03 Feb Why do some acids cause burn?
You have all know about acids through your chemistry tuition classes. You are always told to be careful while handling acid in your chemistry tuition classes. As explained by your chemistry tuition teacher, acid is a sour substance that turns red litmus paper, reacts with certain reactive metals to liberate hydrogen, reacts with a base to give salts and water. It also promotes some certain types of chemical reactions. There are two main chemical groups of acids. They are inorganic acids and organic acids. The organic acids contain carbon while the inorganic acids don not. All acids when dissolved in water release hydrogen ions. Hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and sulfuric acid are the examples of inorganic acids. They are also called mineral acids and are very strong acids. Formic acid, acetic acid, citric acid are examples of organic acids and are weaker.
Most of the organic acids are harmless to us, but the inorganic acids can be dangerous. Concentrated inorganic acids can burn or wound the skin. Do you know why some acids burn the body? Again, your chemistry tuition teacher will give the answer to that.
The inorganic acids have a strong tendency to absorb water and give out a great deal of heat in the process. Since most of the living cells contain water, the strong acids like hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and sulfuric acid react with them and kill the cells causing severe burns. The emission of heat in the process also aids in the burn caused by acids.
Special precautions should be taken by the persons handling strong acids. They should wear special clothes to protect their bodies from burns. The acid must always be poured slowly into the water and never the other way round. If you are burned by an acid you should wash your akin with lots of water, followed by a weak ammonia solution. If your eyes are affected, flush them immediately with a lot of water and then with bicarbonate of soda solution, which neutralizes any acid left. Hope you enjoyed this lesson from chemistry tuition. We will be back with more such interesting findings in our next chemistry tuition class.