Class 8 – Corrosive Substances

Corrosive substances are those that chemically damage or destroy many materials including metals, building materials and goods, and attack tissue – the skin or mucous membrane – when they come into contact.

Corrosives can be:
acid substances
basic or alkali substances
other corrosive substances

Most corrosives (though not all) are acids or alkalis. These are chemical ‘opposites’. One can neutralise the other, although there may be violent reactions.

Common acids are usually liquids and the most common alkalis may be in solid form.

Some common acids are:
sulphuric acid
hydrochloric acid
nitric acid
acetic acid

Some common alkalis are:
caustic soda (sodium hydroxide)
potassium hydroxide

Main Hazards:
The extent of the damage caused by corrosives will depend on:
whether the corrosive is strong or weak (strong corrosives are more damaging)
the concentration (the higher the concentration, the greater the damage)
the temperature (the higher the temperature, the greater the damage)

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