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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
Original Articles

Hydrofluoric Acid Releases in 17 States and the Acute Health Effects Associated, 1993–2001

Horton, D. Kevin MSPH; Berkowitz, Zahava MSc, MSPH; Kaye, Wendy E. PhD

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Hydrofluoric (HF) acid is 1 of the strongest and most corrosive acids known. Human exposure commonly occurs from occupational releases and can result in severe injuries and death. Data from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) system were used to conduct a descriptive analysis on the acute health effects of HF acid exposure. Of the total HSEES events (n = 49,106), HF acid releases occurred in 0.3% of events (n = 134). HF acid events were 2 times more likely to involve injuries when compared with other acid events and 3 times more likely when compared with nonacid events. Employees such as those in trucking services, petroleum refining, and chemical manufacturing need to understand the dangers of HF acid and should have the appropriate personal protective equipment available to prevent exposure.

©2004The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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