Unlike acids, bases do not have an immediate burning sensation on the skin. For this reason, they are considered more dangerous than strong acids; because those affected do not, in many cases, realize they have been exposed. The most common sign of exposure to a strong base is a "slippery" feeling in the contact area, as though a thin layer of liquid soap covers the skin. This is caused by the base breaking down the organic material of the skin.
Super Clean is a degreasing agent manufactured and sold by the SuperClean corporation. This cleaning agent posses several chemicals that are very strong bases. Specifically, tetrasodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate, pH 11.8, and sodium hydroxide, pH 14. Contact with strong bases, such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH), is considered a medical emergency and attention must be administered immediately. All substances with more than 0.2% NaOH are considered caustic and must be labeled as such.
Remove all clothing in the contact area immediately including watches, glasses and rings. Cloth and leather materials should be discarded.
Flush the affected area with copious amounts of lukewarm water for at least 60 minutes. Do not interrupt the water bath for any reason. Emergency personnel will wait until the flush is completed.
Contact emergency personnel, if not already attempted, by dialing 911 or calling the local police station.
Gabriel Dockery began writing in 2009, with his work published on various websites. He is working toward a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience in a transfer program between Ivy Tech College and Indiana State University.