From: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question on trifluoracetic acid & emergencies
Date: Thu, 8 May 2014 11:48:40 -0600
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAHFAP+7P9KyS0GyapLB3C9Lbv7JFeZdDL7WSZC2Rn3Lwzz4HWA**At_Symbol_Here**


I just did a rather "quick and dirty" PubMed search of the issue of trifluoroacetic acid and whether it can release hydrofluoric acid. There are only 6 clinical cases that I found:

Dahlin J, Engfeldt M, Svedman C et al. Chemical Burns caused by trifluoroacetic acid. Contact Dermatitis 2013; 69(3):176-180.

5 cases of <1% Total Body Surface Area (TBSA) trifluoroacetic acid splashes. Healed as expected of acid burns in general. None of the 5 showed signs or symptoms typical of hydrofluoric acid burns. COMMENT: Few cases, very small TBSAs.. Doesn't tell us what might happen with much more extensive TBSAs, but some very limited clinical evidence that those on the listserve who do not think release of HF are correct.

Nakamura M, Mlyachi Y. Contact Dermatitis 2002; 47(4):236

Apparently 1 case of a chemical burn due to the related chemical trichloroacetic anhydride. No Abstract available on PubMed, so details are available.

So that's what a limited PubMed search had to say.

Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Medical Toxicologist
Former emergency Medicine physician 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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