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So in season 5, episode 7 of Dirty Jobs, we're shown how a locomotive engine block is degreased using the detergent 'Positive 170' and we're told that it is extremely dangerous.

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Just how 'dangerous' are we talking about here and why?

Thanks.

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Hint: read the column in the centre. The potential risks in damage of tissue, described on the left and on the right hand column increase by increase of the solution's concentration, and temperature (and 170 F [about 76 C] is considerable), and obviously by the time of exposure to this cleaner.

As an example of what may happen to skin under attack of strongly basic solutions (sometimes called lye) if you do not wear appropriate protective gear, see this example. -- Be told, such pictures may disturb you.

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