomposes living tissue and can cause blindness if it contacts the eyes. Nitric acid is of a strong oxidizing agent commonly used as an industrial reagent and an industrial cleaner. It is used in woodworking and as an etchant as well as an important ingredient in the manufacture of explosives and rocket fuel. It reacts with and should be stored away from bases and organics.
The use of nitric acid endangers employees that work around it and all facilities with significant amounts of nitric acid should consider the hazards created by this dangerous chemical.

H3PO4

Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric Acid is a weak, mineral acid. In an 85% aqueous solution, it is a syrupy liquid that is still pourable. In non-aqueous form, it is a white, slow-melting solid. It is irritating to the skin at concentrations above 10%. Fertilizers are the most common use of phosphoric acid, however, smaller, but still, significant uses include food additives, cleaning products, and water treatment. Phosphoric acid is a common ingredient in soft drinks, soaps and detergents, rust removal products and as a teeth whitener. The principle hazard from phosphoric acid involves contact with incompatible materials - especially certain bases, oxidizers, and metals.

NaOH

Sodium Hydroxide

Sodium hydroxide a manufactured substance commonly called lye or caustic soda. It is a white crystalline odorless solid at room temperature that absorbs moisture from the air. When dissolved in water or neutralized with acid it produces substantial heat, which may be sufficient to ignite combustible materials. Sodium Hydroxide is very corrosive and exposure to sodium hydroxide is very dangerous as it attacks flesh quickly. Sodium hydroxide has been used as a corrosive solution to dissolve farm animals and road kill. Often used as a drain cleaner, it also is extremely reactive with a range of organic and acidic materials. It is used to break down wood and paper in the pulp and paper industry, in the textile industry, in water treatment, in the manufacture of soaps and detergents and in the manufacturing of cement, mortars, concrete, and grout.

The presence and use of Sodium Hydroxide endangers employees that work around it and all facilities with significant amounts of Sodium Hydroxide should consider the hazards created by this dangerous chemical.SOD

KOH

Potassium Hydroxide

Potassium Hydroxide is also known as caustic potash. It is a potent base, reactive with organic tissue that is marketed in several forms including pellets, flakes, and powders. While it has many of the same properties as sodium hydroxide, it is less common. Potassium hydroxide is reactive with a range of organic and acidic materials and is used as a precursor of soaps and potassium other bearing compounds. It is also used in alkaline batteries.
The presence and use of Potassium Hydroxide has the potential to endanger employees that work around it and all facilities with significant amounts of Potassium Hydroxide should consider the hazards created by this dangerous chemical.

HCI

Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric acid is a very common acid also known as Muriatic acid. Hydrochloric acid is dangerous to people as it readily decomposes living tissue and can cause blindness if it contacts the eyes. Hydrochloric acid is a powerful acid used for many industrial and consumer applications. Hydrochloric acid reacts with and corrodes many metals and other materials. The most common use of hydrochloric acid is the production of vinyl chloride which is a precursor for PVC plastic and it is also used extensively in pickling of steel, the production of organic and inorganic compounds, the regeneration of ion exchangers, leather processing, oil production, and wastewater treatment.
The presence and use of hydrochloric acid has the potential to endanger employees that work around it and all facilities with significant amounts of hydrochloric acid should consider the hazards created by this dangerous chemical.

HF

Hydrofluoric Acid

Hydrogen Fluoride is a colorless liquid at room temperature. When mixed with water, it becomes hydrofluoric acid, which is a very dangerous acid. When released at high concentration as a liquid, hydrofluoric acid fumes in air with a faint smell of vinegar. Hydrogen fluoride gas is an acute poison that may immediately and permanently damage lungs and the corneas of the eyes. Because of their extreme toxicity, hydrofluoric acid fumes have been used in chemical warfare. Hydrofluoric acid is used extensively in the mining and petroleum industries - used to refine and process metals, rocks, bricks, and oil. It is a key ingredient in the manufacture of refrigerants.
The presence and use of hydrofluoric acid has the potential to endanger employees that work around it and all facilities with significant amounts of hydrofluoric acid should consider the hazards created by this dangerous chemical.

Cl2

Chlorine

Chlorine is a heavier than air gas with a yellow-green color. It is very dangerous – poisonous and toxic for all living organisms. During the First World War, it was used as a chemical warfare choking agent. The low odor threshold for chlorine can provide some protection for employees who are not regularly exposed to chlorine. However, this protection can be compromised if employees are regularly exposed to minor chlorine leaks and a hazardous-level release occurs. Chlorine is extremely reactive and corrosive and is a common ingredient of many disinfectants and bleaches. It is used to disinfect water – including swimming pools - and may be part of the sanitation process for sewage and industrial waste and is widely used in the manufacture of cloth and paper as well as in the manufacture of solvents, synthetic rubber, pesticides, and refrigerants.
The presence and use of Chlorine has the potential to endanger employees that work around it and all facilities with significant amounts of Chlorine should consider the hazards created by this dangerous chemical.