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[–] dontmindthemess 3 points 58 points (+61|-3) ago 

Pull your gun out and shoot the fucker.

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[–] Doomking_Grimlock 2 points 47 points (+49|-2) ago 

Unless you got it in your eyes, in which case your aim has been compromised and you're more likely to hurt an innocent bystander.

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[–] Seventh_Jim 0 points 44 points (+44|-0) ago 

Found the responsible gun owner.

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[–] turtlesarepureevil 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Someone has to pay.

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[–] Tallest_Skil 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

At that point, who gives a flying fuck? Kill them all. They LET it happen.

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[–] IslamIsCancerous 0 points 17 points (+17|-0) ago 

if you're from the UK pull out your spoon and whip the attacker, but don't let the police see you carrying such a dangerous weapon

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[–] dontmindthemess 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

Don't call them terrorists. You'll be the one going to jail while the cops console the acid throwers. You racist, islamiphobe bastard!

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[–] HeavyBrain 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

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[–] turtlesarepureevil 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

assault kitchen knives

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[–] mcdowell_ag 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Just in case this isn't obvious - this is happening in the UK mostly because almost anything else is banned. If the perpetrators could carry guns - or even knives - without fear of arrest after stop-and-search they would be doing so. MPs are now trying to write laws that will ban the chemicals used without stopping households from buying chemicals which have sensible uses. It's also a rather nasty example of learning from diversity - this is new to the UK but was a traditional method of revenge - especially against women - in some of the cultures now present in the UK. At least one of the perpetrators looks like he has a UK non-immigrant name, so this cultural activity has transferred to UK non-immigrants.

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[–] KingChem 5 points 49 points (+54|-5) ago 

in the incident of chemical exposure copious amounts of water is always the correct answer. There is no way to know what was used, as strong bases have similar effects to acids, always use water no matter what.

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[–] greycloud 3 points 31 points (+34|-3) ago 

there are forms of superacid that are much more harmful if you foolishly put water on them. the water will cause the acid to cover more area and do more damage. if the acid you are dealing with is creating burns on contact the best method is to use a powder to sponge up the acid without spreading it to areas that it has not contacted. this is true for both acids and alkaline caustic agents.

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[–] namitoid 0 points 29 points (+29|-0) ago 

Odds of an attacker using a superacid? Zero. 100% of these acid attackers are using readily available off-the-shelf acids (which in the US at least are limited to hydrochloric, sulfuric, citric, and maybe acetic).

Odds of you having access to a powder to sponge up the acid when getting doused on the street? Pretty close to zero.

Flushing immediately with water is your best and really only option in most likely scenarios.

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[–] Damnpasswords 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Riiight, and the human body is mostly composed of what exactly? He's not ironman

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[–] SyriansAreTerrorists 0 points 14 points (+14|-0) ago 

Also, neutralizing an acid is almost always a very exothermic process. You may have fixed the corrosion problem, but burned your skin off in the process

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[–] Amadameus 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

The exotherm can be easily drowned out in a flood of cold water - which is usually what's available.

Also, the majority of strong exotherming behavior is with acids at extremely high molarities. Standard shit-tier concentration acids sold in stores aren't going to have the peak of the exotherm anyway.

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[–] Damnpasswords 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

WHICH WILL ALSO HAPPEN IF IT REACTS WITH THE WATER IN YOUR BODY. Fight Club was bullshit, unless it's nonpolar (IE, another damaging agent, like the one in abreva) then use WATER

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[–] Subtenko 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

corrosion could have hit 2 layers vs neutralizing 1 layer?

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[–] Fuzzycrumpkin 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

I would say we kept large quantities of baking soda in our chemistry course for a reason. We also had a eye flush.

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[–] hardshaft 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Especially in case of exposure to bases it cannot be emphasized enough, you can't flush with water for too long. I think most people at least know of somebody who's been exposed to NaOH at home, perhaps just a short touch without gloves and then flushed for maybe half an hour, and afterwards they wondered why it kept on burning for a day and a half.

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[–] DammitMoonMoon 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

exposed to NaOH at home,

Would this be like oven cleaner? Because I was once cleaning an oven using Easy Off, had on my long yellow rubbermaid gloves. Reaching into the oven to wipe out the residue some if it snuck up past the top of my glove. I kept feeling like something was irritating my arm, looked down to see it was red and peeling. Immediately took off the gloves and ran water over my arm for probably 30 minutes. That spot burned for about 48 hours though.

