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Guidance on Safe Use

Guidance on Safe Use

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Administrative data

First-aid measures

General Recommendations:

Seek medical advice immediately in all cases

Personal protective equipment (respirator, gloves, etc.) required for rescuers of victims

In case of product splashing into eyes and face, treat eyes first


Note: The effect of HF, i.e. the onset of pain, particularly in dilute solutions, may not be felt for up to 24 hours. It is important that workers have immediate access to the antidote (calcium gluconate) both on and off the worksite in order to apply it as soon as possible. Instructions should be given for the worker not to use the gel in the eye and the worker to still seek medical attention regardless of how minor the contact. The calcium combines with the fluoride to form the insoluble calcium fluoride thus preventing the fluoride from entering the intact skin and causing tissue damage.


Remove the subject from the contaminated area as soon as possible. Transport subject lying down, with the head higher that the body, to a quiet, uncontaminated and well ventilated location. Administer oxygen (2.5% calcium gluconate if available, can be oxygen nebulised with trained personnel) or cardiopulmonary resuscitation if necessary and as soon a possible. If patient is unconscious, give artificial respiration. Note: Mouth to mouth resuscitation is not recommended. Keep warm (blanket).  Seek medical advice in all cases. Take to a hospital.

Eye contact:

Flush eyes with running water for 5 minutes, while keeping the eyelids wide open. Rinse the eyes with a calcium gluconate 1% solution in physiological serum (10ml of calcium gluconate 10% in 90 ml of physiological serum) for 10 minutes. Continue a calcium gluconate drip into eyes…Then drop wise while transporting. If 1% calcium gluconate is not available continue flushing with water.  In the case difficulty opening the eyelids, administer an analgesic eye wash. Do not use oily drops, ointment, or HF skin burn treatments.  Consult an ophthalmologist or eye specialist immediately in all cases.  Take to a hospital immediately.

Skin contact:

Immediately bring the clothed subject under the shower. Remove contaminated shoes, socks and clothing; while washing the affected skin with running water for 5 minutes. Double bag all contaminated clothing for disposal. Immediately apply calcium gluconate gel 2.5% and massage into the affected area using rubber gloves; continue to massage while repeatedly applying gel until 15 minutes after pain is relieved. Apply water longer (15 minutes) if calcium gluconate is not available.  If finger/finger nails are touched, even if there is no pain, dip them in a bath of 5% calcium gluconate for 15 to 20 minutes.  Keep warm (blanket), provide clean clothing.  Consult a physician immediately in all cases of skin contact no matter how minor. Take to a hospital immediately.


Consult a physician immediately in all cases. Take to a hospital.

Fire-fighting measures

Specific hazards:

Noncombustible/nonflammable but may produce dangerous fumes if involved in fire.  Formation of dangerous gas in contact with water or humid air.

Formation of flammable gas on contact with certain metals. Contact with water may produce heat release and present risks of splashing.  

In all cases wear self contained breathing apparatus.  Wear full protective acid resistant suit; use water spray when approaching the fire.

Cool containers exposed to fire.  Depending on wind direction, warn people of danger of inhalation, close doors and windows and get ventilation stopped.  Approach from upwind. Absorb gas/vapors with water spray.  After the fire, proceed rapidly to clean the surfaces exposed to the fumes in order to limit the damage to the equipment. As for any fire, ventilate and clean the rooms before reentry.

Accidental release measures

Isolate affeted area. Approach from upwind.  Ventilate the premises.  Eliminate all sources of ignition, and do not generate flames or sparks.  Keep away materials and products which are incompatible with the product  Disperse gas/vapor with water spray. To avoid excessive fuming, do not apply water directly onto the spillage but upstream or on a run off. In case of leaking container, try to reposition it to get the leak in gaseous phase.  Protect intervention team with water spray. Use bagged lime to form containment. If safe to do so, without overexposing anyone, try to stop the leak.

Handling and storage

Operate in a well ventilated area. Use only equipment and materials which are compatible with hydrogen fluoride. Clean and dry piping circuits and equipment before any operations.  Keep away from reactive products.  Use chemical resistant gloves (butyl rubber), googles/faceshield and acid resistant clthing and boots

 Keep in a hermetically sealed container in a ventilated, cool area.  Keep away from heat sources.  Keep away from reactive products  Use containment dike around storage containers and transfer installation.

Transport information

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Marine transport (UN RTDG/IMDG)

UN number:
UN 1052
Shipping information
Proper shipping name and description:
Hydrogen fluoride, Anhydrous
Corrosive, Toxic
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Air transport (UN RTDG/ICAO/IATA)

UN number:
UN 1052
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Exposure controls / personal protection

Use chemical resistant gloves (butyl rubber), googles/faceshield and acid resistant clthing and boots.  Shower and eye wash stations.  Good ventilation is required.

Stability and reactivity

Exothermic reaction when dissolved in water.  Corrosive action on some metals when moisture exists.  Explosive mixtures in contact with alkaline metals (Na, K, Li,…).  In presence of humidity, contact with metals releases hydrogen

Disposal considerations

Use lime or, preferably, calcium hydroxide or calcium carbonate to precipitate the fluoride ion in the form of CaF2.