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topic 34002 p2

Dangers/Toxicity of inhaling muriatic acid fumes



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A discussion started in 2005 but continuing through 2019

March 27, 2012

Q. My boyfriend was working on the roof of a private home, along with a/c techs. He was about ten feet away from the a/c tech, when the tech sprayed something in the air. My boyfriend immediately covered his eyes. This was last June. He immediately received burns to his face, scalp, chest and arms. Three weeks later he noticed an ulceration on his arm. He has since been seeing a pulmonologist, dermatologist, rheumatologist. He has only 38 percent of his lungs left. He has severe chest, stomach and head pain. He has episodes of black outs, anxiety attacks and dermatitis and severe shortness of breath. He cannot go out in the heat or sun for any extended periods of time or he gets very sick with stomach pain, severe perspiration, headaches, weakness, nausea. He may have to have a lung transplant because of the carelessness of the a/c tech. The company that sprayed him will not divulge what the tech sprayed in the air.

I would love for anyone to comment in order to help us. We are suing the company.

DEANA D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Florida


March 28, 2012

A. Hi, Deana.

Step 1 was to see doctors, and apparently he did that and has continued to do so repeatedly. That's the thing to do!

Since you are suing, step 2 is to retain a lawyer, because the lawyer can subpoena info on the chemical in question rather than guessing. The lawyer will probably also advise you to not post questions on the internet, and let the lawyer do the research -- because then the results are confidential, whereas if you or your boyfriend are called to the witness stand and asked if you found any evidence whatsoever that something else could possibly have caused the problem, you have to tell the whole truth and it might detract from the case.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



March 29, 2012

thumbsdown My question was: "does this sound like a classic case of exposure to muriatic acid?" Yes he has obtained a lawyer. I have not hurt his case whatsoever. I am merely trying to find answers that can help his recovery, if he does. His symptoms are that of some sort of chemical. As I had said, the company will not reveal the name of the chemical. This is very detrimental to his health and outcome of his life, whether he lives or dies.

I appreciate your response. You seemed more interested in the legality of it all instead of his health. I obviously came to the wrong place for some sort of peace of mind.

Deana D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Florida


March 29, 2012

A. Very sorry for your troubles and heartache, Deana. While the question you had in mind may have been "does this sound like a classic case of exposure to muriatic acid?", it was not the question you asked, and I can offer nothing medically anyway. He's already been to a pulmonologist, dermatologist, and rheumatologist. Hopefully they will offer you peace of mind; sorry, but I have no way of doing that.

What you actually said was: "He may have to have a lung transplant because of the carelessness of the a/c tech... I would love for anyone to comment in order to help us. We are suing the company." And since I've seen legal cases compromised by internet postings, that's what I commented on.

I know of no reason why an A/C Technician would spray muriatic acid, so I am 99% sure he didn't, but I can't say for sure, whereas your lawyer can find out. It probably isn't common to spray bleach, but it sounds much less unlikely. Maybe studying some air conditioning sites can suggest what the chemical was. Skin damage plus severe lung damage from either acid or bleach is clearly possible.

To someone with no medical training like myself, stomach & head pain, blackouts & anxiety attacks, and nausea wouldn't sound "classic" -- but with no medical training regarding the interrelatedness of the body's reactions to poisons, my guesses are simply of no value -- that's why I didn't offer them. Certainly lung damage can lead to infections or pneumonia, and I suppose these problems could manifest such symptoms.

I wish him a speedy and full recovery! Sorry again for this difficult time.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



October 9, 2012

Q. Hi,

I have this ex of mine, whom I suspect is stalking me. I am not at all scared but what bothers me most is the fact that I am a mum of 3 wonderful daughters ... am scared of their safety. Now, today my kids and I jump into the car to drive shopping. I turn it on and this awful smell exhumes from the ventilator(?) ... our eyes become watery and stinging; we couldn't breathe; we have headaches and get kind of dizzy. At first I thought it was just urine ... because somehow it had that smell, but now am not so sure!

Could it be acid and if yes, what happens to a car when you do so and how life-threatening is it? I went to a car wash and the smell is gone ... but somehow, I still feel dizzy and weak when I am in it? Should I worry?

Lucy

Lucy W
- Hamburg Germany



November 2, 2012

Q. I wish I had read these posts earlier. I cleaned my kitchen floors with muriatic acid and now my stainless appliances look terrible. Is there a solution to fix the stainless? I'm also worried about my lungs now, after seeing what it's done to my appliances!

Marilyn King
- Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA


February 17, 2013

A. Hi Marilyn.

On the one hand, strong exposure to muriatic acid is a medical emergency. On the other hand, mere exposure to a low concentration that produced no immediate symptoms seems very unlikely to have any long term effect. Many people work in plating shops, dipping parts into vats of muriatic acid all day every day and live to a ripe old age.

