What to Do When Chemicals Drop on Your Body or Eye

What to Do When Chemicals Drop on Your Body or Eye


Accidents involving chemicals can happen in various environments, from laboratories and industrial settings to household kitchens. Knowing the proper first aid procedures when chemicals come into contact with your skin or eyes is crucial for minimizing injury and preventing further complications. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do if you find yourself in such a situation.

1. Stay Calm and Act Quickly

Panic can exacerbate the situation. Try to remain as calm as possible and act swiftly to minimize the chemical’s contact time with your body or eyes. Immediate action can significantly reduce the severity of the injury.

2. Flush the Area with Water

  • For Skin Contact:
    • Immediately remove any contaminated clothing or jewelry.
    • Rinse the affected area with lukewarm water for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Use a shower, hose, or faucet to ensure a thorough rinse. Avoid using hot or cold water as it can further irritate the skin.
  • For Eye Contact:
    • Hold your eyelid open and rinse with lukewarm water for at least 15 to 20 minutes. If available, use an eye wash station.
    • Do not use any substances other than water unless specifically instructed by a medical professional.

3. Avoid Rubbing or Touching

  • For Skin Contact:
    • Do not rub the affected area, as this can spread the chemical and cause further irritation or burns.
  • For Eye Contact:
    • Avoid rubbing your eyes. This can cause more damage and spread the chemical.

4. Remove Contaminated Clothing

Quickly remove any clothing that has been contaminated by the chemical. Be careful not to spread the chemical to other parts of your body while doing so. Cut the clothing off if necessary to prevent further exposure.

5. Seek Medical Attention

  • For Skin Contact:
    • If the chemical burn is severe, if the pain persists, or if you notice blisters or other signs of severe injury, seek immediate medical attention.
  • For Eye Contact:
    • After flushing your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes, seek immediate medical attention regardless of the severity. Eye injuries can be particularly serious and require professional evaluation.

6. Know the Chemical

Identify the chemical involved in the accident. If possible, bring the chemical container or safety data sheet (SDS) with you when seeking medical help. This information will be crucial for medical professionals to provide appropriate treatment.

7. Follow Up Care

  • For Skin Contact:
    • Continue to monitor the affected area for signs of infection or delayed reactions. Follow any care instructions provided by medical professionals.
  • For Eye Contact:
    • Attend any follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and to check for any lasting damage.

8. Prevent Future Incidents

Learn from the incident to prevent future occurrences. Review and improve safety protocols, ensure proper storage of chemicals, and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, and lab coats.

9. Emergency Preparedness

Ensure your workplace or home is equipped with necessary emergency supplies, such as eyewash stations, safety showers, and first aid kits. Regularly check these supplies to ensure they are in working order and easily accessible.

10. Educate and Train

Educate yourself and others on the proper handling and storage of chemicals. Regular training sessions can reinforce the importance of safety protocols and proper response techniques in case of accidents.


Chemical accidents can be frightening and potentially dangerous, but knowing how to respond effectively can make all the difference. By staying calm, acting quickly, and following the appropriate first aid steps, you can mitigate the impact of chemical exposure on your body or eyes. Always prioritize safety and preparedness to prevent accidents and ensure a swift and effective response when needed.

For high-quality safety products and training materials to help you stay prepared, visit Milan Safety. Your safety is our priority.

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