Hydrofluoric acid is extremely corrosive. Acute exposures are especially hazardous and can result in severe burns or respiratory damage. U. S. manufacturers use hydrofluoric acid to produce fluorocarbons, aluminum and other chemical products. Metal pickling and etching applications are the primary end-uses for hydrofluoric acid in Massachusetts. Hydrofluoric acid use is on the decline in Massachusetts. However, produced as an unintended byproduct, coal-fired power plants are a potential source of public exposure to hydrofluroic acid.
Massachusetts. facilities reported using 640,000 pounds of hydrofluoric acid in 1996. Hydrofluoric acid use in Massachusetts declined slightly, by 5%, between 1990 and 1996.