Mallinckrodt-Baker's MSDS is very good for HF, particularly as regards 1st Aid procedures. Note that the ordinary "wash 15 minutes with water" is only recommended when no other treatment options are available, since it delays applying calcium gluconate, or benzalkonium chloride or tetracaine benzethonium chloride. When these substances are available (and they should be!!!), only wash 5 minutes and then apply. I suggest having all the 1st aid materials right where folks are working with HF, and it is good to have drills in using these. Having anyone who works with HF keep a tube of calcium gluconate at home or in their car or purse or whatever is also a good idea. Make sure that your ER knows that you are working with HF and how to handle any exposures. As far as the actual work, apart from working in a fume hood and having all the appropriate PPE (goggles, PVC or neoprene or particular vinyl gloves), there are a few work habits that are very important. First NEVER sit at a fume hood when working with HF (or for that matter with any corrosive or flammable chemical), since this presents a much greater surface area to potential exposure. One of the more insidious problems with HF is the fact that even with concentrated solutions it is possible that there will be no pain associated with the initial contact (I know this from experience!). So, if the procedure allows, the addition of dye to the HF will help alert someone to their exposure. I also use dye in water to do a 'dry' run of any HF procedures, just to point up where problems may occur. This can be part of a job safety analysis for the procedure. Regards, Rigel Lustwerk Safety Partners, Inc.
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