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May 24, 2011

EXPERT ADVISES PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES OVER ACID ATTACKS

Some Advices  from the expert.... Cer baca...cer baca..... Tq..

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 (Bernama) -- The spate of acid splashing incidents in the Klang Valley is keeping frightened people, especially women, indoors most of the time, but they do not have to restrict their movement, says a chemical expert.

Prof Dr Zainudin Arifin of the University of Malaya said they should continue to go out and go to work, but must take precautionary measures to lessen the damage from these acid attacks, 23 so far since March.

The advice from Dr Zainudin, who is with the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science of the university, is for women to carry a bottle of water in their handbag.  The chemist said they must use the water to immediately wash off the acid on their body as water is known to be able to dilute the chemical and prevent serious corrosion and permanent disfigurement of the skin.  "Clean that part of the body fast and wash off the acid with as much water as possible because timing is very critical here. The longer you delay cleaning it, the more serious will be the damage and the scarring.

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ACID-PRECAUTION 2 KUALA LUMPUR
"Get a lot of water and stay under water for at least 15 minutes, preferably 30 minutes, and then change your clothes and only after that should you go and seek medical attention," he told Bernama.

If sodium bicarbonate (baking powder) was available, he said, the victims could also mix it with the water and apply on the affected area to neutralise the acid''s effects.

"In the worst-case scenario, where no water is available, wipe the affected area clean as much as possible," he added.  He also suggested that women wear protective gear, such as big sunglasses.

Dr Zainudin said he believed that the substance used in the attacks was diluted acid, and added that four types of acid were normally available in themarket, namely formic acid, hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid and nitric acid.
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ACID-PRECAUTION 3 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR
He said a proposal for the government to control the sale of acids in the market would not work and would not solve the problem.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil had reportedly said that she would recommend to the Cabinet to restrict the sale of acids in view of the incidents.  "If someone drowns, can we ban everybody from swimming?" asked Dr Zainudin.  He said acids were important substances for many industries, particularly in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.  Acids were widely available in hardware stores and were used especially for cleaning purposes, he added.  "One of the most basic uses of acids is as a very highly effective agent for removing dirt. As an industrial country, we use a lot of acids, especially sulphuric acid, which also happens to be the most highly produced and a highly corrosive type," said Dr Zainudin.
-- BERNAMA

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