Chemical burns occur when a person’s body comes in contact with a corrosive substance, often a strong acid or base. Rather than the damage resulting from a fire or electric arc, the skin and other parts of the body are eaten away as they react with corrosive chemicals. The damage from a chemical burn can be just as severe—or worse—than many other types of burn, especially if the corrosive substance is toxic.
Chemical burns require no source of heat to do damage. They can cause immediately noticeable damage on contact, but the effects of some can already be severe by the time the victims even notices. Common causes of chemical burns include household substances like lye, lime, and hydrochloric acid. Numerous cleaning agents and solvents can also cause burns.
Symptoms of a Chemical Burn
The exact symptoms of a chemical burn depend highly on the chemical in question. Some burns result in bleached or blackened skin, while others can cause discoloration. They can lead to severe blistering, difficulty breathing, gangrene, and shock. Hydrofluoric acid can cause cardiac arrest shortly after exposure by consuming all the body’s calcium, leaving the heart unable to beat.
Likewise, the proper course of treatment for a chemical burn can depend on the substance involved. The effects of certain chemical burns can sometimes be counteracted even with household chemicals, but applying the same household chemicals to a different burn could result in dangerous reactions that could even harm bystanders. Treatment of a chemical burn should always be left to a medical professional.
If you or someone you love has suffered a serious chemical burn because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and suffering. To discuss your case with a compassionate Champaign personal injury lawyer, contact the office of Spiros Law, P.C., today at (217) 328-2828.