Readers: please remember that this is assurance to Marilyn to not worry herself to death over a one-time exposure to muriatic acid which produced no symptoms . . . it is not a claim that because some muriatic acid workers live to a ripe old age that there should be no concerns about chronic low-dose exposure. That's a proposition for research by an epidemiologist, not for an opinion from a guy who happens to know a couple of elderly platers :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



February 17, 2013

Q. I was cleaning our toilet when I mixed bleach and hydrochloric acid together in a pail of water and brushed our toilet floor. I accidentally inhaled the fumes from the chemicals and started having tight lungs and sore throat etc. I was having the usual symptoms of inhaling some fumes. I splash myself with water and went to have fresh air. After 2 hours I felt a bit better but still having a little dizziness, and when I cough my lungs seem to tighten a bit. Furthermore, I feel weak (like coming out from a fever).
What should I do/take in order these effects will go away? Will I have future complications/problems concerning these problems?
Thank you!

james chan
- philippines


November 30, 2013

A. When you mix chlorine bleach and muriatic acid, you're creating chlorine gas. When doing cleaning, do not mix chemicals (ammonia, bleach, lye, acids) unless you have a proficient knowledge in chemistry or know what you're doing.

Professor of Chemical Engineering
Universidad de Costa Rica

Fernando Fumero
- Costa Rica



January 15, 2014

Q. Hi,
I am 8 weeks' pregnant and, while cleaning washroom, I accidentally had an exposure of the mixture of chlorine and muriatic acid. I was already an asthmatic and, after the exposure of the above-mentioned acids, I started coughing and felt congestion and pain in my chest, my heart rate increased and I felt nausea. I used inhaler and a cough syrup and felt a little better but even after 12 hours I wasn't feeling ok. I feel pain in chest.What should I Do? Can the exposure of these two acids for 4 to 5 minutes cause harm 2 my lungs or respiratory tract? Or the fetus in my womb? I will be thankful for your response.

Saira Ijaz
- Lahore, Pakistan



February 26, 2014

!! My brother in-law's sister was hospitalized for having difficulty breathing and weakened for more than 3 months; the doctors did not find any reason of illness. When they transferred her to another hospital to ask for second opinion they found out that her lungs had been damaged by inhaling the fumes from muriatic acid while cleaning the bathroom with the door closed. Sadly it was too late when they diagnosed the problem; she already had a multiple organ failure and died in the fourth month. So I suggest anyone who uses muriatic acid should take precautions and know the proper handling of this deadly chemical.

rey bantiguen
- pangasinan, philippines


February 2014

So sorry for your family's loss, Rey.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


May 17, 2014

Q. Okay so I was cleaning our bathroom yesterday and thought that I'd add muriatic acid and it was my first time using it so I didn;'t know how strong it would be. When I poured a good amount in the bowl and I suddenly inhaled it, it was really strong but I ran out as soon as possible. I think I did cough but no phlegm was involved, and my throat is dry and my nose is a little numb(?) But I'm still a little worried. Should I consult a doctor or?

Mary Nguyen
- Baguio City Benguet Philippines


August 30, 2014

A. In regards to mixing chlorine and muriatic acid, you are actually creating "Mustard Gas", yes the same as used in combat.

Just saying, this is not good for your respiratory tract or your future health.

pete maziarz
chief engineer and CPO - camarillo California


wikipedia
Sulfur mustard

August 2014

Hi. To nitpick a little it's not actually mustard gas, but it is a toxic chlorine gas.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


October 9, 2014

Q. I was wondering how serious this can be: I was working in a unit where my lead guy did not know and we were not told about respirator in this unit. But after the fact I inhaled some acid; it burned my eyes, nose & back of my throat immediately coming in contact with it. I was coughing so bad that I thought I was going to puke; then not much longer after that my heart rate increased thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest, then came chest pains and felt like I had peel or something in the back of my throat that just wouldn't come up. Still having chest pains here and there. Is this serious -- do I need to be checked out? Told my supervisor what happened but he didn't say anything he just turned around and finished his cigarette because I asked what was in that unit even though we spotted the sign and my lead guy told me: "it's just water, man". That's why I asked my boss because I know water never made me feel like that.

Brad waits
- Sulphur, Louisiana


December 8, 2014

I was cleaning our toilet when I mixed bleach and hydrochloric acid together in a pail of water and brushed our toilet floor. I accidentally inhaled the fumes from the chemicals and started having tight lungs and sore throat etc. I was having the usual symptoms of inhaling some fumes. I splash myself with water and went to have fresh air. After 2 hours I felt a bit better but still having a little dizziness, and when I cough my lungs seem to tighten a bit. Furthermore, I feel weak (like coming out from a fever).
What should I do/take in order these effects will go away? Will I have future complications/problems concerning these problems?
Thank you!

