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7.1.5 Hydrofluoric Acid

Hydrofluoric acid is a strong corrosive and highly toxic chemical that causes severe burns from dilute solutions and can be fatal upon exposure of concentrated solutions. Bench top use of hydrofluoric acid is not permitted; it must only be used in a fume hood.

Anyone using Hydrofluoric acid must contact the Gannett Health Center and purchase a tube of Calcium gluconate gel, which is used as an initial response to skin exposure of Hydrofluoric acid. The quantities of Hydrofluoric acid that are used and stored should be kept to an absolute minimum. All users of hydrofluoric acid must attend hydrofluoric acid training. More information on hydrofluoric acid can be found in the Laboratory Safety Manual and Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Due to the toxic nature, do not attempt to neutralize hydrofluoric acid - dispose of hydrofluoric acid waste through the hazardous waste management program.  Because of hydrofluoric acid’s ability to etch glass, the chemical and waste must be stored in plastic containers. As a safety precaution, EHS recommends that calcium hydroxide be added to any mixtures or dilute solutions of Hydrofluoric acid waste to help bind the fluoride ions.