Classification of chemicals that cause burn injurya

ClassExample(s)Mode of action
Reducing agentsHydrochloric acidBind free electrons in tissue proteins
Oxidizing agentsSodium hypochloriteOxidized on contacting proteins producing toxic by-products
Corrosive agentsPhenolDenatures tissue proteins
Protoplasmic poisonsHydrofluoric acidBind calcium or other ions essential to cell function
Acetic acid
VesicantsDimethyl sulforideIschemia with anoxic necrosis
Mustard gas
DesiccantsSulfuric acidDehydration
Muriatic acidExothermic reaction
  • a Data are from references 9, 56, 57, 74, 223, and 305.