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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Anhydrous hydrofluoric acid; HF-A

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1460

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7664-39-3

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: MW7875000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook [4 MB PDF, 392 pages]: 1052 125 (anhydrous); 1790 157 (solution)

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Hydrogen Fluoride: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazard Summary - Hydrogen Fluoride: Uses, sources and potential exposure, acute and chronic health hazard information, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit

Limit Values

HE Codes

Health Factors and Target Organs

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-2
(See also Z37.28-1969)

3 ppm
(2 mg/m3) TWA

HE3

Skeletal fluorosis*

HE14

Upper respiratory tract and skin irritation

OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A

3 ppm
(2 mg/m3) TWA

HE3

Skeletal fluorosis*

HE14

Upper respiratory tract and skin irritation

OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards

3 ppm
(2 mg/m3) TWA

HE3

Skeletal fluorosis*

HE14

Upper respiratory tract and skin irritation

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL)

3 ppm
(2.5 mg/m3) TWA

6 ppm
(5 mg/m3)
Ceiling
(15 minutes)

HE3

Skeletal fluorosis*

HE14

Severe irritation and burning of eyes, skin, and respiratory tract

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2005)

0.5 ppm
TWA

2 ppm
Ceiling

Skin; BEI

HE3

Skeletal fluorosis*

HE11

Irritation and corrosion of lung tissue,  pulmonary edema

HE14

Irritation and burning of eyes, nose, throat, and skin

CAL/OSHA PELs

0.4 ppm (0.33 mg/m3) TWA

1 ppm
(0.83 mg/m3) STEL

Skin

HE11

Lower respiratory tract inflammation

HE14

Upper respiratory tract irritation

* Osteosclerosis or increased bone density due to excessive absorption and retention of fluorides.

National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Not listed

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Not listed

EPA carcinogenic classification: Not listed

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Level (MRL): 0.02 ppm (acute)

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 30 ppm

Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards
No other potential health effects or hazards resulting from occupational exposure were found in the scientific literature.

Date Last Revised: 11/16/2012

Literature Basis:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Hydrogen Fluoride. 2005.
  • ANSI (formerly United States of America Standards Institute): USA Standard Acceptable Concentrations of Hydrogen Fluoride and Inorganic Fluoride Dusts. November 9, 1966.
  • California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board: Initial [79 KB PDF, 14 pages] and Final [52 KB PDF, 7 pages] Statement of Reasons. March 17, 2012.
  • Lund K et al Exposure to hydrogen fluoride: an experimental study in humans of concentrations of fluoride in plasma, symptoms, and lung function. Occup Environ Med 1997;54:32-37
  • NIOSH: Criteria for a Recommended Standard - Occupational Exposure to Hydrogen Fluoride. March 1976.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guideline for Hydrogen Fluoride. September 1978.

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:

  • sampling media: Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns and filter spacer (SKC 225-9001) Na2CO3 Impregnated Backup Pad in a 3 piece cassette.
    maximum volume: 90 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 1.5 L/min (TWA)
    maximum volume: 22 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 1.5 L/min (STEL)
    current analytical method: Ion Specific Electrode; ISE
    method reference: OSHA Manual of Analytical Methods (OSHA ID-110)
    method classification: Partially Validated
    note: OSHA personnel may obtain sampling media from SLTC. Submit as a separate sample (Particulate F- on MCEF, HF on impregnated Backup Pad). The filter and filter spacer reside in one section while the impregnated backup pad is in another section of a 3 piece polystyrene cassette. The filter and backup pad should not have physical contact with one another. When analysis of a compound is requested, an analysis is performed for fluoride (F-) and reported as the compound. Hydrogen fluoride is collected on a Na2CO3 impregnated backup pad.

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