Sulphuric acid in vapour form causes intense irritation and chemical burn of the mucous membranes of the respiratory and digestive tracts, the teeth, eyes and skin. Inhalation of vapours produces the following symptoms: nasal secretion, sneezing, a burning feeling in the throat; these are followed by cough, respiratory distress, sometimes accompanied by spasm of the vocal cords, a burning sensation in the eyes with lacrimation and conjunctival congestion. High concentration may cause a bloody nasal secretion and sputum, haematemesis, gastritis, etc. Dental lesions are common.
Strong inorganic acid mists containing sulphuric acid are used to make fertilizers, rayon and other fibers, pigments and colours, explosives, plastics, coal-tar products such as dyes and drugs, storage batteries, detergents, rubber, pulp and paper, cellophane and catalysts. They are also used in refining petroleum, in ore concentration and in removing impurities from iron, steel and other metals.