Q:

What are some household alkalis?

A:

Quick Answer

Common household alkalis include indigestion tablets (antacids), bleach, toothpaste, baking powder, cream cleaner, oven cleaner, metal polish and alkaline batteries. They can have moderate to severe levels of toxicity.

Know More
What are some household alkalis?
Credit: Mike Kemp Getty Images

Full Answer

Alkalis react with acids and neutralize them. For example, indigestion tablets neutralize excess stomach acid. Alkalis such as bleach, oven cleaner and cream cleaner are stronger, corrosive and can damage the proteins that build hair and grease. Baking powder contains both an alkali and acid. When mixed in a solution, the ingredients react and produce carbon dioxide gas bubbles, which expand and make the baking mix rise.

Alkaline products usually have little odor or taste, increasing the likelihood of large ingestions occurring and causing more harm. In contrast, acids cause immediate, sharp pain, so only negligible quantities may be ingested. Ingesting large quantities of alkalis may cause symptoms such as serious injury to the skin, eyes, respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract. Other symptoms may include drooling, difficulty swallowing, squinting of eyes, difficulty breathing, pawing at the mouth, vomiting, abdominal pain and redness in the exposed area.

Pets that ingest alkalis may exhibit symptoms like severe caustic or corrosive injury (depending on how concentrated the alkali is) and mild tissue irritation.

Treatment for alkali ingestion includes fluid therapy, decontamination (flushing of the exposed area), symptomatic supportive care and anti-ulcer medication. Severe poisoning can cause severe tissue injury or perforation/rupture of the intestine. Immediate medical attention is required.

Learn more about Acids & Bases

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do antacids neutralize acids?

    A:

    Antacids are bases, also known as alkalis, that react with acids to produce relatively neutral solutions of water and salt. According to the National Library of Medicine, antacids in the form of tablets and liquids are used to treat acid reflux by neutralizing excess stomach acid.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you clean a brass eagle oil lamp burner?

    A:

    To clean a brass oil lamp burner, use a mix of sodium bisulfate, a Brillo pad, a sealable container, a blow dryer, steel wool, metal polish and lacquer finish. Ensure the oil lamp is actually made of brass before cleaning to avoid damaging the lamp.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do chemists use methyl orange in a titration?

    A:

    Methyl orange is frequently used as an indicator in acid titrations because it very clearly changes from red at a pH of 3.1 to orange at a pH of 4.4. Because the change in color takes place around the pH of most acids, methyl orange is commonly used for strong acid titrations and not for base titrations.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can stomach acid dissolve metal?

    A:

    The primary digestive agent in the human stomach, hydrochloric acid, makes the stomach capable of dissolving metal. The body produces hydrochloric acid in the beginning stages of digestion.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore