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Topic: Is dried Sulfuric Acid on a surface dangerous?  (Read 2036 times)

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Offline Avian

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Is dried Sulfuric Acid on a surface dangerous?
« on: April 15, 2021, 07:46:58 PM »
Hello everyone, this may be an odd question but I figured you all would know.  I work in a research role but am not a chemist   I recently had to grab something from where the chemistry area at work is and I noticed there were areas on the ground that were worn away and spots on tables.  I later found out that those were from sulfuric acid.  I have terrible health anxiety/fear of chemicals so it kind of freaked me out a bit as I had touched and leaned against those tables and walked on those spots on the ground.   I have a few questions about the danger.  The table didn't feel wet and the floor didn't look wet and the spills would be over a month old.

If I touched some of this "dried" sulfuric acid could it have burned me since hands are moist?  Would it have been obvious? I don't feel any pain but I am not thinking rationally since I'm pretty anxious

Would the spots I walked on have transferred to my shoes and could that have burned me when I took my shoes off?

If it did start burning my hands would it transfer to things I touched throughout the day?

Thanks for any info!  I don't want to ask my colleagues this and sound paranoid at work

Offline chenbeier

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Re: Is dried Sulfuric Acid on a surface dangerous?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2021, 01:16:54 AM »
Dried sulfuric is not stable to get still dry. It absorbs water and it get more dilute. What you see on floor and table is etching damage. Normally if the chemicals are spilled there are removed and the items are cleaned and washed. But the damage will be remain. So dont worry.

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Re: Is dried Sulfuric Acid on a surface dangerous?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2021, 02:11:54 AM »
Thank you for the reply!  So is it getting diluted from the water in the air?  It is a warehouse so they don't clean it often like a lab but even with the spills it is probably very small amounts.  Even if I got some trace amounts on my skin would the other day would it not be a huge issue?  The scariest thing for me having a chemical phobia is the idea of it contaminating everything I touch and getting burns over and over when

Offline Borek

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Re: Is dried Sulfuric Acid on a surface dangerous?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2021, 03:23:14 AM »
If I touched some of this "dried" sulfuric acid could it have burned me since hands are moist?

No.

Quote
Would it have been obvious?

Yes.

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Would the spots I walked on have transferred to my shoes and could that have burned me when I took my shoes off?

No.

Quote
If it did start burning my hands would it transfer to things I touched throughout the day?

No.

Or, more precisely, if it would start burning first thing to do is to wash your hands with copious amounts of flowing water. After that any acid present would be rinsed and there will be none left.

So is it getting diluted from the water in the air?

A bit. It also dries up, so even if accidentally spilled and not cleaned up it won't stay there forever. As long as these are stains and not poodles there is nothing to worry about.

Quote
Even if I got some trace amounts on my skin would the other day would it not be a huge issue?

No.

Quote
The scariest thing for me having a chemical phobia is the idea of it contaminating everything I touch and getting burns over and over when

It doesn't work this way, don't worry.
ChemBuddy chemical calculators - stoichiometry, pH, concentration, buffer preparation, titrations.info, pH-meter.info

Offline Avian

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Re: Is dried Sulfuric Acid on a surface dangerous?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2021, 04:16:05 PM »
Dried sulfuric is not stable to get still dry. It absorbs water and it get more dilute. What you see on floor and table is etching damage. Normally if the chemicals are spilled there are removed and the items are cleaned and washed. But the damage will be remain. So dont worry.

Thanks for the reply.  Do you know if it transfers from person to object?  If I grabbed some keys from someone who was touching a bottle had sulfuric acid spilled on it long ago would the acid go from his hands to the keys and then burn my hands?  I am probably overthinking things but that would be the scenario where I was most likely exposed.

Offline chenbeier

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Re: Is dried Sulfuric Acid on a surface dangerous?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2021, 04:21:06 PM »
Only it happend fresh. If it happend long ago there will not be much impact.

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Re: Is dried Sulfuric Acid on a surface dangerous?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2021, 05:42:00 PM »
Is that because the moisture on your hand isn't wet enough to pick up enough to transfer it?  It is comforting to know I at least won't have to worry about everything I touched that day being contaminated if I even got any on me.  Thanks again!

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Re: Is dried Sulfuric Acid on a surface dangerous?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2021, 06:00:39 PM »
If I touched some of this "dried" sulfuric acid could it have burned me since hands are moist?

No.

Quote
Would it have been obvious?

Yes.

Quote
Would the spots I walked on have transferred to my shoes and could that have burned me when I took my shoes off?

No.

Quote
If it did start burning my hands would it transfer to things I touched throughout the day?

No.

Or, more precisely, if it would start burning first thing to do is to wash your hands with copious amounts of flowing water. After that any acid present would be rinsed and there will be none left.

So is it getting diluted from the water in the air?

A bit. It also dries up, so even if accidentally spilled and not cleaned up it won't stay there forever. As long as these are stains and not poodles there is nothing to worry about.

Quote
Even if I got some trace amounts on my skin would the other day would it not be a huge issue?

No.

Quote
The scariest thing for me having a chemical phobia is the idea of it contaminating everything I touch and getting burns over and over when

It doesn't work this way, don't worry.

Thanks for answering! 

Offline pcm81

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Re: Is dried Sulfuric Acid on a surface dangerous?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2021, 11:10:28 AM »
here is a good video about acids and skin from Nyle Reid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyMR08ZVbNY

EDIT
as far as your phobia goes, just remember that chemical reactions consume the staring chemicals. So, what that means is that 1 drop of surer crazy strong and aggressive acid cannot dissolve a kilogram of metal; there is just not enough stuff there to react with kilogram of metal like is often shown in movies.
I'd suggest learning more about chemicals, which are corrosive, which are poisonous, which are reducing agents and which are oxidizers. This way you won't be afraid of all chemicals as much as it makes sense to be afraid of actual poisons.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2021, 11:26:38 AM by pcm81 »

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