If an individual spills some 8 M H2SO4 on her/his arm, what treatment should be used?
(A) Neutralize it immediately with a paste of NaOH in H2O.
(B) Rinse it with H2O followed by a dilute solution of NaHCO3.
(C) Wash it with a solution of concentrated aqueous NH3.
(D) Wrap it tightly with gauze coated with petroleum jelly.
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H2SO4 is highly soluble in water. 8M H2SO4 solution, on further dilution, produces very little or no heat at all. Hence washing with water is a safe option.
If an individual spills some 8 M H2SO4 on her/his arm, he/she is in a serious risk of burn/ tissue damage due to the acid. Thorough washing with loads of water cleanses most of the acid in a manner which is absolutely non-hazardous. Finally, rinsing with dilute NaHCO3 solution clears off the last traces of the acid from the affected area, again in a non-hazardous manner. So, option B) is the recommended treatment protocol.
Using NaOH is not allowable as it is highly hazardous to skin.
Concentrated NH3 solution is also highly corrosive against the soft tissues, especially those in the eyes, hence should be avoided.
Wrapping it tightly is absolutely prohibited. Use of petroleum jelly offers no obvious help.
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