Potassium Hydroxide is nasty stuff

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by HydroLynx, May 8, 2018.

  1.  
    HydroLynx

    HydroLynx Active Member

    Doing some safety research. Found some toxicological case reports about Potassium Hydroxide KOH below. From this it seems safer and better to use Potassium Bicarbonate which can be used as an actual chemical buffer against acidity, and isn't a strong base like KOH, which apparently can melt your eyes out:

    https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@[email protected]+1234


    /CASE REPORTS/ We have prospectively studied 31 patients who ingested strong alkalis for location, extent, severity, and outcome of the injury to the upper gastrointestinal tract. Alkalis ingested were sodium hydroxide (n = 28) and potassium hydroxide (n = 3). The injury was assessed within 36 h of alkali intake by endoscopy or surgery, or at autopsy. Symptoms and signs did not give a reliable forecast of the extent and severity of injury. The corrosive burns were classified as grade 2a in six patients, grade 2b in eight, and grade 3 in 17. The esophagus was injured in all patients, the stomach in 93.5%, and the duodenum in 29.6%. Acute complications occurred in 32.3% of the patients and death in 12.9%; all but one of such patients had grade 3 burns. All patients with 2a injury recovered without sequelae. Four of the eight patients with grade 2b injury and all survivors of grade 3 injury developed esophageal or gastric cicatrization, or both, which needed endoscopic or surgical treatment. We find endoscopy is not only a safe and reliable tool for diagnosis in such patients, but also is of importance in treatment and prognosis. We conclude that ingestion of strong alkalis is a very serious condition that inflicts severe contiguous injury to the esophagus and stomach and results in high morbidity and mortality. /strong alkalis/
    [Zargar SA et al; Am J Gastroenterol 87(3):337-41 (1992).] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract


    /CASE REPORTS/ BACKGROUND: Alkali burns are of special interest because of the rapid and deep penetration of alkali into the ocular tissues. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This report examines the epidemiology, management and outcome of 42 cases of alkali burns of the eye admitted to the eye clinic of the RWTH Aachen from 1985 to 1992. Aspects examined were the nature of accident, type of alkali, treatment and complications. The intention was to use this information for improvement of prevention and treatment of these cases. RESULTS: The age analysis showed the greatest at-risk population were the 20-40 year-old patients. 73.8% were industrial accidents, 30% happened to builders and labourers, 20% in the chemical industry and 20% in machine factories. At home most of the injuries were caused by lime and drain cleaners. Sodium and potassium hydroxide produced more extended and deeper damages than lime due to their rapid penetration through the ocular tissues. A delayed surgical intervention led to a longer time of stay in hospital and to a higher number of operations. All eyes could be prevented from melting, but an optical rehabilitation (visual acuity > 0.3) was achieved only in a few cases (14.5%). CONCLUSION: There is a need to ensure adequate public awareness of the danger of alkali burns to the eye. Beside the primary prevention, adequate first aid with immediate and continuous irrigation is of paramount importance. A uniform concept for the management of these severe cases is necessary including an antiinflammatory medical and surgical treatment.
    [Kuckelkorn R et al; Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 203(6):397-402 (1993).] **PEER REVIEWED**
    PubMed Abstract

    Here are some other misc horror case(s) about alkali battries and soda drinks:

    /CASE REPORTS/ Foreign bodies and alkali burns in the trachea and esophagus are potentially fatal. Some camera batteries contain 45% potassium hydroxide electrolyte which can leak and cause liquification necrosis upon tissue contact. This report describes a case of an alkali battery foreign body in the esophagus with a subsequent fatal course which was masked by steroid therapy. A discussion of corrosive burns of the esophagus, their etiology, clinical course and pathology is presented.
    [Blatnik DS et al; Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 86(5 Pt 1):611-5 (1977).] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract

    /CASE REPORTS/ A woman who ingested 20 g of KOH in aqueous solution suffered glossopharyngalgia and oral pharyngeal burns (Cello et al., 1980).
    [OECD; Screening Information Data Set (SIDS) Initial Assessment Report for SIDS Initial Assessment Meeting (SIAM) 13, Potassium Hydroxide (CAS 1310-58-3) November 2001. Available from, as of March 18, 2015. http://www.inchem.org/pages/hsg.html/ **PEER REVIEWED**


