Environmental Health & Safety
Hydrofluoric Acid Emergency Procedures
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Hydrogen fluoride and hydrofluoric acid exposures can result in severe, deeply penetrating burns to the eyes, lungs and skin. The concentrated form of these compounds is perceived by a burning sensation. However, exposure to dilute solutions may not result in a burn sensation for several hours. This time delay between exposure recognition and treatment can lead to burns that are difficult to treat or other systemic complications.
Medical Assistance Information:
Seek medical attention at the SMH Emergency Department as soon as possible. Provide a copy of the Safety Data Sheet and this information sheet to the medical personnel. DO NOT ASSUME SELF-TREATMENT WITH CALCIUM GLUCONATE HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL!
ED personnel need to contact the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to obtain the required specific treatment information. ED treatments may include (additional) topical administration of calcium gluconate 2.5% gel for skin exposures or an i.v. of calcium gluconate for systemic treatment.
If you work with hydrogen fluoride or hydrofluoric acid, familiarize yourself with the following first aid procedures:
Skin Exposure to HF:
- Immediately flood the affected body part with cool water 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing and footwear while rinsing.
- For hand and arm exposures, immediately wash affected area at a sink.
- For the upper arms exposures, use a drench hose eye wash unit or safety shower.
- For exposures of the torso or legs, use a safety shower.
Eye or Inhalation Exposure to HF:
- Flush eyes with plenty of cool tap water for 15 minutes. NEVER apply calcium gluconate gel to the eyes.
- Move inhalation exposure victim to clean air.
- Call or have a co-worker call for medical assistance (Public Safety, x13).
- Wait for emergency medical responders, informing them that the exposure involved hydrogen fluoride / hydrofluoric acid. Provide a copy of the Safety Data Sheet to the emergency responders.
QUESTIONS or COMMENTS?
Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.
This page last updated 8/31/2015. Disclaimer.