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[–] greycloud 7 points 24 points (+31|-7) ago 

cover it in powder. baking soda is preferable, dirt will work. depending on how strong the acid is, this may cause a tremendous amount of heat. if the acid is super strong, than baking soda is no longer preferable, and suddenly chalk is more preferable. if the acid is weak than you can just wash it off with water, but it probably wasn't going to be overly harmful anyway (so long as not in the eyes). once you dry wash the acid off with powder (think of it like absorbing water into kitty litter, in fact kitty litter would be a good thing to use), than you can wash the remaining acid off with a liquid. if it is very caustic acid use vinegar or wine, if it is not highly caustic use water. try to get the liquid wash so that it does not run down unexposed body parts and instead falls on the ground if outside or some surface that can resist the acid if inside.

before doing the powder wash remove all clothing that could hold the acid. you don't want the clothes turning into an acid sponge that holds the acid against the skin. this would be counterproductive. also any clothes that are exposed to the acid can help you determine how strong the acid is.

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[–] WakkoWarner 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

The problem is that you can find water pretty much everywhere while powder is harder to find. I suppose that if you are hit by acid you don't really have much time to go around asking if someone has some unused kitty litter to share with you.

Also, would baking soda be effective with bases too?

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[–] Amadameus 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Baking soda is more effective with acids but it will neutralize bases as well. This is because the carbonate ion in baking soda isn't really an acid or a base, it's a buffer that will react with either end of the pH spectrum and try to bring it back to the middle.

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[–] YouveSeenTheButcher 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Have a pocket full of kitty litter.
Be prepared

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[–] Bitpad 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

sounds like this would be one heck of a riot kit to get together. Would Climbing chalk work as your are describing, or more the old school blackboard / playground chalk in white.

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[–] greycloud 1 points -1 points (+0|-1) ago 

most forms of chalk should work, you would prefer some type of X-bicarbonate as these act as buffers and can work to help neutralize both acids and bases. but that is not always ideal to carry in large amounts (in small amounts a bottle of crushed antacids would work pretty well). the key point to walk away with is that even dirt will work, and in cases of highly caustic acids and alkaline solutions dirt will work better than water. use water afterwards or in a pinch if no powder like substance that could absorb the chemical is available than go for the water. as pointed out earlier it is unlikely a civilian attacker is using a highly caustic agent, but the governments would as well as well trained and supplied terrorists.

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[–] JohnGoodman 0 points 21 points (+21|-0) ago 

The fucked up thing is that this is even a question. Water is about the only realistic thing to use on short notice but if it's strong acid your probably screwed either way

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[–] 9840681? 0 points 16 points (+16|-0) ago 

News stories about acid attacks on people are scaring me. Very screwed up, indeed.

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[–] obvious-throwaway- 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

You fucking racist, how dare you question their religious right to throw acid in your face. INFIDEL!!!

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[–] Amadameus 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Short version: It probably won't burn right away - stay calm and run to the nearest water source. Get help. If it's in your eyes, rinse with water until emergency crews arrive. If it's on your body, you can neutralize with baking soda but rinsing with water is still better.

Now in the news they say "acid attack" because people immediately understand what that is, but there are corrosive bases just as much as there are corrosive acids. If it's an acid, it will taste sour and tangy. Remember citric acid? All acids taste a little bit like that. If it's a base, it will feel slippery-soapy. (Fun fact: that slippery feeling is the base dissolving the fats and oils of your skin) Most of the horrifying scars you see on people who were attacked are scar tissue. When it first happens, it will feel like a burn.

These are the likely culprits: sulfuric acid is cheap and easy to get from auto stores as it goes in lead-acid batteries. Muriatic acid is cheap and easy to get from pool supply stores as they use it to maintain the pool's pH balance. Sodium hydroxide is cheap and easy to get from hardware stores as it's a common drain cleaner.

The standard lab procedure for spills is not to attempt any neutralization, but to simply flush with water for 15 minutes or more. Since there are very rarely eyewash stations or emergency decontamination showers available on the street, here's what I'd do...

  • Don't panic. Or maybe panic.

Okay, so now try to relax. Your brain is immediately going to conjure up something like this but in reality corrosives are not nearly so rapid. It takes a few minutes for serious damage to be done, and another 30 minutes or more for you to feel the effects starting. (Much faster if it's in your eyes, of course) Most chemical burns in a lab happen because you didn't notice something spilled on you - suddenly you feel itchy or strange, you go to scratch your wrist and notice the burn that's been simmering there for a half hour.

Go look at some videos of acid dissolving shit. Notice how most of the videos of acid baths are either dissolving a metal (highly susceptible to acids) or only show a long time-lapse at high speed? It's because this shit doesn't happen right away. The video I linked probably took place over two hours or more.

There are a few exceptions to this, however! The first is piranha solution - a mixture of concentrated acid and concentrated hydrogen peroxide. If you can feel violent bubbling or the liquid they splashed on you is hot, it's probably this stuff and panicking is a good option. The second is if you can't breathe - this means that you've been splashed with a fuming acid and breathing it in will apply the acid directly to your lungs. Get thee to a strong air source and keep air moving over your face so you can breathe air instead of acid fumes.

