An Accident With Sodium Hydroxide Which Will Never Be Forgotten

An Accident With Sodium Hydroxide Which Will Never Be Forgotten




The sink was clogged and I could not get a plumber to fix it. Thinking that I would be able to save money, I decided to use some drain cleaner to solve the problem. It was a weekend anyway so I had all the time to do the task myself. Besides, how difficult could it be, I thought to myself. If only I knew what was in store for me.

I poured the drain cleaner inside the sink’s drainage pipe. It indicated in the container that I need to leave it for a while and wait for some time. Some of the liquid went to my hands. I thought that was okay. I did not know that the drainage cleaner had sodium hydroxide, a very corrosive substance that could potentially harm my skin.

So I went about with the waiting while watching my favorite soap opera on television. After a few minutes, I started scratching my hands absent-mindedly. They were a bit itchy. However, my scratching became more frequent until the itchy feeling turned to pain. Since the sensation could not be put off anymore, it was only then that I inspected both of my hands. I was really surprised with what I saw. My hands were all red and there were some painful looking blisters. I did not know at first what hit me. Did I eat something I was allergic to? Was it the lotion I bought last week? What did I do just recently?

Then I stared at the sink. The bottle of the drainage cleaner was nevertheless there. I did not place it back in the shelf just however thinking that I might nevertheless need it. I hurried to it and read the remaining part of the instructions especially the part that I purposely left out. It was there in the warning part. The information of caution informing users that it should not come in contact with the skin and the eyes as it can be hazardous. disinctive as to what caused the liquid to become as such, I read on the elements of the drainage cleaner. Lo, and behold, NaOH was there, written in bold letters.

I went to the computer and researched about NaOh. There I found out that NaOH is truly sodium hydroxide, a very useful but equally dangerous substance. Aside from drainage cleaners, the substance is used in other industries to produce certain products that are widely used in our society. Caustic soda, another name for sodium hydroxide, is used in the making of soaps, drilling of oil, producing fuel, manufacturing of pulp, production of paper, etching of aluminum, restoring leaded glass window, among others.

I also discovered that strict precautionary measures are being followed in any processes that include the use of caustic soda. In fact, it is quite difficult to get this substance easily as its production, selling and manufacturing is covered under strict laws and regulations. This is quite understandable, I thought to myself after I discovered the effects of the substance.

This made me look at my hands. I found out that there were other situations that were far worse than what happened to my hands. There were instances that some people got long-lasting eye damage because NaOH went inside their eyes. Others experienced harsh burns because of the substance. In my case, I was lucky since the substance was not in its pure form that is why its effect was not as harsh. In worst situations, there are those who suffered respiratory problems and already death.

I stopped reading at that part. I was already beginning to get goose bumps. I washed my hands with running water closest, something that I should have done early on. I carefully placed the bottle of drainage cleaner inside the shelf and placed it at the farthest back. I looked at the sink and saw that the clogging was gone. I then wrapped my hands with clean towels and decided see a doctor to ask what I could do with my hands.




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