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Chemical Splash Risks

Chemical splash risks can occur in many situations. Those at risk include anyone that uses or is exposed to materials that can cause eye injury. This includes:

  • Researchers in wet/chemical labs
  • Facilities Services workers working with corrosive chemicals
  • Anyone else working with corrosive chemicals.Infographic of a head with goggles and splash of chemicals.

What are corrosive chemicals?

The word corrosive refers to a chemical that can cause skin corrosion or burns, eye damage, or is corrosive to metals. They can be acids, oxidizers, or bases. When they come in contact with a surface, the surface deteriorates. The deterioration can happen in seconds to minutes, such as concentrated hydrochloric acid spilled on skin; or slowly over days or years, e.g. the rusting of iron in a bridge.

Sometimes the word caustic is used as a synonym for corrosive.

The hazard communication pictogram or symbol for corrosive chemicals displays a chemical damaging tissue (a hand) or metal.

What can I do?

Understand the risk.

Corrosive chemicals can cause serious eye injury.

Use the right eye protection

If there is a risk of splash, use chemical splash goggles not impact goggles or safety glasses. Chemical splash goggles form a seal on the face to prevent intrusion of a chemical splash and are indirectly vented. That is, the vents have covers that prevent a splash from intruding. If your goggles have holes that you can see through, these are probably impact goggles and not rated for chemical splash.

Never Work Alone

If you face a corrosive chemical splash risk you should never work alone. If a splash occurs you may need assistance getting help. Minor eye accidents can become serious ones when working alone.



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