If you are a homeowner who likes to get your hands dirty doing home improvement projects, it's important that you understand how dangerous that could be when working with concrete. That way, you are better able to protect yourself. Here's what you need to know.
Sneak Attack of Concrete Burns
Concrete is alkaline (caustic) due to one of the ingredients in the mixture—lime. Caustic substances burn tissues, including the skin and eyes. It's crucial to understand that, when in direct contact with concrete, the exposed tissue will continue to burn. Keep in mind that the cracks in the skin that are formed from the burn can easily trap the caustic substance in the skin, which means that the burn will continue to worsen if the wound is not properly irrigated by a medical professional.
In fact, concrete burns can become so severe that the burns can go all the way to the bone. If this were to happen, you could end up with a disfiguring scar or need a limb amputated. In the concrete field, this is known as a sneak attack because it can happen over several hours or days and will keep causing tissue damage until all traces of the caustic substance is removed from the skin.
Protection from Concrete Burns
The easiest way to prevent concrete burns is to do everything you can to reduce the risks of getting concrete on your skin and in your eyes. Eye protection, long rubber gloves, and footwear are important. Of course, long pants and long sleeves are recommended; however, the clothing should be made of water-resistant material for the best in protection. You don't want to wear anything that concrete can soak through and sit on your skin through the clothing. You can purchase protective gear that is suitable from your concrete product supplier.
First Aid for Concrete Exposure
It's important to treat exposed skin and eyes immediately if someone comes in direct contact with concrete, even if they do not notice a burn yet on their skin and/or in their eyes. Wash the skin thoroughly with a soap that is pH neutral and/or rinse the eyes with a pH neutral eye wash. Make certain that the soap and eye wash are pH neutral as this will help neutralize the caustic effects of the alkaline substance in the concrete. You can purchase these products through your concrete product supplier.
Closely examine the skin and/or eyes. If there are any signs of irritation or burn, go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic so the wound can get medically irrigated to stop the sneak attack of a concrete burn. Talk to a business like Unit Step Company for more information.