Can household chemicals cause third degree burns?


Stop, drop, and roll have long been the watchwords when it comes to protecting against the dangers of fire and smoke.  Indeed, since childhood, we have all learned this important information from our parents, teachers, first responders, and an array of public service messages.  Unfortunately, this formula does not work nearly as well against chemical burns.  That being the case therefore, let us looks at the role household chemicals play in causing serious injuries as we explore the question of whether or not household chemicals can cause third degree burns, and what are your best steps to avoid these types of injuries and what you should do when that avoidance is impossible.

That is a Third Degree Burn?

When it comes to burns, victims are typically classified as having first, second, or third degree burns.    A first degree burn resembles that of sunburn with the upper layers of dermis receiving the brunt of the damage with the burn extending through the first level of skin.  Second degree burns are more intensive having burned through the second level of skin, while a third degree burn, also known as a full-thickness burn that extends past the first three levels of skins and damages the subcutis below.  An additional category, fourth degree burns are reserved for the most serious of damages.  These burns destroy the subcutis while causing damage to muscles, tendons, and nerve endings.

What are Chemical Burns?

All burns are not created equal, and chemical burns can be particularly painful and disabling.  Oftentimes, without the benefit of a heat source or smoke, people do not understand the inherent danger of working in close confines with a toxic chemical agent until the damage is already done.

By far, those at the biggest risk of sustaining a third degree chemical burn are children, the elderly, those incapable of mobility, and people lacking in cognitive ability to recognize the very real danger associated with some household chemicals.

When your skin or eyes come in contact with an irritant like acid as an example, the chemicals cause a reaction with the skin that leaves a burning sensation on the skin, or dermis.  Should the toxin be swallowed, these chemicals can potentially cause internal damage.

Any number of sources within the home can be identified as a culprit when it comes to causing household chemical burns including:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Car Battery Acid
  • Pool Cleaning Products
  • Much More

It is clear that there are as many ways to get to get a chemical burn in the home as there are chemicals in the home.  Should you or a family member come into contact with a chemical, immediately call poison control and get the victim to a doctor as soon as possible.

Caustic Dangers Around the House and Manufacturer Culpability

Caustic substances are an accepted aspect of modern living with their benefits outweighing the risks as long as reasonable and prudent measures are exhibited by the homwowner.  That being said however, should the manufacturer of the substance fail in their due diligence when it comes to packaging and usage instructions, that company could be partially or fully culpable should the worst happen as regards to protecting against chemical burns.

As an example, an aerosol cleaning product can cause caustic chemical burns on the lungs if it were to be breathed in by the victim.  The product’s description and directions should clearly note this fact while advising its use in only well ventilated areas of the home.  Without this common sense warning, the manufacturer could be liable for injuries, damages, and medical bills.

Whether your best approach is to sue a manufacturer in a burn injury lawsuit is a matter that is best discussed with a qualified attorney who can look at the facts of the case at hand and advise you accordingly.  Chemical burns can be a disfiguring, painful, and permanent ordeal, so getting the ongoing financial and medical support your recovery needs demands may well necessitate consulting with an area attorney to determine your best course of action.

As with all injuries, first ensure that you receive prompt and professional medical help then considering contacting professional counsel to discuss your case and determine whether a legal suit is a necessary and proper response to any manufacturer error in packaging, marketing, or direction of use for their product.