Top 10 Common Household Items That Can Cause Chemical Burns

Posted in blog,Uncategorized on May 30, 2016

Chemical burns are often more damaging than heat-related burns, especially if the victim inhales or ingests the chemical. Dangerous chemicals can eat through the skin and affect a victim’s deep tissue, muscle system, and internal organs. Chemical burns result in lifelong physical and mental damage. Contrary to what you might believe, the majority of chemical burns occur in the household – with these 10 dangerous chemicals.


You can find ammonia in fertilizers, dyes, pesticides, plastics, fabrics, and cleaning solutions. Exposure to higher concentrations of ammonia, such as those found in industrial-strength cleaners, can cause immediate irritation and burns. Inhaling ammonia gases or vapors can damage body cells on contact, leading to burning of the eyes, throat, and nose. Extreme cases result in blindness, respiratory tract damage, and even death.


People use bleach for whitening clothing, removing stains, and disinfecting their homes. Bleach is a highly corrosive substance containing chlorine. Skin exposure to bleach can lead to soft tissue burns that need medical attention to heal properly. Breathing in bleach vapors can damage the nervous system and result in respiratory problems, extreme migraines, and vomiting. Mixing bleach with ammonia creates noxious, deadly fumes.

Carpet Shampoos

The strong chemicals in carpet and upholstery shampoo may get those tough-to-remove stains out, but these chemicals also pose a health hazard. Some shampoos include perchloroethylene, known to damage the nervous system, liver, and kidneys. Others have ammonium hydroxide, which is corrosive and can burn the eyes, skin, and lungs.

Drain Cleaners

To clear drains of tough debris, most drain cleaners contain lye and hydrochloric acid. These substances can burn the skin and eyes, as well as damage the kidneys, liver, and digestive tract. Chemical burns from drain cleaners are common and require medical attention to heal. Try natural drain cleaners or those without lye instead.

Oven Cleaners

The grease-fighting agent in most oven cleaners comes from lye, an extremely corrosive chemical that can burn the skin and eyes if exposed or inhaled. If swallowed, oven cleaner can be fatal. Look for oven cleaners that are lye-free to stay safe from this chemical.

Dishwashing Detergents

Automatic dishwasher detergent generally contains cationic, anionic, or non-ionic solutions that cause burns if the skin is exposed to it for a lengthy period. Hand-dishwashing soaps can cause mouth and throat irritation if ingested. Dishwashing detergents are especially threatening to children because of the pleasant smell.


Household batteries, especially old batteries, can leak battery acid, which is extremely corrosive and can damage exposed skin. It can cause severe burns, blindness, and nerve damage. Car, boat, and tractor batteries are especially hazardous. Never touch a leaking battery with your bare skin.

Glass Cleaners

Most window and glass cleaners use ammonia as an active ingredient. Glass cleaner can burn the skin, cause rashes, and irritate the eyes and lungs. It can be easy to accidentally mix window cleaner with bleach-based cleaners, creating a noxious chemical reaction that can be fatal.

Toilet Bowl Cleaners

Toilet bowl cleaners are some of the most dangerous chemicals in the household, containing multiple harmful agents. Sodium bisulfate and hydrochloric acid can burn the skin, while oxalic acid can corrode the mouth and stomach. Other agents form corrosive chemicals in water, and the fumes can cause burns.

Mold Removers

Mold and mildew removers use chlorine and alkyl ammonium chlorides, both of which can cause breathing problems. If someone swallows mold remover, it can result in throat and digestive system burns.

If you come into contact with, inhale, or digest any of these harmful household chemicals, seek medical attention right away. Chemical burns can be extremely damaging and leave permanent scars if not properly treated immediately. If your injuries are due to someone else’s negligence, contact our California burn injury attorneys for a free case evaluation and the experienced help you need to receive just compensation.

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