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Sulphuric acid

Key Points


  • Non flammable under normal conditions
  • Highly reactive
  • Releases toxic and irritating fumes when heated to decomposition
  • Do not use water on fuming acid
  • Use fine water spray and liquid-tight chemical protective suits with breathing apparatus
  • Gas-tight protective suits with breathing apparatus required for fuming acid


  • Exposure may occur following ingestion, inhalation, skin or eye exposure
  • Corrosive
  • Short-term inhalation may result in irritation of eyes and nose with sore throat, cough, chest tightness, headache and confusion
  • Short-term ingestion results in burns to the mouth and throat
  • Short-term skin exposure can result in irritation, swelling or burns
  • Short-term eye exposure may cause swelling, watering and sensitivity to light
  • Long-term inhalation leads to inflammation of the lungs and dental decay
  • Sulphuric acid mists are carcinogenic to humans. Sulphuric acid or sulphuric acid solutions are not considered to be carcinogenic
  • Sulphuric acid is not considered to be a developmental toxin


  • Avoid release into the environment
  • Inform Environment Agency of substantial release incidents

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Compendium of Chemical Hazards