As a coauthor, I will repond. And, I stand corrected.
I will not argue chemistry with a chemist, as I am a Medical Toxicologist which implies a small knowledge of chemistry but certainly not mastery of the field. In the medical part of the world I deal with on a daily basis, HF is a significant occuptional hazard and if a suitable substitute could be found for those processes in which HF is so far required, I'd be happy to lead the cheering section. I am, however, not turning blue from breath-holding. Obviously HF is a "weak acid" with a pKa of about 3.2 as stated in the article, although fluorine is the most electronegative in the periodic table (hope I got that one right).
Until then, we who are involved in occupational heath and safety must muddle through with what is available to us and promote OEHS as best we can.
That said, the chemistry comment is correct. Let's let chemists be chemists be chemists and Medical Toxicologists be themselves as well
Thank you for your comments.
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Alan H. Hall, M.D.
> Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2012 10:39:27 -0400
> From: secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG
> Subject: [DCHAS-L] Hydrofluoric acid
> To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU
> From: Ernest Lippert <ernielippert**At_Symbol_Here**toast.net>
> Subject: Hydrofluoric acid
> Date: March 31, 2012 10:30:09 PM EDT
> With reference to the Case report on hydrofluoric acid (HF) vapor facial exposure (Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, January/February 2012; Si=E9w=E9, et al., p 7) the first sentence of the Introduction is incorrect. Hydrofluoric acid is not "one of the strongest inorganic acids". It is, in fact, a weak acid. See any good basic chemistry text such as Chemistry, J. McMurry and R.C. Fay, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-737776-2, p. 590-591, 1998.
> The sentence would better be stated as "Hydrofluoric acid (HF), although a weak acid, is the most tissue-destructive of the inorganic acids, and …"
> Ernest L. Lippert
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