CAW National Council 4000
Occupational Health and Safety

Hazardous Substances:  Sulphuric Acid

Sulphuric acid can create ill-health effects by inhalation and by contact with eyes, nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract.

Short-term Effects

Skin contact can cause anything from mild dermatitis to a severe burn depending on the length of contact and the concentration of
the acid. If the eyes are burned, blindness may result.

Concentrated sulphuric acid destroys tissue as a result of its severe dehydrating action, whereas the dilute form acts as an irritant
due to acid properties.

Pulmonary edema can result. Death can occur. Cough and increase in respiratory rate and impairment of ventilatory capacity can
result from inhalation.

Long-term Effects

Pulmonary fibrosis, residual bronchitis, and pulmonary emphysema can occur as can marked scarring of the skin.

Sulphuric acid mist can cause the erosion of the enamel of the incisor teeth and may cause black staining of the teeth. This usually
takes years to develop but occurs much earlier in mouth breathers.

Prevention

Enclose process
Local exhaust ventilation
General dilution ventilation
Personal protective equipment.

Standards

ACGIH TLV 1 mg/m3.

(See also CAW Fact Sheet on
Hydrogen Sulphide Acid Mist)

Source:  CAW Health, Safety & Environment Department