Hydrofluoric acid burns caused by incompatible laboratory wastes

Chiou Yeong Shiau, Pau Chung Chen, Jung Der Wang, Tsun Jen Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Two case reports present the clinical manifestations and management of hydrofluoric acid burns resulting from an explosion caused by incompatible laboratory liquid wastes. Case reports: The explosion occurred at a university laboratory when a technician placed isopropyl alcohol liquid waste into a waste receptacle containing hydrofluoric acid. The technician received hydrofluoric acid burns in this accident. She was immediately treated with calcium gluconate paste and recovered within 3 months. The second case was a school nurse who came to the scene to help the technician and subsequently developed laryngeal swelling. She was treated with steroids and a nebulized form of calcium gluconate and recovered in 1 week. Neither of them were wearing adequate personal protective equipment. Conclusions: Although liquid waste pooling is a common practice for waste disposal, careful attention should be paid to the compatibility of various liquid wastes. Furthermore, hydrofluoric acid may cause a variety of injuries resulting from different routes of exposure. However, timely treatments with appropriate preparations of calcium gluconate may produce a satisfactory recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-73
Number of pages5
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Feb 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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