Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant explains on the Veterinary Support Personnel Network that acids typically cause pain upon exposure and produce localized coagulative necrosis of tissue. Alkaline products with a pH level above 11 are capable of causing serious corrosive injury.
Clinical signs mostly occur immediately upon exposure to acids, states Dr. Gwaltney-Brant. Ingestion of acids results in oral pain, vomiting with or without blood, dysphagia, abdominal pain, vocalization and irritation of oral and/or esophageal mucosa. Gastric ulceration occurs with high levels of exposure. Ulceration or dermal irritation also occurs with dermal exposure.
Alkaline products include ammonium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and potassium permanganate. Harmful alkaline agents generally cause liquefactive necrosis by penetrating local tissue quickly and deeply. However, unlike acidic products, exposure to an alkaline product causes little pain. Clinical signs do not develop immediately, often taking up to 12 hours for the tissue damage to become evident.
According to the BBC, concentrated sulfuric acid is very caustic and requires careful handling. Moreover, a concentrated solution of the alkali sodium hydroxide is also corrosive, and it is used for removing skin from bones to acquire skeletons. Dangerous acids and alkalis are generally stored in containers with hazard warning signs and are handled with gloves and goggles.Learn More
Neutral substances are chemicals that have no properties of either acids or bases, have equal parts hydrogen and hydronium ions and don't change the color of litmus paper or other acid-base indicators. Neutral substances include water, glucose solutions and salt solutions. These chemicals have a pH of 7.0 on a scale of 14. In terms of toxicity, neutral substances are generally harmless to the touch.Full Answer >
One can tell if something is an acid because acids have several distinguishing characteristics, including turning phenolphthalein from pink to colorless and blue litmus paper to red. Acids burn cuts, taste sour and react with other substances to form gases.Full Answer >
All acids release positively charged hydrogen atoms in water. This distinguishes them from bases, which release negatively charged hydroxide ions in water. Most, but not all, acids have a number of similar properties, including taking the form of a fluid, having a sour taste and feeling sticky to the touch. Additionally, most acids produce hydrogen gas when they react with a metal.Full Answer >
Some acids that react with metals are sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. The most common metals that react with acids are iron, lead, magnesium and zinc.Full Answer >