Acid attacks

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Acid attacks are a form of assault meant to permanently disfigure a person by throwing corrosive liquid onto a victim's body. Acid attacks can be perpetrated using a liquid such as sulfuric acid.[note 1] A 2007 review showed that Jamaica had the highest total number and Bangladesh had the highest reported number of cases of chemical assault worldwide.[1] Acid attacks can permanently scar a person's face and sometimes cause blindness.


"Vitriolage" or "vitriol throwing" dates back to the 18th century.[2] The earliest reported incidents of an acid attack in South Asia were in 1967, when two cases of acid attacks were reported in India and Bangladesh.[3] Several acid attacks occurred in later years, causing acid attacks to gain more popularity.

Medical effects on victims[edit]

Severe medical effects may happen to victims of acid attacks. Acid can burn and eat away skin, sometimes to the bone. The nose and ears can be severely damaged, and many times victims of acid attacks have damage to their eyes.[4] Victims can face skin depigmentation and even death.[5]

Attackers' motives[edit]

Perpetrators of acid attacks usually have motives for doing so. A 2013 attack on a man in TanzaniaWikipedia occurred because of the victim's religious beliefs.[6] A case in the UK occurred when acid was thrown on a man's face because of gang violence.[7] Several cases of acid attacks have occured because of dowry.[8] A study by the Health and Social Care information Centre in England showed that 62% of all acid attacks in England were attacks on male victims.[9]



  1. Sulfuric acid is easily available as the electrolyte in automotive batteries.