Chemical burns represent approximately 10% of all eye injuries, and most of these injuries occur at work. There are three factors that affect the severity of the burn:
- The substance causing the burn;
- The length of time the substance had contact with the eye;
- The treatment received for the injury
The substances causing burns are: alkaline compounds, acidic compounds and irritants. Alkaline compounds typically cause the worst injuries because they tend to penetrate deeper into the eye's surface. Examples of alkaline compounds are lye, ammonia, lime, magnesium and potassium hydroxide. Acidic compounds generally have a lower pH so they are not as damaging to the eye as alkaline substances. However, they can still do significant damage to the cornea and cause blindness. Typical sources of acidic compounds are nail polish remover, the sulphuric acid in car batteries, vinegar and glass polish containing hydrofluoric acid. Finally, there are a wide range of irritants including pepper spray and many widely-used detergents.
Chemical burns of the eyes require immediate medical attention, but they can also necessitate long-term care and monitoring with expensive tests and medications. In addition to the significant expense of medical care, a serious eye injury can have a devastating impact on the victim's day to day life and future. If you or someone you love sustained a chemical burn due to someone's negligence or if the chemical burn occurred on the job, one of our experienced eye injury attorneys at the Law Offices of John Day can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If you would like to discuss a potential claim, please contact us online or call us at 615-742-4880 or 866.812.8787 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We have recovered more than $100 million for our clients and we would like to help you too.