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Hydrogen Fluoride, (Anhydrous)Hydrofluoric Acid (HF)

Colorless, corrosive liquid, boils at 19.4C & reacts in moist air to form mist. Industries Involved:- 1) Phosphate Fertiliaer Production 2) Manufacture of Bricks, Tiles, Potteries & Cement 3) Glass Fiber Production 4) Steel & Petroleum Refinery 5) Coal Combustion 6) Uranium Processing Plant Characteristics:1) Absorption mainly through inhalation 2) 99% found in skeletal 3) Rapid Renal Excretion:- About is lost within few hours, small amount is excreted through feces & sweat. 4) Maximum Concentration in air which is tolerable by humans is 120 ppm for 1 minute 5) High water solubility helps rapid absorption through nose & upper respiratory tract. Effects:-A) Acute:- 1) Irritation of Eyes, Nose & Skin 2) Cough 3) Choking & Chills 4) Rapid Death from a) Intense Inflammation of Respiratory Tract b) Gross Hemorrhagic Pulmonary Oedema B) Chronic:- 1) Osteofluorosis:- Accumulation of fluoride in the skeletal tissues & is associated with Pathological Bone Formation Characteristics of Osteofluorosis are i) Back Stiffness & ii) Vague joint pains X-Ray:- 1) Initially there may be increased density of Vertebral & Pelvic bones. Later on it will be blurred. 2) Bones of Extremities show Irregular Persistent Thickening with Calcification of Ligaments & Muscular Attachments 3) The Cortex of long Bones is thick & Dense & Medullary Cavity is Diminished. 4) In Severe Cases Exostosis & Osteophytes develop & Calcification of Ligaments, Tendons & Muscle Insertion. May lead to fusion of Spines & Development of Poker Back, which clinically resembles Ankylosing Spondilitis. D/D of this finding:- 1) Pagets Disease of Bone 2) Osteoblastic Metastatis 3) Ankylosing Spondilitis 2) Dental Fluorosis:- Manifestations range from Chalky White Flex on the teeth in mild form to Brown discoloration & Pitting in the severe cases. Permanent Teeth are extremely sensitive to fluorides during their formation. 3) Pot Room Asthma:- In Aluminum Production, Boxite Byproduct is Fluorides. Exposure to Hydrofluoric Acid during reduction process of Alumina from Boxite can cause Bronchial Inflammatory Reaction & Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome.

4) Systemic Poisoning:-a) Acid Burns, mainly due to ingestion b) Inhibition of enzymes involving vital functions like origin & transmission of nerve impulses c) Calcium Complex Formation with a rapid fall in Plasma Calcium level may interfere with Blood Clotting & Cell Membrane Permeability. Death is due to i) Hypocalcimia ii) Hyper Magnesemia iii) Hyper Kalemia 5) Specific Organ Injury involving cell damage & necrosis 6) Shock like Syndrome with Tetany. 7) Effects on Skin:- Accidental Exposure to Skin may cause severe Deep Tissue Injury Treatment:- No specific treatment for acute symptoms but slow infusion of IV Calcium Gluconate is life saving. 1) Immediate removal of contaminated Clothings 2) Through washing with water 3) Rigorous topical application of 2.5% Calcium Gluconate Gel 4) Subcutaneous injection of 5% Calcium Gluconate Solution Systemic effects from Skin Burn may be fetal. In a patient as little as 2.5% of body surface area burn is fetal. Biochemistry:- Diet containing not more than PEL 4 to 5 Mg/M