Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 1 decade ago

copper penny question?

is it harmful to touch copper penny with acid eating it

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If the acid is "eating" the penny, it is probably fairly strong. If the penny is a US one minted after 1982, it is zinc on the inside, so most strong acids will dissolve this fairly rapidly when the acids are a few M in concentration. These could be corrosive, so I wouldn't touch.

    If the penny is solid copper (1981 or before) and still being eaten, get out quickly and don't inhale! Nitric acid is the only common acid that can dissolve copper at room temperature (other compound, such as ferric chloride solution, can as well). When nitric acid dissolves a penny, nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2) are released. These gases are very toxic, but exposure causes no symptoms for a few hours. You may feel fine afterwards, but a few hours later, you could die of pulmonary edema.

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on the acid. Lots of house hold cleaners are acids, but not harmful to touch. Or coke. It's acid. But then you did say "on a Copper penny"........ I don't think it would be harmful if it was a low grade kind of acid, but if it's something like a mad scientist came up with ( like melt your hand acid ) I wouldn't

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