Battery Acid Burn - Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Sep 15, 2020   Pageview:46

Battery acid burn occurs when the skin or eyes come into contact with acid. Most batteries are sealed, but this does not mean one cannot contact the acid solution inside. The contact happens during the handling and repair of these batteries.

The burns cause pain and irritation, the formation of blisters on the skin, and damaged sight when acid enters the eyes. Severe acid burn can have complications, including infection, scarring, muscle and tissue damage, disfigurement, and depression.

Several batteries contain these acids, including lead-acid batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries, lithium-ion batteries, nickel-metal hydride, etc.

Furthermore, the most common acid is sulfuric acid, which is highly corrosive and causes severe burns. Besides, these burns can be treated as soon as they occur to minimize damage to the affected areas. Above all, there are several preventive measures highlighted below.

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What causes battery acid burn·

Several things cause battery acid burn. Others are caused by human carelessness, while faulty batteries cause others. The causes of battery acid burn are outlined below:


Leakage occurs when there are cracks in the battery casing or when the battery is old and damaged. The acid solution inside oozes out, posing the danger of burns when one comes into contact with it.


Batteries are mostly sober, and if not handled adequately during transportation, they might fall. Battery acid may spill and splash out to an individual. The acid spillage can be to clothing or even directly into the skin if one is not wearing protective clothing. The acid burn will occur in the contact area.

Poor Ventilation

If ventilation is lacking, the hydrogen gas from lead-acid batteries ignites once it escapes forming an explosive mixture that causes burns.

Protective Gear

When dealing with batteries, it is always advisable that you wear gloves and other protective gear. In case of any spillage or accident, you will not suffer fatal injuries. One is at risk of acid burn if protective gear, including gloves, apron, and goggles, are not worn.

Pouring water into acid during servicing of the battery cause acid to float and gets hot during regular operation, leading to spatter. Filling battery cells above the level indicated by the manufacturer may lead to excess solution pouring out.


How do you treat battery acid burn·

The process or methods of treating acid burns are as follows:

·When battery acid comes into contact with the skin or eyes, perform first aid immediately. In case of eye contamination, flush the affected eye with clean running water until the irritation subsides and eventually stops. You must take precautions to avoid affecting the unaffected eye.

·For skin burn, also flush the burnt area continuously until the irritation stops. Ensure contaminated clothing is removed.

·As a precautionary measure, cut parts of the clothing you are wearing rather than pulling them. This ensures acid is not spread to other parts of the body.

·In case the acid is ingested into the stomach, drink water or milk and seek immediate medical attention. Do not force yourself to throw up. Rinse mouth with water.

·After flashing with clean water, bandage the burn loosely to avoid putting pressure on the burned area. Caution should be taken not to use a stable stream of water as it causes more damage.

·For hydrochloric acid, flush with a large amount of running water and treat using a basic calcium gluconate solution.

·A neutral solution can be applied to the affected part of the skin and rinsed with clean water. If you are not sure about the neutral solution, do not apply as it might cause spontaneous reactions.

·Do not use the following solutions to neutralize the burn: sodium, potassium, lithium, and phosphorus-based solutions.

· If you inhale sulfuric acid fumes from the battery, move to an open area with fresh air and keep rest in a comfortable position to enable breathing.

·You may call the poison control center for more details concerning the treatment of the burn.

·If the burn is serious, seek medical assistance immediately. There you will be provided with burn rehabilitation and given the following treatments: skin replacement, pain management, counseling, and cosmetic surgery if need be.

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How do you avoid battery acid·

Prevention is vital in avoiding battery burns. It is always excellent to try and avoid an accident before it occurs, although, at times, other accidents cannot be prevented. Thus, the several ways of preventing acid burn include;

·When servicing or handling a battery, wear protective gear including gloves, splash-proof goggles, and an apron.

·Follow manufactures guidelines on servicing and handling of acid batteries.

·Rinse your clothes with clean water and soap after handling acid batteries. One is also advised to take a shower after servicing the batteries.

·Ensure you charge batteries in a well-ventilated room.

·Store batteries in a secure position to prevent them from overturning and spilling off.

·NEVER store batteries in hot places.

·Replace old and worn out batteries to avoid spillage.

·Use carries when transporting batteries rather than bare hands.

·Ensure vents capes are maintained to minimize the risk of electrolyte flush.

·Do regular checks and servicing to batteries according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

·Keep sharp objects and tools away from batteries as they can cause damage and short circuits.

·Do not overcharge a battery as it might inflate and explode, releasing acid solution causing severe burns.

·Follow manufacturer's guidelines by rinsing off batteries and cleaning terminals before recharging a battery.

·Do not recharge a completely damaged battery as it may explode.

·Replace worn out and damaged vent caps.

·Ensure there is an emergency shower station nearby, which can be accessed easily.

·Keep flammable substances or fire away from the batteries.

·Use batteries for their designed purposes only to avoid damage and spillage.

·Keep batteries in cool and dry places.

·Dispose of worn out and damaged batteries safely to prevent contamination.


It is your duty and responsibility to ensure your safety and that of your family. Therefore, handle batteries with extra care. Always advise your family and loved ones to use batteries in the right way. It is essential to check your battery more frequently to avoid any damage or acid burns.

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