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Cement Burns & How To Treat Them

Construction is an industry which is capable of magnificence – creating unimaginable buildings and structures; providing shelter and stability; empowering commerce and development. It is the cumulation of incredible amounts of time, work, efforts on the part of a lot of people and organizations. When it comes to projects as large as the ones commonly worked upon in the construction industry, there are bound to be several health hazards. One particularly worrying and common hazard is a cement burn.

Dry cement is full of calcium oxide, which is fairly safe when come to close contact with. However, when water is introduced to the mix, calcium hydroxide is formed which is known to be potent and extremely alkaline with a pH value of 12-13. West cement produce intense alkaline burns on skin, as human skin has a pH value of 5.5. The burns will inevitably get worse, and so needs to be treated immediately. Workers in construction may have wet concrete on their skin for hours and not feel any irritation, but the damage to the skin is happening on a microscopic level and throughout. It is important the cement burns are identified early and treated at the earliest.

Cement burns cause skin discoloration, turning the skin to a deep blue hue. The burn becomes significantly worse, changing to painful burns, ulcerations and in the worst degree – amputation. Inflammations and blisters also appear with time, with red and inflamed skin. Wet concrete also physically breaks down the surface of skin, draws moisture from the surface and introduces chemicals and metals which may cause allergic dermatitis.

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Routine safety procedures are necessary to reduce the risk of cement burns. Some suggestions are as stated below :

  • Teach your workers about the impact of direct contact of their skin with wet concrete.
  • Follow rigid procedures necessary to avoid direct contact, for example, to wear appropriate gear and equipment, wearing full-cover safety goggles, waterproof pads on knees, elbows and hands
  • Provide immediate first aid as soon as there is direct contact.

Symptoms of a concrete burn are the following:

  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Itching
  • Blisters & scabs
  • Physical pain

Following are the immediate first aid steps which need to be followed:

  • As soon as you notice a burn forming, remove all clothing, jewelry and protective gear.
  • Brush off all dry concrete before washing.
  • Wash the burnt area under cold running water for 20 minutes. Add vinegar to help stop the burn.
  • Go to the medical professionals, and ensure they know that it is a cement burn.

Safety should be foremost priority; and it should be yours too!

Source: mahacement

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