Danger! That’s a word we don’t take lightly and that’s the word directly associated with Hydrofluoric Acid. This highly corrosive chemical compound is a common ingredient in many household rust removing agents and cleaners. Hydrofluoric acid exposure can lead to very serious burn injuries, difficulty breathing and even fatal if not treated according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.

Hydrogen fluoride, also known as (HF), is a colorless, fuming liquid or gas with a strong, irritating odor. Hydrogen fluoride readily dissolves in water to form colorless hydrofluoric acid solutions.

HF + H2O => H3O+ + F− is the chemical formula for hydrofluoric acid. Now since we are not all chemist, what does this mean exactly? When hydrogen fluoride is mixed into water a chemical reaction happens producing this hydrohalic acid.

The hydrofluoric acid chemical formula classifieds it has a weak acid in a family of many different fluoride acids. This inorganic mixture is only classified weak as its ability to dissociate. Acids are classified strong or weak by the fluoride ion’s ability to break the bond to the hydrogen ion. That’s deep into the heart of hydrofluoric acid on a molecular level far from knowing the dangers of contact with this acid.

Although hydrofluoric acid is weak compared with most other mineral family acids, it can produce serious health concerns and side effects by any route of exposure. These effects are due to the fluoride ion's aggressive, destructive deep penetration of tissues.

Many different avenues of exposure occur with different health effects experienced. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry states it is present in a variety of household over-the-counter products at concentrations generally ranging from 6% to 12%. These are some of the most common ways to either breathe or come in contact with this poisoning acid.

Skin contact exposures occur by cutaneous contact with the solution. The fluoride ion penetrates tissues deep that can cause both local cell and nerve destruction and systemic toxicity. In addition hydrogen fluoride is extremely irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes.

  • Flushing of eyes is mandatory
  • Burns are not visible often until 24-48 hours later
  • Carefully remove or cut any clothing contaminated
  • Wash any hydrogen fluoride from your skin with large amounts of water

Inhalation of the hydrogen fluoride in liquid or gas form should be treated with the upmost importance. Swallowing only a small amount of highly concentrated hydrogen fluoride will affect major internal organs and may be fatal.Breathing hydrogen fluoride can damage lung tissue and cause swelling and fluid accumulation in the lungs.

  • Fever & vomiting
  • Trouble breathing as throat swells shut
  • Severe internal body pain
  • Bluish lips and/or fingernails

Children are more vulnerable to toxicants absorbed through the skin because of their relatively larger surface area to the body weight ratio. In all aspects immediate medical attention should be sought.

With the above stated facts about the danger of exposure to this highly corrosive compound, this is no chemical to tread lightly with. That is why Super Iron Out vows to never include this toxic in any of our rust removers. Many competitors include this in their rust removal products because of the cleaning power it has. Super Iron Out is committed to the health and well-being of all of their customers and wishes to inform on the dangers of exposure. Please use extreme caution if any exposure is ever experienced to this chemical toxic solution.