The vehicle interior may contain a very small amount of sodium hydroxide powder, a by-product of air bag deployment. Since this powder can irritate the skin, eyes, nose or throat, be sure to wear safety glasses, rubber gloves and long sleeves during cleanup.
If you find that the cleanup is irritating your skin, run cool water over the affected area. Also, if you experience nasal or throat irritation, exit the vehicle for fresh air until the irritation ceases. If irritation continues, see a physician.
Begin the clean up by putting tape over the two air bag exhaust vents so that no additional powder will find its way into the vehicle interior. Then, remove the air bag and air bag module from the vehicle.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any residual powder from the vehicle interior. Work from the outside in so that you avoid kneeling or sitting in a unclean area.
Be sure to vacuum the heater and A/C outlets as well; in fact, it's a good idea to run the blower on LOW and to vacuum up any powder expelled from the plenum. You may need to vacuum the interior of the vehicle a second time to recover all of the powder.
Servicing A Deployed Air Bag
After an air bag has been deployed, the air bag module and clockspring must be replaced because they cannot be reused. Other air bag system components must also be replaced if damaged.