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I am not a chemist, so this answer will be from the layman's standpoint. Hopefully, a chemist will improve this answer. If I remember correctly, muriatic acid is another more common name for hydrochloric acid [HCL]. Usually, HCL in the form of muriatic acid is very highly concentrated, unless someone has diluted it. Most concentrated acids give off strong gaseous vapors which generally are invisible, but in the presense of some water vapor in the air, the vapors can be seen near the mouth of the container, as faint white whisps, like smoke. Even diluted acids give off some vapors, all of which can damage exposed materials. Those vapors, visible or not, are very corrosive to almost everything like several metals, but especially anything which is wet [like the mucus tissues of the eyes, nose, mouth, throat, and lungs]. The acid vapors have a great affinity to combine with water, and in doing so form acid which eats on almost everything. The effects, or degree of damage, you ask about would vary depending on many factors, some which I can think of include: 1. The concentration of the acid. The stronger, the more damage, and the less concentrated, the less the damage. 2. The ambient temperature. The higher, the greater the damage. 3. Whether the home was entirely closed, or windows and/or doors were open. If open, there may be some reduction of vapor concentration, and therefore, somewhat less damage. 4. If the building were closed, then the circulation of air in the enclosed area could have some effect, as for example, an object directly "downwind" from the open container of HCL would have more damage than the same object on the upwind side. 5. The surface area of the acid pool [a wide mouthed container like a pan versus a small bottle neck opening]. The greater the surface area to release vapors, the greater potential damage. 6. The composition of the exposed materials which have varying degrees of activity with relation to the acid. Some examples of evidence of damage I would expect to observe include: 1. Ferrous metals [iron and steel for example] would be rusted, the severity of which would be proportional to the concentration of the fumes, and the exposure time. 2. Aluminum metal also would show evidence of corrosion, with aluminum oxide, which commonly appears as a white powder on the surface, but possibly deep pitting if the vapor concentration were high, or the exposure was prolonged. 3. Silver objects would show varying degrees of tarnishing. 4. Depending on several other circumstances, materials such as drapes, upholstery, cloth or flocked wallpaper, metalized wall paper, may seem "rotted," while even chrome kitchen and bathroom fixtures, metal trims, exposed screw heads, the brass contacts in electrical recepticles and light switches may show pitting or discoloration. There is probably a lot more than I have discussed, but it been over 35 years since I took freshman chemistry, and ten or more years since I have had to use any chemistry knowledge.

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โˆ™ 2006-11-28 04:06:29
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Q: What damage can you anticipate to the interior of your home from muriatic acid exposure over 7-10 days?
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