Battery Acid powder - dangerous?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by strantor, May 17, 2012.

  1. strantor

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    A few years ago a Lead acid battery toppled over in the trunk of my mom's car and the contents drained down behind the back seat. The acid ate through the seatbelts. I'm just now getting around to installing new seatbelts for her. So I remove the back seat and find a massive snowscape of white powder. It's an inch thick in some places. When this happens with AA batteries I don't think twice about it, but cleaning up this mess I'm pretty sure I'll be inhaling at least a few clouds of it. Is this going to give me mesothelioma or lung cancer or something? Should I pour something on it to neutralize it first? How nasty is it for humans?
     
  2. strantor

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    fight club suggests I pour vinegar on it.
     
  3. strantor

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    So I finally found a practical use for my gas mask. Not sure if it was all that necessary, but better safe than sorry. I poured baking soda/water on the mess and wiped it up with paper towels.
     
  4. takao21203

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    Apr 28, 2012
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    sulphuric acid is an acid like all others, very corrosive, but not that toxic to touch. You can eventually try to taste a tiny bit of this stuff (only a very tiny bit), and if this tastes very sour, then it's still corrosive, not neutralized.

    Dispose off but don't put too much efforts into it.
     
  5. shortbus

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    Don't know who/what fight club is, but why would you put acid on acid?
    Baking soda is normally used to clean up/neutralize battery acid. The I use oil after that to stop the rust.
     
  6. strantor

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    A curious observation: After I poured the baking soda and wiped it all up with towels, I threw the towels on the ground. When I went to pick them up, they were swarmed with ants. Do ants eat this stuff? Maybe it was the baking soda they liked? Either one doesn't sound too appetizing.
     
  7. strantor

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    Fight club is a 1999 movie with Brad Pitt & Edward Norton. Pretty good movie IMO. Well, I got it wrong; in the movie they poured vinegar on lye to stop the burn.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg3m8wRVXWg
     
  8. #12

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    Apparently I take sulphuric acid more seriously than you. It's vicious stuff! It eats anything organic and most metals. Apparently it eats seat belts, too.

    Anyway, baking soda is the right thing to do. H2SO4 + NaHCO3 makes sodium sulphate and carbon dioxide. The sulphate is a salt, like table salt, and will continue to eat the metal in the car. I suggest excessive amounts of water folowed by a naval jelly type of phosphate treatment and some new paint. If you don't, you will be watching the white lines go by through the floor of the car.
     
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  9. bertus

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  10. P-MONKE

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    Lye is a powerful alkali so it would make sense to neutralise it with an acid.

    As for the ants? I don't know. What I do know is that my cat goes just as crazy for bleach as he does for catnip :eek: There's no telling what animals like...
     
  11. #12

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    This is the page for battery acid as determined by specific gravity of 1.2 or better.

    When I said it eats anything organic, that was about lungs, eyeballs, and skin. If that white powder was still carrying usable sulphuric acid it would eat those parts of you.

    Anyway, glad you had the sense to wear a mask. Glad you got the powder neutralized. Now, try to save the car.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
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  12. nsaspook

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  13. strantor

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  14. THE_RB

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    Sure! But to maximise good neighbour relations while wearing your suit you need to carry around some large plastic barrels with biohazard logo on the side, right out the front of their house, then spill a heap of coloured water out of one of the barrels and then run around all crazy screaming. Ahh hours of fun there. ;)
     
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  15. strantor

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    LOL hours, or months or years, after some cloak & dagger govt ops show up and haul me off to a location with no name and hold me on no charges, while they figure out what didn't happen.
     
  16. #12

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    I see you're familiar with our government.
     
  17. maxpower097

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    I had to move some big marine batteries when I was a kid. After moving it I realized I got wet after carrying a couple into the boat. My stomach burned/tingled but I didn't think nothing of it. When I was finishing up I felt my shirt and it had a white residue on it and felt hard like construction papar. Then I could fold my shirt and tear it just like construction paper. It was crazy. But lesson being it may of been diluted or something but that acid water in the battery turned my shirt into paper.
     
  18. bountyhunter

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    Put baking soda on it and water. Scrub with a wire brush, wash well with water then dry surface and hose down with WD-40 and dab off excess.
     
  19. PackratKing

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    Hi Strantor !!............Many moons ago, my wife tail-ended a car stopped dead in traffic, no lights - after dusk - in a Voyager minivan.....[she was unhurt]......which crushed the battery. While the car was being repaired, nobody gave much thought to splattering of electrolyte which saturated a large part of the wiring harnesses.....Not long down the road, the van started to have Beau Coup electrical issues :eek:
     
  20. dataman19

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    The ants were attracted to the cellulose fibers that were broken don into complex sugar chaiuns by the acid reacting to the undercoat and upholstery glue residue.
    ..
    Basic Chemistry..
    .. And a whole lotta hoopala in the Bio Fuels industry by company's trying to corner the cellulosic ethanol market..
    ..
    Basic fact..
    Acid breaks down cellulosic fiber chains into simpler (but still complex) sugar chains. Since most plants cellulose (including cotton, rayon, polyesters, and yes lawn grass) have their sugars locked in a cellulose chain, the acid is used to break the cellulose chains and allow access to the sugar chains.
    ..
    Now if I can just figure out how to convert cotton into chocolate - it would open a whole new industry, and entertainment venue. Throw a little chemical on a T-shirt and convert it to chocolate. This brings up a whole can of worms... Wet T-shirt contest my foot - WE GONNA HAVE A CHOCOLATE T-SHIRT CONTEST????
    ..
    Just poking fun,,,,
    ,,
    Dave
    Phoenix, AZ
    Dave
    Phoenix
     
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