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Chemistry Forums for Students => High School Chemistry Forum => Topic started by: WashableMarker on May 15, 2005, 06:37:12 PM

Title: what molarity of HCl is "dangerous"
Post by: WashableMarker on May 15, 2005, 06:37:12 PM
Hey there. First-time poster, long-time chemistry fan.

We did a simple acid-base titration in class, with a solution of 0.10 mol/L NaOH, and a solution of HCl of unknown concentration. Through calculations of how much NaOH neutralizes however much HCl, I've found the molairty of the HCl solution to be ~0.05mol/L, give or take because of my own errors in getting NaOH-happy.

Anyways, this isn't as much of a calculation question as a theory question [my weakness, of course]. The premise of the lab was that the HCl solution was found beside the "victim", and could this solution at this strength, be the cause of his death? I don't know what molarity of HCl is "dangerous", but I assume it's not horrible since a bunch of grade 11 chemistry students were allowed to play with it.

So, any online references [ie. websites] you can give me to support or disown my theory, or any facts you can contribute would be greatly appriciated.

Thanks again!
Title: Re:Cause of death?
Post by: limpet chicken on May 15, 2005, 06:45:33 PM
I very much doubt that concentration of HCl could be dangerous, I imagine that is actually more dilute than stomach acid (also HCl).

Certainly it couldn't be dangerous be skin contact, I have gotten the entire of my lower body covered one time, with around 4 gallons of 2.5M HCl, and no consequences occured (apart from reeking like a pit full of vinegar for the best part of a day, and having the clothes I was wearing utterly ruined)
Title: Re:Cause of death?
Post by: WashableMarker on May 15, 2005, 06:47:35 PM
Ahh, thank you! I can finally give some sort of evidence if I find the concentration of stomach acid online. Thanks  :)
Title: Re:Cause of death?
Post by: limpet chicken on May 15, 2005, 09:36:37 PM
I am getting varying figures online, about the molarity of stomach acid.


There is a lot of misinformation out there, but either way, the acid you mention is fairly dilute, and I wouldnt THINK it would prove fatal, the stomach lining would protect against the acid, except perhaps, if the throat were perforated by long-standing contact with the HCl, or the vapours inhaled, causing pulmonary oedema.
Title: Re:Cause of death?
Post by: AWK on May 16, 2005, 01:44:34 AM
Concentration of HCl in stomach is not constant.
The parietal cells in the stomach secrete hydrochloric acid at a concentration of about 0.155 M HCl, then it is diluted by food and water and its normal concentration is between 0.01 and 0.0001