Food Grade Sodium Hydroxide (Lye, Caustic Soda) is used in making pretzels, and has other uses in food preparation and making soap.
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) is caustic (corrosive) and can be dangerous if used improperly. Always wear rubber or latex gloves and eye protection. If you get any on your skin, rinse with water immediately. DO NOT TOUCH OR HANDLE WITHOUT GLOVES. Carefully dispose of the lye solution in your toilet.
Danger! Causes eye and skin burns. Causes digestive and respiratory tract burns. Hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air).
Target Organs: Eyes, skin, mucous membranes.
First Aid Measures
Skin: Remove contaminated clothing. Immediately flush/rinse skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Get medical aid immediately. Wash clothing before reuse.
Eyes: Remove contact lenses if present and easy to do so. Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 20 minutes. Get medical aid immediately.
Ingestion: Do NOT induce vomiting. Call 911 and get medical aid immediately. If victim is fully conscious, rinse mouth with plenty of water. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.
Inhalation: Get to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical aid immediately.
Potential Health Effects
Eye: Causes eye burns. May cause blindness. May cause chemical conjunctivitis and corneal damage.
Skin: Causes skin burns. May cause deep, penetrating ulcers of the skin.
Ingestion: May cause severe and permanent damage to the digestive tract. Causes gastrointestinal tract burns. May cause perforation of the digestive tract. Causes severe pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and shock.
Inhalation: Irritation may lead to chemical pneumonitis and pulmonary edema. Causes severe irritation of upper respiratory tract with coughing, burns, breathing difficulty, and possible coma. Causes chemical burns to the respiratory tract.
Chronic: Prolonged or repeated skin contact may cause dermatitis. Effects may be delayed.