TABLE 1.

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
Cantharides
Mustard gas
DesiccantsSulfuric acidDehydration
Muriatic acidExothermic reaction
  • a Data are from references 9, 56, 57, 74, 223, and 305.