Ajit Sharma
- Kanpur, UP, India


January 26, 2015

Q. Good evening, I was cleaning my client's bathroom. Unbeknown to me she had put Clorox in the toilet. I put Lysol toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet and immediately could smell the fumes. I left the bathroom and decided to let it air a bit and in the meantime I sprayed Easy off oven cleaner in the oven to clean it later. Suddenly my chest tighten up so hard and the pain was unbelievable. my client is a nurse and she immediately gave me an aspirin and 2 Tylenol with a glass of water. The pain subsided. Do you think there was any major damage. I will NEVER AGAIN clean with Tilex, Clorox, or anything like Easy-off oven cleaner without covering my nose/mouth and eyes with goggles. I need to know if you think I should use an inhaler to clear my lungs or anything like that. Many thanks.

Aishah Muhammad
- Hamilton, Bermuda


February 2015

A. So sorry for your problems, Ajit and Aishah. Yes, mixing toilet bowl cleaner or acid with Clorox (bleach) does release chlorine gas or related toxic gasses and is very bad for you. But we are not doctors and nobody can advise on your medical condition over the internet. Please see a doctor and get well soon.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


July 22, 2015

Q. Hello. Last week I was pouring muriatic acid into a 9x54 tank used for water softeners, in order to break up a calcite buildup within the tank. I wore a respirator, and safety glasses. As I began pouring the acid down a funnel and into the tank, I noticed fumes and smoke rising out of the tank, then before I knew it, my right eye began to sting. I immediately stopped what I was doing, removed the double layer of surgical gloves, and ran inside to wash my eye out. I did so for less than five minutes, throughout the afternoon, periodically, I would return to sink to wash my eye out. Now, it has almost been a week, and my right eye lid continues to have a minor twitch, on top of that, my right eye continues to feel irritated, and dry. It doesn't feel the same as before the acid incident. I can tell there is a difference in the way my eye feels, however, there is no visible difference in my vision. I am sure this has occurred before, and it is not life threatening; also, it was only a minor exposure, and the most severe symptom is just agitation in my eye, and it continues to feel aggravated. Also, I am emotionally distressed because, hey, it's my eye! Other than seeing a doctor, I would like some advice, and perhaps some comforting words, that my eye will be okay. I am also a hypochondriac.

jordan scott
- jacksonville florida united states


July 28, 2015

Q. I inhaled the fumes for more than 20 minutes. I'm feeling very uneasy in breathing; even my throat was having burning sensation. What to do? Please answer.

Chaitan ya varma
- Hyderabad,telangana,india


September 8, 2015

Q. Plumber had cleaned the water tank with muriatic acid and my water purifier system was directly connected to the pipe line.
We have consumed the purified water and my wife is six pregnant. Will it be harmful for wife and pregnancy baby?

Sujoy Kumar
- kolkata, west bengal , India


September 26, 2015

Q. I decided to use Lysol toilet bowl cleaner to clean my fridge. I wasn't wearing gloves or a mask because I had no clue about the dangers of this. It is couple hours later and I feel strange and breathing heavy...

Melissa cross
- Lexington Kentucky USA



November 11, 2015

Q. I mixed 1 Part Muriatic acid to 2 parts of water. I poured the acid into a spray bottle than filled it with water. I used this mixture to remove wax from my porcelain floor. I sprayed sections of the floor and let it stand 15 minutes than wiped off with a sponge. There was about 8 sections and it took me about 4 hours. I had the windows open as well as a fan blowing. All through this procedure I wore a dust mask. In between sections I would go outside and breath fresh air. The next morning it felt like I was coming down with the flu; my body was aching a little and my throat was a little itchy. Than my head started getting stuffed up like a sinus infection; than my sinuses started to drain and I was blowing my nose constantly. Now My head feels a little tight with a slight headache and I have a little cough and my throat is itchy. Would this have anything to do with the fumes or is it a head cold?

Elwin Moody
- Stanton, California USA


November 12, 2015

A. Good day all.

I have been in the electroplating industry for well over 40 years and have been exposed to many very nasty chemicals.
I am now at the ripe old age of 57, and in very good health.
If one chooses to work with chemicals, one must educate themselves about their nature.

It was my priority to seek info as MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).
All the info is there regarding PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), toxicity, conditions to avoid, etc.
Why in the world would one use Lysol to clean a fridge, when one can use baking soda, vinegar, dilute ammonia, lemon juice etc.?
People use colas to clean toilets.

Stripping wax with Muriatic? Who ever heard of that?
A little knowledge is a VERY dangerous thing.

Professionals use ACETIC acid (80% and it is flammable), but they dilute it to 20%.

The vinegar that one puts in one's salad dressing, or on one's french fries is 5% ACETIC acid.

One can also use dilute ammonia for stripping wax.
My mother taught me that.

If one chooses to work with chemicals, and I cannot stress this enough, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
Do not take hearsay for granted.

One does not prepare ones food that way.
I'm sure everyone reads the label on the foods that one consumes, to find out about the ingredients, etc.
Why would one without knowledge about chemicals try and use them?

This site and the internet are very useful for ASKING questions and GETTING answers.

If one doesn't know about, or is unsure about ANY chemical, please, and I stress this, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

Your health and safety is at risk.

Regards,

Eric Bogner, Lab Tech.
Aerotek Mfg. Ltd. - Whitby, Ont., Canada


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