Are acids and bases equally dangerous?

1 Answer
Feb 24, 2016


Both acids and bases are highly corrosive. I suggest that concentrated bases are a bit more dangerous.


If you get splashed with acid, you know it immediately: it stings, and you know what action to take (which is wash with copious water!). On the other hand, when you get splashed with bases, you don't immediately know; you can keep working in a base bath with holey gloves, and it is only after a while that you notice that something is wrong with your hands (when damage may have been done!).

You might notice that chemists get a bit blase with regard to the hazards of burns, and stings, and cuts. They would, however, be very protective of their eyes. If you walk into a lab, you should don safety glasses immediately, and if you see someone without glasses you give them a beatdown. Your eyes are something that you never expose to corrosive chemicals.