From: Robert Toreki <rob**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] First aid protocol for blast furnace injuries
Date: Tue, 19 May 2015 13:36:27 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: DDF4497E-3BC6-4AA5-99BE-07F88137CF20**At_Symbol_Here**

We get a lot of random and unusual questions due to the nature and reach of my company's web site.  I've condensed today's to this simple question:  Does anyone have an SOP for injuries caused by exposure to molten iron?

The original inquiry is below.  There should not be a chemical reaction to worry about (CO2 is a byproduct of producing iron metal in the blast furnace; CO is used to reduce the iron oxides to Fe + CO2), but you would have to worry about potential frostbite because CO2 extinguishers produce temperatures that are below -40 C and there is no effective way to measure the temperature during the "treatment".   See

While water would normally ideal, in this case there is a significant risk of a steam explosion when water contacts molten iron:  see and     In fact, there is a notorious case of a classroom thermite demo that caused injuries when a few grams of molten iron was deliberately dropped into a bucket of water.

Presumably, once the metal is removed from the victim, water is the fastest and best method for cooling the person, but one would have to take appropriate precautions to remove the victim from the area before treatment - large quantities of water in use near large quantities of molten iron could cause a major catastrophe.

I figure there's someone on the list who must already have figured out the proper procedure or knows where to find one.  DCHAS rocks!


Rob Toreki

When working with hot steel and metal can one use a Co2 extinguisher to cool down a person who have liquid steel on them?
 Or will that form a reaction with the steel and cause corrosive burns?

Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
you know and trust.  Visit us at
esales**At_Symbol_Here**  or toll-free: (866) 326-5412
Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.