Concrete DIY'ers Beware!

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Old 01-11-07, 01:35 PM
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Concrete DIY'ers Beware!

There are always questions on this forum where people want to do their own concrete work. We all try to help with tips when we can. However, I'm not sure if anyone has ever mentioned that wet concrete can actually cause severe chemical burns on exposed skin. Being in the industry, I know it but don't remember ever cautioning anyone about it here.
According to a story I read today, the alkalinity of wet concrete can be several times as caustic as commercial cleaning products. Exposure can do permanent damage to skin and nerves. If you handle wet concrete with your bare hands instead of wearing rubber gloves, walk in it without rubber boots, or kneel on it without knee pads, you can be hurt very badly. Cloth fabric does little to protect you, and clothing saturated with water from fresh concrete will carry and trap the alkalinity against your skin. You won't feel heat from the chemical burn as it is happening, but you may be in agony the next day.
Whether you are mixing your own concrete from scratch, using bags of pre-packaged concrete, or ordering from a ready-mix plant, be sure to read and heed the warnings and disclaimers on the product literature.
I believe the same problems can occur with brick and block mortar. TScarborough and Dick can confirm or refute that though.

Pecos
 
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Old 01-12-07, 06:10 AM
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You bring up a good point about learning about the products that one uses. The labels and instruction sheets that come with products have a wealth of information in them. By taking this into account, one is able to use the product successfully and take proper precautions to protect the surroundings and the individual.

Some are more affected by some chemicals than are others. Not knowing how much effect will occur enables a benefit from following the precautions that accompany the many products that we use from time to time. By taking precautions, you avoid learning the hard way.

The same can be said about using safety equipment, too.

Thanks for reminding us to work safely.
 
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Old 01-14-07, 08:07 PM
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Portland/Lime mortar is even worse. Lime is extremely caustic alone or mixed with cement. When working with concrete or mortar, resist the temptation to wash your hands, body, or clothing. Dry cement and lime will not burn you, it requires water to activate the reaction. Keep dry and wear rubberized boots and gloves. If you get wet cementious material on you, remove it mechanically, not with water, until you are totally finished, then flush well. Any cuts and abrasions exposed to cementious materials will cause extreme pain and possible permanant damage, so be very careful.
 
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Old 06-22-07, 05:08 AM
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Matt, I am refreshing this link for you. Make your help aware of the dangers!

Pecos
 
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