    /CASE REPORTS/ A young woman suffered severe burns in the oesophagus after consuming a soft drink contaminated by an industrial cleaning agent used to clean the non-disposable bottles. The "lemonade" had a pH of 13.3, a total alkalinity of 1.75 N, a sodium content of 1.75 mole/L and a potassium content of 1.15 mole/L.
    [OECD; Screening Information Data Set (SIDS) Initial Assessment Report for SIDS Initial Assessment Meeting (SIAM) 13, Potassium Hydroxide (CAS 1310-58-3) November 2001. Available from, as of March 18, 2015.
    http://www.inchem.org/pages/hsg.html/ **PEER REVIEWED**

    /CASE REPORTS/ A 4-year old boy who had a button battery lodged in his nose for approx. 24 hrs had local tissue corrosion, with a small perforation, caused presumably by the 25% KOH electrolyte. /Alkaline battery/
    [OECD; Screening Information Data Set (SIDS) Initial Assessment Report for SIDS Initial Assessment Meeting (SIAM) 13, Potassium Hydroxide (CAS 1310-58-3) November 2001. Available from, as of March 18, 2015.
    http://www.inchem.org/pages/hsg.html/ **PEER REVIEWED**

    /CASE REPORTS/ A 2-year old male was found to have a third degree (full thickness) burn on his right thigh due to exposure to the contents of leaking alkaline batteries. /Alkaline batteries/
    [OECD; Screening Information Data Set (SIDS) Initial Assessment Report for SIDS Initial Assessment Meeting (SIAM) 13, Potassium Hydroxide (CAS 1310-58-3) November 2001. Available from, as of March 18, 2015.
    http://www.inchem.org/pages/hsg.html/ **PEER REVIEWED**

    Moral of the story: Safety awareness.

     
  2.  
    churchhaze

    churchhaze Well-Known Member

    Use potassium hydroxide..... Potassium bicarbonate is shit.

    Don't put it in your eyes..... Also don't play with sharp knives or matches....
     
    SCJedi and OneHitDone like this.
  3.  
    churchhaze

    churchhaze Well-Known Member

    Let me guess. Also use apple cider vinegar for pH down?
     
  4.  
    HydroLynx

    HydroLynx Active Member

    Potassium bicarb is what's known as a "weak base" which is why it makes a actual pH buffer in biological systems, and adds extra K seeing that you must add more than KOH.

    Buffer chemistry 101: strong acids and bases don't make a "buffer" per se, because they completely ionize in solution and drop/raise the pH like a stone/rocket. Weak acids like citric acid will release each of their 3 hydrogen ions ONLY when the pH rises to particular points in the pH scale, that effectively drops the pH when needed. This is an actual control system. Phosphoric acid also makes a pH buffer, sulfuric acid does not as it releases both it's hydrogen ions at once regardless of surrounding pH value. The more hydrogen ions, the lower the pH will be ie more acidic. It's a pain trying to keep pH at a particular level using strong acids and bases, why not just let feedback loops control that for you. Look up "biological buffer systems" to get the appropriate concentrations you should be using. I going to be experimenting with the dipotassium phosphate--citric acid buffer system, as I have enough P (50ppm) coming from MKP and S coming from K2SO4 (60ppm) in DWC. Citric acid also can chelate micronutes to a degree and plants do take it in unlike shitty EDTA.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
  5.  
    HydroLynx

    HydroLynx Active Member

    Here is how phosphoric acid controls pH as a function of increasing pH. Note how the H3PO4 becomes PO4 + 3H+ at like pH 13. Those 3H+ only are ionized or released, as the pH goes in the wrong direction (up), so the phosphoric acid molecule corrects for this by making acidic H+ hydrogen ions, which then drops the pH back down again.
    Image133.gif

    Not just more useful, but safer to use. Why use strong bases like KOH that can melt your eyes out when you can use a "weak base" buffer system such as bicarbonates. Accidents do happen.
     
  6.  
    churchhaze

    churchhaze Well-Known Member

    I think you're posting in the wrong section and that you chose the wrong name.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018

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