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Working With These Materials? You May Need an Eyewash Station

eyewash stationSome hazardous materials almost automatically warrant the installation of eyewash stations. In this blog post, we’ll review a few of these materials and some the industries and processes in which they’re commonly found and used.

Sulfuric Acid

Sulfuric acid is also known as battery acid. It’s a highly corrosive mineral acid that, at high concentrations, can cause serious damage on contact. If splashed in the eyes, it can lead to permanent blindness.

Sulfuric acid is used to produce other chemicals used in fertilizer and cleaning agents. It’s also used in the making and charging of car batteries.

Anhydrous Ammonia

Anhydrous ammonia is a pungent gas, formed by combining nitrogen and hydrogen. It’s corrosive to the skin and eyes and can cause burns and frostbite.

It’s commonly used in refrigeration applications, agriculture and metal treatment as well as and chemical, pharmaceutical and petroleum industries.


Formaldehyde is a strong smelling, colorless gas. It can be inhaled (when gaseous) or absorbed through the skin (when liquid). It can cause immune system responses and allergic reactions at initial and subsequent exposure.

Formaldehyde is used to create many other materials and chemical compounds. It’s used in many manufacturing processes (especially automobile and textiles) as a preservative, fixative agent and disinfectant.

Sodium Hydroxide

Also known as caustic soda or lye, sodium hydroxide is a strong alkali. It can irritate and severely burn skin and tissues depending on length of exposure.

It’s used in many industries, including pulp and paper, textiles, petroleum products, aluminum production, bleach manufacturing and in soaps and detergents.

Methylene Chloride

Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane, is a colorless liquid that smells like chloroform. Skin exposure may cause irritation or severe burning with longer contact.

This chemical is used as a solvent in a number industrial processes, including paint stripping, pharmaceutical manufacturing, paint remover manufacturing, and metal cleaning.

This is not an exhaustive list, of course. There are many other chemicals that can cause eye irritation or damage.

When working with any of these chemical hazards, employees should wear the correct personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles, impervious clothing and gas masks. And, of course, eyewash stations should be available in case of accident.

See our article for more on industries that typically need eyewash stations.

Eyewash Stations at Select Safety Sales

At Select Safety Sales, we carry a variety of eyewash stations and supplies and a good selection of protective equipment such as safety goggles and aprons.

If you need help selecting an eyewash station or protective equipment for your workplace, feel free to contact our safety experts. You can reach us at 866-864-3495, sales@selectsafetysales.com or through online chat.


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