Question

If a few drops of a concentrated acid accidentally spills over the hand of a student, what should be done?

A

Wash the hand with saline solution

B

Wash the hand immediately with plenty of water and apply a paste of sodium hydrogencarbonate

C

After washing with plenty of water, apply solution of sodium hydroxide on the hand

D

Neutralise the acid with a strong alkali

Medium

Solution

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Correct option is B)

Some of the acids like sulphuric acid, nitric acid can be neutralized by adding  bases like sodium carbonate or sodium hydrogencarbonate. That is the reason for applying a paste of carbonate solution on a skin spill by an acid solution. 

Sulphuric acid spills or fumes are fatal as these can cause respiratory problems. It is better to start the cleanup by pouring sodium bicarbonate on the affected area. This is included in most acid spill kits but regular baking powder, soda ash or cat litter have the same effect. 

Sodium bicarbonate is a good choice because it will absorb the sulphuric acid and cause it clump which in turn makes it easier to pick up and dispose of safely.
Hence  B is correct answer

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