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Used toilet bowl cleaner with hydrochloric acid. Now chest, throat and sinus burning. Did I do permanent damage

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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I used lysol toilet bowl cleaner as tire soap for mounting truck tires. I read the bottle after words and it contains 9.50% hydorchloric acid. my lungs chest throat and sinuses hurt quite a bit im wondering if i did perminant damage or if this will go away and how soon??
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 3 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. Gastric acid normally present in the stomach contains 0.5% hydrochloric acid.

2. Commercially available cleaning solutions such as Lysol containing less than 10% hydrochloric acid will not cause permanent lung damage.

3. I am assuming that you were working outdoors or in a large enclosed space with the truck tires. I am also assuming that there are no other contents in this particular Lysol brand such as bleach, phenols and so on. Carry the package / label to your physician.

4. Usual treatment would be to get some fresh air and avoid further exposure immediately.

5. Chemical irritation which ensues with inhalation of the fumes causes the throat, sinus and lungs to hurt. If you do not feel well, it will be prudent to get a physician to examine you. Supportive medication may be prescribed. depending upon the amount of exposure, recovery may take a few hours or a couple of days. Only pneumonitis (chemical or secondary) can cause delayed healing.

7. If you feel that you are worsening, get a Chest X-ray, auscultation, videolaryngoscopy and oximetry (blood oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration). Lung function tests may be done later.

8. Kindly let me know the results of your investigations. This will help decide medication and further treatment.

I must emphasize that there is no long term damage expected with accidental (not deliberate) exposure to 9.5% hydrchloric acid inhalation.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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