  • Get fucking help from someone.

Acid attacks are particularly nasty in the Middle East because the woman splashed won't get any help from the men around so she has to get home before she can get it off. If you can get help right away, you will probably be OK.

Biggest drill instructor voice you've got, bellow to the whole world: THERE IS ACID IN MY EYES - I NEED HELP RIGHT FUCKING NOW! Grab someone in particular and tell them specifically to call 911. Have someone point you in the direction of the nearest water source.

  • Get water on your face and keep spraying for forever.

If there's water within reaching distance you might be able to get it yourself, but otherwise you'll need help. Go to the first place you can find that's got a sink or a faucet - anything that can get you running water. A gas station or restaurant is good, the employees will have a hose somewhere in the back.

Water won't neutralize the acid, but it can move the acid to somewhere other than your face. Spray yourself down, total body coverage, starting with the head and going downwards. Once you're completely soaked keep spraying. I'm serious, don't stop even after you're sure it's all gone. It's not.

Strip off any clothing you've got. It's just a sponge holding the acid close against your body. You should be sitting there in your underwear when emergency crews arrive.

  • Spray out your eyeballs.

You think I'm joking? Your eyes are basically taking a bath in tears - once acid gets in there, you need to wash out the entire fucking eyeball because now they're bathing in acid. So hold your eyelids open with your fingers and spray water into your goddamn eyeball until you can feel the cold water against the inside of your ocular cavity. Again, do this for so long that you stop being scared and start being bored.

  • What about neutralization?

If you happen to have baking soda handy it can act as a buffer and neutralize most acids or bases due to the many stable oxidation states available to carbonate ions, but honestly it's harder to find that shit than it is to just find water. It's also much more specific and can't go into your eyes because it's gritty, so really this isn't a good option.

Stop-drop-and-roll is going to do exactly fuckall of nothing to help you. If it's on your skin it's already working.

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[–] revfelix 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

Asking for a friend. Semi-urgent.

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[–] SteelDusk 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Your friend lives in London?

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[–] ChaoticNeutral 1 points 7 points (+8|-1) ago 

Water Water Water, rinse the area as fast as possible for 15 minutes.

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[–] OhBlindOne 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago  (edited ago)

Not necessarily. Water can actually make some acids worse. Water doesn't neutralize most acids, it simply dilutes them. For example, lye will not be neutralized by water.

Vinegar is one of the most common and universal neutralizing agents as far as I know. Use that.

Edit: I was wrong

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[–] ChaoticNeutral 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

I'm a Chemist. Water doesn't neutralize an acid or a base at any effective level. Water dilutes all acids and doesn't make them worse. There is a very exothermic period when the acid is concentrated but if you're using a hose or a faucet it's your best bet. Dilution moves pH towards neutral for an acid or a base.

Lye is not an acid, it's a base. Going from a powder to solution will result in dissolution, a concentrated solution of anyhing will cause chemical burns. I'm assuming they are using flowing water, not a wet napkin. Also, the assholes throwing acid are using a solution not powders.

The problem with suggesting various neutralizing agents is that people who know nothing about chemistry may fuck it up and hurt themselves. Dilution with water is the fastest, most simple, and easiest to remember. I was trying to provide info that will help the most people.

Also, while the question was about acid, if some asshole throws something in your face you have no idea what it is.

As a side tip, a base is much more dangerous to the eyes than an acid. It's considered an opthalmalogic emergency.

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[–] Gorillion 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

Okay, go find vinegar while your face is burning off.

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[–] monkeytennis 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Water isnt a neutralising agent but massively diluting any acid down will quickly solve your problem. You do have the problem that water will get heated very quickly when added to strong acid, but thats why you want to drown someone in as much water as possible as quickly as possible.

Nobody is going to be carrying around pH 7 buffer on them.

Where did you get the idea vinegar was a neutralising agent? Vinegar is acetic acid and mostly water, the only "neutralising" it will do is due to the water diluting down the concentration of face-acid. Just use regular water? Unless im missing some unique vinegar thing ive never heard about.

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[–] Alopix 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Lye is not an acid. Vinegar does not neutralize acid, since it is an acid.

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[–] Moabman 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

Probably easier to just take to wearing full riot gear around. Kevlar weave to protect against knives, padding to protect against blunt objects and possibly cars, helmet to protect against head injuries, one of those big face shields to protect against acid. Also you'll probably get mistaken for police so weigh that against your increased odds of targeted assassination, at least in the US.

Situational awareness is I guess the best realistic solution. Avoid weird people. Do not give anyone the benefit of the doubt. Keep your windows up and doors locked if you're driving. And pray....

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[–] SurfinMindWaves 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Best answer.

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[–] geraldo 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Hey, what about DIY. It's not like we have thousands of dolars to spend. I agree on @Moabman 's second suggestion though. They are creepy

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