From: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question on trifluoracetic acid & emergencies
Date: Thu, 8 May 2014 11:18:48 -0600
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAHFAP+5fH1cVJW-wErKiaG2_bdr3qyOZxPr5=URYODC3YMmvuA**At_Symbol_Here**

In the Advanced HAZMAT Life Support Course (AHLS) we discuss copious water decontamination and addition of a mild soap or detergent if the splashed chemical is know to be water insoluble or poorly soluble in water.

For most folks, following the recommendations in the ANSI/ISEA Z58.1 Standard for emergency showers and eyewashes at least represents a consensus standard (albeit that it is based on very limited data -- despite long-term recommendation, there is quite limited clinical or experimental data to support the use of water -- it is, however, very much better than no decontamination and has the benefits of usually being readily available and inexpensive for the flushing fluid alone).

In a bit I will do a PubMed search on this chemical and see if there are reported cases of HF poisoning or something resembling HF poisoning in the literature. As one of the group said, topical calcium gluconate gel is extremely unlikely to do any harm, but might not do any good. Honeywell in their quite excellent manual (available, I think, at no cost on the website) do recommend a 5 minute only water decontamination, which makes sense because further water rinsing delays the application of either topical gluconate gel or (as Honeywell recommends) iced benzalkonium chloride soaks -- please see their manual for recommendations for doing this.

Alan H. Hall, MD
Medical Toxicologist
Former Emergency Medicine Specialist and Occupational Physician

On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 10:50 AM, Kennedy, Sheila <s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

Does anyone have an idea of why (M)SDS so often recommend "wash gently with soap and plenty of water"? What is the soap supposed to do? My understanding is that soap primarily acts by dissolving grease; dissolving grease releases dirt; water washes away dirt. Is there a significant fat/oil/grease component to a TFA splash? Are we just reading boiler plate washing instructions?



Sheila Kennedy, C.H.O.

Safety Coordinator | Teaching Laboratories

UCSD Chemistry & Biochemistry |MC 0303

s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here** |

Office: (858) 534-0221 | Fax: (858) 534-7687

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Kim Gates
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2014 5:55 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Question on trifluoracetic acid & emergencies

One of the labs on campus asked about having an HF emergency kit for trifluoracetic acid use.

I need the collective wisdom of his group - yes? no? references? (the SDS doesn't mention anything about this)


Kim Gates
Laboratory Safety Specialist
Environmental Health & Safety
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-6200
FAX: 631-632-9683
EH&S Web site:

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