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WARNING! using Sodium Hydroxide, NaOH. Be extremely carefull. - Esprit Chat - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Jacques

WARNING! using Sodium Hydroxide, NaOH. Be extremely carefull.

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HI all,

I would like to use this oppertunity to warn other members of this forum if or when using sodium hydroxide, NaOH, Caustic Soda, for dissolving aluminium , for example defect fitings of the oil coolers stuck in the steel oil cooler lines.

I did this today, wearing clothes, suit, glasses, gloves (Chemical) etc. But not an active respiratory system.

The solution creates a very strong alkaline (Ph 14) liquid, and is extremely dangerous if in touch wih living cells, e.g. human body etc.

It is widely used in making paper White, dissolving bodies and dead animals from industrial food and fur production, cleaning agents etc. Even food is often dipped in Sodium Hydroxide, to make a special surface and make it softer.

It reacts stronger with Cold liquid, than warm liquid in general.

It produces clear invisible gas that even in very very small amounts strongly irritates the respiratory system, and if inhaled, creates a strong severe chemical burning in the respiratory system. If swollowed, it may give cancer plus the chemical burning.

I inhaled very very little today and spent the day at the emergency room. Special doctors examined me by blood tests to measure the Ph at the oxygenised blood, and listening to and looking in my lungs. As Little as 2mg/m3 gives irritation and/or damages.

It creates water in the lungs and inhibits and severely lowers the natural respiration.

Signs of even very Little exposure, gives a irritation in the throat, upper lungs etc, plus running nose and irritation of the eyes.

There are the short term effects, but also long term effects. Even if one may think nothing happens, it does on a longer timeframe. Even4% solution may give damages. Some not measurable or detectable untill after 72 hours. It is chemically stable, but can easily change, if exposed to various conditions, and may cause a Chemical fire. This is just a  short list of some of the problems. There are many more.

If exposed, call emergency immediately and wash off with lukewarm Water for prolonged period. In case of ingestion or inhalation, 112 or 911 or whatever your emergency room is.

Many Chemical warning and classifications says Wear protective glasses, clothes and gloves, but unfortunately not a propper mask with filters.

I hereby strongly suggest that, also when using outdoor.

After analyzing and surveiling me for hours, I am now home and may not be alone the next 48 hours.

Tomorrow, I will refresh the active filters in my mask, lasting 4 hours.

 

It is very usable to dissolve the aluminium in Sodium Hydroxid, but please take my warning seriously. It is very very harmfull, and never to be used without full protection, suit, mask, glasses, gloves etc. Chemical standard, not a painter suit.

Even in a very low concentration, it is very harmfull as it kills living cells by a very strong corrosion.

This is not my words, but a line of professional specialised doctors.

 

Kind regards,

Jacques.

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 Jacques,

 

Thanks for the warning.

I really hope you are well. Take care and let us know how you are.

 

Geert

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NaOH is a severely caustic compound. This is the first MSDS sheet I pulled from the internet and section 8 says use respiratory protection. I have worked with caustic for nearly 20 years in the alumina industry. It is never to be taken lightly.

The caustic solutions we were subject to were much more dilute being in the process, but we never took it lightly.

One demonstration of what caustic can do the a cows eye will make you respect it.

I now work with HF. Even worse.

 

If you re not sure of a chemical, treat it with every respect.

 

Hope you get better.

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thanks,

I feel the Chemical make it's way in my throat and lungs, burning a bit, and it's a bit like having a soare throat, but this stuff is active at least for 72 hours. Only then can damages be assessed.

Very very bad, and I can only wait to see effects and long term effects.

Actually I feel worse this morning, and may go back to hospital, but there's nothing they can do really.  We'll see.

I also read about it later on, and I find the warnings on the bottle too weak, as it does not say about respiratory exposure.

I read elsewhere, that a positive pressure breathing system is neeed to Work with this stuff.

 

A normal mask is not enough.

 

Also, The drain cleaner solution you can get anywhere can and will develop this gas and is also dangerous, meaning that if you have blocked drain in say the bathroom, clean it machanically, not using this. I only clean machanicaly, not using any Chemicals, and will certainly continue this practice.

 

So, before anyone uses this, please read very carefully about it on the web and get propper protection. Don't trust a warning label to be enough. Get more information.

 

Kind regards,

Jacques.

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Michael,

When working with this, did you use active pressureised respiration system?

 

Kind regards,

Jacques.

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Hey Jacques,

 

Hope you feel better and that your body didn't suffer any long term damage. Thank you for the warning. There's many a time I've considered using drain cleaners to fix blockages and I'm unfortunately more lax than I should be at times with safety. If I ever use this on the car I'll prep appropriately.

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Paint-on paint stripper. Spray-on oven cleaner. Standard soap. All have varying degrees of NaOH in them.

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Ramjet,

Yes, I found out and my wife and I don't use normal soap, normal cleaning agents etc.

Damn, my lungs are burning right now.

Take care, as I've read about Hydrogen Flouride. Auch, even worse stuff. For example used in oil and petrol products. I now understand what causes the constant and lifelong skin irritation and splitting skin oin their hands, that some of my friends who are mechanics have. The tissue is damaged, and cannot heal itself.

 

So, to be more specific: can I safely use this NaOH if I Wear a normal active carbon filter mask (4 hours effeciency on filters), or should it be a positive oxygen system only?

 

Take care!

Jacques.

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Bugger, thats me done for then. Recently had to change the oil cooler but due to interaction between steel and alloy, had to saw through the alloy connectors and dangle them in caustic soda under the car in my garage. They bubbled away nicely for an hour or two and I must have breathed in loads of fumes whilst checking progress.

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Hi Jacques,

 

Really sorry to hear you were so badly exposed to such a strong solution of this stuff!  That's not good to hear that you're suffering from that!  I hope you heal fast! Thanks for the warning!

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Hope you make a full recovery!

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Thanks Guys, I'll let you know in some days how I am.

 

Kind regards,

Jacques.

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