After reading the Case Reports section of the paper you emailed the link to, it seems the Department of Occupational and Environmental Dermatology in Malmo treated with calcium gluconate in almost all cases before conducting any blood sampling. This made me feel like the abstract is misleading. Case 3 makes the use of the calcium gluconate seem beneficial. And though Case 4 seems to affirm that there is no need for calcium gluconate gel (because of the absence of use), all of these exposures seem to be in such small quantities that it is not clear whether the fluoride exposure could be extrapolated from calcium monitoring in these cases with blood sampling.
Though I know that this doesn’t answer Kim’s question and I’m not an MD, it doesn’t seem like there is much harm in treating a trifluoroacetic acid burn secondarily with calcium gluconate gel. I do recall though, a case in Asia where treating a woman who was exposed to trifluoroacetic acid with calcium gluconate gel seemed to exacerbate the pain (I’m currently looking for the article). Use of the gel also does not take the place of rinsing with copious amounts of water initially. I provide our labs with the $24 tube of gel for free on request, whether it’s for HF, trifluoroacetic, NH4F, or another chemical suspected of being capable of leaching calcium from the body. Sometimes peace-of-mind and just-in-case are two large portions of solutions when there is a lack of concrete empirical data.
Senior Laboratory Safety Specialist
Princeton University EHS
262 Alexander St.
Princeton, NJ 08544
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU]
On Behalf Of yanfei.yang**At_Symbol_Here**EVONIK.COM
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2014 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question on trifluoracetic acid & emergencies
I think it is a NO as well, even contain fluorine, cleavage of C-F bond remain an extremely challenge topic in organic chemistry research, so there is no way HF will be easily generated from NORMAL lab condition, like moisture in the air, etc. Please read this paper to see more information.
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