Safety Data for Sulfuric Acid


Sulfuric acid is used to preserve water samples for Total Phosphorus analysis in the lab.


Liquid and mist cause severe burns to all body tissue.  May be fatal if swallowed.  Harmful if inhaled.  DO NOT get in eyes, on skin or clothing.  Do not breathe mist.  Wash thoroughly after handling.  Always keep container closed when not in immediate use. 
Always add the acid to water, never add water to acid.


If inhaled, move to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration.  If breathing is difficult, give oxygen.


If swallowed, DO NOT induce vomiting.  Give large quantities of water or milk if available.

Call a physician immediately.  Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.

Skin Exposure

In case of contact, immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing.  Call a physician if itchiness and/or burning sensations persist.

Eye Exposure

Wash eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting lower and upper eyelids occasionally.  Get medical attention immediately.


*Safety tip: If you store your lake sample in your refrigerator overnight to keep it cold before dropping it off at the lab, make sure you put it in a plastic bag or mark it so that no one drinks it out of the fridge.