Sodium hydroxide poisoning

  • Definition

    Sodium hydroxide is a very strong chemical that is also known as lye and caustic soda. This article discusses poisoning from touching, breathing in (inhaling), or swallowing sodium hydroxide.

    This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.


    Alternative Names

    Lye poisoning; Caustic soda poisoning


    Poisonous Ingredient

    Sodium hydroxide


    Where Found

    Sodium hydroxide is found in many industrial solvents and cleaners, including flooring stripping products, brick cleaners, cements, and many others.

    It may also be found in certain household products, including:

    • Aquarium products
    • Clinitest tablets
    • Drain cleaners
    • Hair straighteners
    • Metal polishes
    • Oven cleaners

    Note: This list is not all-inclusive.