Storage and Handling
If mishandled, lye is a dangerous chemical. Children and animals should be kept away from it at all times. Lye is very corrosive and should never be ingested or allowed to come in contact with the body or clothing. When working with lye always use extreme care and work in a well ventilated area. Protective gloves, protective eyewear and a disposable face mask should be worn. Use lye-resistant containers such as ceramic or stainless steel. NEVER pour water into lye, ALWAYS pour lye slowly into water. The combination of water and lye heats to approximately 200 degrees Farenheit.
Store lye, sealed in it's original air tight container. If the container is not air tight, put it in one that is both airtight and lye-proof. Keep the container in a well ventilated place that is impossible for children and animals to reach.
For further information on medical management for sodium hydroxide please use the following link to the ATSDR: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/MHMI/mmg178.html
This link takes you to the guidelines recommended by an agency of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, one of whose functions is to provide trusted health information to prevent harmful exposures and disease related to toxic substances.
For general information on Lye, check the following Wikipedia link: