Medical Care & Information
Have these steps been taken in your area?

       Hydrofluoric Acid (HFA), is used in such products as rust remover and for etching glass in diluted concentrations.  Any product containing HFA should be used with caution and disposed of through a facility specializing in handling hazardous chemicals.  

       Warning Shot Cinema Productions, the production company engaged in preproduction for 19 Minutes - The Day, partners with Avert Alert for films which publicize previously unrecognized hazards.    
     Analysts working for Avert Alert and with Warning Shot, provide the systems analysis on which the script is written.  

        Additionally, below is information from governmental sources.


Impact from HFA - 99 - 100% Concentration​ of the contaminant.

NOTE: Safe use of protective clothing and equipment requires specific skills developed through training.  

                               Medical Treatment for HFA
From:  Prehospital MedScape - Emergency Medicine
Hydrofluoric Acid Burns Treatment & Management

Decontamination before treatment

      Treatment of hydrofluoric acid burns includes basic life support and appropriate decontamination, followed by neutralization of the acid by use of calcium gluconate or hydrofluoric-specific agent such as Hexafluorine, if available. If exposure occurs at an industrial site, obtain and transport any available treatment literature.
     Assess and manage acute life-threatening conditions in the usual manner. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel should use gloves, masks, and gowns, if necessary.
Remove soiled clothing. Initially decontaminate by irrigation with copious amounts of water.
     Ice packs on the affected area may alleviate symptoms by retarding diffusion of the ion.

Are hospitals ready for HFA?
According to Steelworkers Report, 74% are not.

    If calcium gluconate gel or specific agent (eg, Hexafluorine) is available, apply liberally to the affected area.
    For digital burns, if calcium gluconate gel is not available, the fingers may be soaked in magnesium hydroxide–containing antacid preparations (eg, Mylanta) en route to a medical facility. Retain gel/antacid in a latex glove if practicable, and the gloved hand may be immersed in iced water.
    Treat inhalation injuries with oxygen and 2.5% calcium gluconate nebulizer.
    Control pain with opioid agents.
    Transport the patient to the nearest appropriate medical facility.

How many beds will be available for survivors?
Check your local area hospitals.   Let us know.


                                 Readiness for HFA Emergencies
 The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
                                 Personal Protective Equipment
NOTE: "Personal" does not mean for the public.  The use of these suits requires special training. 

How many of your areas paramedics and other First Responders are trained to use, and have these levels of Protective Equipment?
Let us know.  

GENERAL INFORMATION: First Responders should use a NIOSH-certified Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) with a Level A protective suit when entering an area with an unknown contaminant or when entering an area where the concentration of the contaminant is unknown. Level A protection should be used until monitoring results confirm the contaminant and the concentrating and experience.

This will limit the number of Responders.
How Responders, trained and with suits & breathing apparatus
                                   are available in your at-risk areas?
                                                      Let us know.        

LEVEL A: (RED ZONE): Select when the greatest level of skin, respiratory, and eye protection is required. This is the maximum protection for workers in danger of exposure to unknown chemical hazards or levels above the IDLH or greater than the AEGL-2.
A NIOSH-certified CBRN full-face-piece SCBA operated in a pressure-demand mode or a pressure-demand supplied air hose respirator with an auxiliary escape bottle.
A Totally-Encapsulating Chemical Protective (TECP) suit that provides protection against CBRN agents.
Chemical-resistant gloves (outer).
Chemical-resistant gloves (inner).
Chemical-resistant boots with a steel toe and shank.
Coveralls, long underwear, and a hard hat worn under the TECP suit are optional items.


LEVEL B: (RED ZONE): Select when the highest level of respiratory protection is necessary but a lesser level of skin protection is required. This is the minimum protection for workers in danger of exposure to unknown chemical hazards or levels above the IDLH or greater than AEGL-2. It differs from Level A in that it incorporates a non-encapsulating, splash-protective, chemical-resistant splash suit that provides Level A protection against liquids but is not airtight.
A NIOSH-certified CBRN full-face-piece SCBA operated in a pressure-demand mode or a pressure-demand supplied air hose respirator with an auxiliary escape bottle.
A hooded chemical-resistant suit that provides protection against CBRN agents.
Chemical-resistant gloves (outer).
Chemical-resistant gloves (inner).
Chemical-resistant boots with a steel toe and shank.
Coveralls, long underwear, a hard hat worn under the chemical-resistant suit, and chemical-resistant disposable boot-covers worn over the chemical-resistant suit are optional items.

LEVEL C: (YELLOW ZONE): Select when the contaminant and concentration of the contaminant are known and the respiratory protection criteria factors for using Air Purifying Respirators (APR) or Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) are met. This level is appropriate when decontaminating patient/victims.
A NIOSH-certified CBRN tight-fitting APR with a canister-type gas mask or CBRN PAPR for air levels greater than AEGL-2.
A NIOSH-certified CBRN PAPR with a loose-fitting face-piece, hood, or helmet and a filter or a combination organic vapor, acid gas, and particulate cartridge/filter combination or a continuous flow respirator for air levels greater than AEGL-1.
A hooded chemical-resistant suit that provides protection against CBRN agents.
Chemical-resistant gloves (outer).
Chemical-resistant gloves (inner).
Chemical-resistant boots with a steel toe and shank.
Escape mask, face shield, coveralls, long underwear, a hard hat worn under the chemical-resistant suit, and chemical-resistant disposable boot-covers worn over the chemical-resistant suit are optional items.

LEVEL D: (GREEN ZONE): Select when the contaminant and concentration of the contaminant are known and the  and the concentration is below the appropriate occupational exposure limit or less than AEGL-1 for the stated duration times.
Limited to coveralls or other work clothes, boots, and gloves.

From: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

HYDROGEN FLUORIDE/ HYDROFLUORIC ACID : Systemic Agent

Agent (HFA) Characteristics

APPEARANCE: Hydrogen fluoride is a colorless fuming liquid below 67°F (19.4°C), or a colorless gas. When hydrogen fluoride is combined with water it is known as hydrofluoric acid, a colorless liquid, which in low concentrations is visually indistinguishable from water. Hydrofluoric acid that is more than 40% hydrogen fluoride fumes in air.

DESCRIPTION: Hydrogen fluoride mixes readily with water forming hydrofluoric acid. For all practical purposes, they are considered the same chemical. Hydrogen fluoride/hydrofluoric acid is used extensively in the extraction, processing, and refining of metals, rock, brick, and oil. It is an intermediate for many chemical reactions and syntheses. It is used to remove and inhibit rust, and to etch, polish, and frost glass. It is used in the manufacture of silicon semiconductor chips. Hydrogen fluoride/hydrofluoric acid is used in commercial automotive cleaners, rust removers and inhibitors for ceramics and fabrics, and water spot removers. It is released into the environment from manufacturing and welding processes, volcanoes, and sea salt aerosol. It has a strong irritating odor; however, odor should not be depended on to provide sufficient warning of exposure. It is considered a weak acid but is still extremely harmful due to its ability to penetrate tissue.

METHODS OF DISSEMINATION:
Indoor Air: Hydrogen fluoride/hydrofluoric acid can be released into indoor air as a liquid spray (aerosol), or as a gas.
Water: Hydrogen fluoride/hydrofluoric acid can be used to contaminate water.
Food: Hydrogen fluoride/hydrofluoric acid can be used to contaminate food.
Outdoor Air: Hydrogen fluoride/hydrofluoric acid can be released into outdoor air as a liquid spray (aerosol), or as a gas.
Agricultural: If hydrogen fluoride/hydrofluoric acid is released into the air as a liquid spray (aerosol), it has the potential to contaminate agricultural products. If hydrofluoric acid (HF) is released as a gas, it is highly unlikely to contaminate agricultural products.

ROUTES OF EXPOSURE: Hydrogen fluoride/hydrofluoric acid can be absorbed systemically into the body by ingestion, inhalation, or skin or eye contact. Eye exposure to hydrogen fluoride/hydrofluoric acid is highly unlikely to result in systemic toxicity. Inhalation is an important route of exposure.


From:   Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry





Individual Chapters






         Toxic Substances Portal - Hydrogen Fluoride (HF)

Medical Management Guidelines for Hydrogen Fluoride


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        Synonyms include hydrogen fluoride, fluoric acid, hydrofluoride, hydrofluoric acid, and fluorine monohydride.
Victims exposed only to hydrogen fluoride vapor do not pose substantial risks of secondary contamination; however, victims whose clothing or skin is contaminated with hydrogen fluoride liquid or solution can secondarily contaminate response personnel by direct contact or through off-gassing vapor.
         Hydrofluoric acid is a serious systemic poison. It is highly corrosive. Its severe and sometimes delayed health effects are due to deep tissue penetration by the fluoride ion. The surface area of the burn is not predictive of its effects.
Most hydrogen fluoride exposures occur by inhalation of the gas and dermal contact with hydrofluoric acid.


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