Can battery acid kill you if you drink it?

I changed my car battery by myself for the first time, and it actually worked out without a hitch! As I was doing it, though, it got me thinking. Can battery acid kill you if you drink it?

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Answer provided by
Melanie Mergen
Answered on Jul 28, 2022
Nice work—glad to hear your first try went well! And in a word, yes—battery acid can kill you. There are a number of different ways that car battery acid is harmful and most notably, it’s fatal if you ingest it.
Battery acid, which contains concentrated sulfuric acid, is highly corrosive. Touching it would burn your skin or eyes if you came into contact with it, and drinking it could create burns and even holes in your stomach, esophagus, and mouth. Ingesting even just a teaspoon of battery acid could potentially kill you.
It might not necessarily happen right away, either—the fatal effect of drinking battery acid might not set in for as long as a month. Even when it’s not fatal, the damage may be severe enough that you may have to surgically remove parts of your stomach or esophagus if ingested.
When handling a car battery, sulfuric acid can start to form on the outside of the battery, so wear chemical-resistant gloves and safety glasses to limit the odds of getting accidentally exposed to it.
Hopefully, you took the right safety precautions when you changed your own battery, but if not, now you know the steps to take for next time.
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