Calcium Hydroxide Hazards: Formula, Uses, Properties

By | January 12, 2024
Calcium Hydroxide Hazards
Calcium hydroxide should be disposed properly to prevent environmental hazards.

This post helps increase your knowledge of calcium hydroxide and the hazards associated with it, as well as its formula, properties, and uses. 

You will learn how to safely and effectively handle calcium hydroxide and avoid the hazards; including what to do if exposed to the chemical. 

Please, read on to increase your knowledge of calcium hydroxide: 

What is Calcium Hydroxide and Its Formula?

Calcium hydroxide, also known as slaked lime is a whitish powdering chemical substance, however, in its crystalline state it is colorless. It has the chemical formula, Ca(OH)2.

It is an inorganic compound (a compound that does not contain carbon) and can be identified with other names like caustic lime, hydrated lime, etc.

A raw calcium hydroxide used in industries can be very poisonous. It has the ability to cause severe injuries or even death if swallowed.

Common Calcium Hydroxide Hazards

Calcium hydroxide can be harmful to health, it can result to serious damages in the body if ingested or inhaled.

If calcium hydroxide is ingested, the victim experiences pain in the abdomen, frequent vomiting, discomfort in the stomach, dizziness, etc.

When this chemical touches the skin, it causes irritation and burns, and interrupts the flow of blood in the tissues.

If it enters the eyes, it results to serious pain and itching; If medical attention is not given promptly, it could result to blindness (temporarily or even permanently).

Inhaling calcium hydroxide is something you should guide against; it puts the life of the victim at stake.

When this chemical is inhaled, it affects the nostrils, airways, and even the lungs if some of the particles gets there. This can result to difficulty in breathing.

Calcium Hydroxide Safety Handling Procedures

When handling calcium hydroxide, you need to apply caution. Never use this chemical in a confined space, or in a place that is not well ventilated.

Never use this chemical in an environment close to fire, or combustible items. Eating, drinking, or smoking while working with this chemical is extremely dangerous.

Also, don’t forget to protect your body before using calcium hydroxide. Put on gloves for your hands and protective clothing for the rest of your body.

You can also protect your eyes with glasses that can withstand chemicals. Do not forget to protect your airways also.  

Calcium Hydroxide Safety Storage Procedures

Store calcium hydroxide in a tightly sealed container, and it shouldn’t be kept in a confined environment.

Isolate this chemical from any other substance or material and keep away from direct heat or fire.

Calcium Hydroxide Safety Disposal Procedures

Calcium hydroxide should be disposed properly so as to guide against environmental hazards.

When disposing this chemical, follow these procedures:

You can flush calcium hydroxide down the drain, provided you dilute it with enough water.

If it is a large quantity of calcium hydroxide, seek manufacture’s consent for its disposal. They will provide proper guidance.

How to Handle Exposures to Calcium Hydroxide

Whenever you get exposed to calcium hydroxide, there are some safety steps that should be taken so as to prevent serious damage.

If calcium hydroxide gets swallowed, the victim needs to be transferred to the nearest medical facility. But before then, the victim can drink water or milk promptly.

If inhaled, the victim should be taken to a well-ventilated place, then call for medical help on time. 

Calcium hydroxide is not a substance that should come in contact with the skin or eyes. But if it happens, immediately wash affected part of the skin with enough clean water thoroughly. Remove affected clothes too.

And if it enters the eyes, remove contact lens immediately (if the victim is wearing one), and then wash eyes with enough warm water for about 20 minutes (while the eyes are opened).

Calcium Hydroxide Properties (Physical and Chemical)

Here are more facts about calcium hydroxide to increase your knowledge about the chemical:

Physical Properties: Calcium hydroxide is a white powdered substance, which also occurs in crystalline state with a colorless appearance.

It has a molar mass of 74.09 g/mol.

It is known to have a melting point of 580 degree Celsius and a density measured to be 2.21 g/cm3.

Chemical Properties: Calcium hydroxide is relatively soluble in water, which means, it doesn’t dissolve much in water. Its solubility decreases with increasing temperature.

However, calcium hydroxide is readily soluble in glycerol and acids.  

It forms a solution called limewater by dissolving in water partially.

Aqueous calcium hydroxide solution (i.e. limewater) is a moderate base which produces salt when it reacts with acids.

Limewater can also attack certain metals like aluminium.

It also quickly reacts with carbon dioxide in the carbonatation process to form calcium carbonate.

Ca(OH)2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + H2O

Calcium Hydroxide Preparation

Calcium hydroxide can be prepared when calcium oxide, also known as quick lime is reacted upon water.

Calcium Hydroxide Uses

Calcium hydroxide has various uses in industries. It is used in producing strong and smooth brown paper for wrapping (known as Kraft paper).

It is also used to treat sewages. Industries producing cement and plaster use it as an important ingredient.


Calcium hydroxide is a useful chemical substance, but also poisonous to the body. This article teaches you all you need to know about this chemical, its hazards, and how to use it safely, as well as the first aid measures to apply if an accident occurs.

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