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Three Workers Burned by Acid at Exxon Baton Rouge Complex

On Monday, three contract workers were burned by sulfuric acid while working at a chemical plant operated by ExxonMobil Corps in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Details of the Baton Rouge Industrial Accident

According to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality spokesperson Gregory Langley, there was no off-site impact and the release of the acid was secured immediately. A spokeswoman for Exxon, Sarah Nordin, said in a statement that the three contract workers “were contacted with sulfuric acid during normal work activities” at the chemical plant.

Reuters reports that all three were initially treated at the chemical plant by Exxon emergency personnel. Two of the workers were transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. One had received first-aid treatment at a local clinic.

The Department of Environmental Quality and Exxon are investigating the release, details of which were not immediately available.

Safety Tips on Working with Sulfuric Acid

When handling pure sulfuric acid in a laboratory or industrial setting, or when using products that contain concentrated sulfuric acid, it’s important to prioritize safety precautions. The following protective equipment should be worn when using sulfuric acid:

  1. Respirator
  2. Long rubber gloves
  3. Boots
  4. Industrial apron
  5. Chemical safety goggles
  6. Face shield

It’s also a good idea to have access to an eye-flush station if using sulfuric acid at your workplace. Another important consideration when handling ths dangerous chemical is that it can react violently if it comes into contact with water.

Types of Exposure to Sulfuric Acid

Exposure to sulfuric acid can occur as skin/bodily contact, ingestion, or inhalation of vapors. Each type of exposure can pose serious hazards to your health and should be managed immediately and appropriately by a medical professional to minimize damage and health risks.

  • Skin Contact – If sulfuric acid comes into contact with your skin, immediately flush the affected area gently with lukewarm water for at least 30 uninterrupted minutes. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Eye Contact – If sulfuric acid gets into your eyes, immediately flush the eye(s) with water for at least 30 minutes. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Ingestion – If you ingest sulfuric acid, rinse your mouth immediately with water. Do not induce vomiting. Continually rinse your mouth with water and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Inhalation – If you inhale sulfuric acid aerosols, seek fresh air and medical attention immediately.

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