Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Was filling a small motorcycle battery with sulfuric acid an

Was filling a small motorcycle battery with sulfuric acid an

Patient: Was filling a small motorcycle battery with sulfuric acid and the bottle stopped filling so I gave it a few (6 or 7) squeezes. Ithe last two squeezes were good ones, enough that I could smell the sulfur smell. I immediately left the room, and could feel my nose starting to burn. I used a net spot with baking soda to flush out my ml ose and followed up with a regular sinus rinse. My nose feels fine, but right now the back of my throat stings. should I be concerned about sinus or lung damage, what symptoms should I watch for? Thank you.



Symptoms: Stibging/burning



Doctor: Hi.Thanks for your query.Read your history of exposure and smelling of the fumes and having burning sensation in the nose for which you used neti with baking soda water and nose is felling fine.The same water must have rinsed the throat too.Now that the back of the throat stings.It seems you have already used Albuterol Inhaler and had a dose of Pepcid.If there are no other symptoms, you should not be concerned about any damage to the respiratory passage.Symptoms to watch:- Irritation to eyes.- Irritation to throat- Irritation to respiratory mucosa. Difficulty in breathing.Since you have not mentioned any, I hope everything is fine other than the throat irritation.This will settle on its own by bodily mechanism.Please let me know if you have any of the above and / or any other symptoms.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Thank you for your response. I have been fine all day. I charged the battery in my shed on 2 amp charge today, and when I came home I unhooked the battery from charge and installed in my motorcycle. This took only 5 minutes. While in the shed the door was open. I have read online that a charging battery can release hydrogen gas or acid into the air. Will 5 minutes exposure do harm if the window and door were open in an 8′ x 12′ shed? I have slight pain/hot sensation in the center of my chest and higher toward the bottom of my throat. I do not have any trouble breathing at this time. The feeling may or may not be related to this, and I’m not sure if I would be experiencing worse symptoms if it were something to be concerned about or not. Thank you.

Doctor: Thanks for feedback and nice to know that you were / are alright except a few mild problems you wrote about.
Ideally 5 minute exposure should not harm you with open door and window. If the air was mixed with such a thing you should have smelt it.
If you have no trouble in breathing , do not worry.
Take care from next time .
Keep the shade open for some time…


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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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