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Hydrogen Fluoride Fact Sheet

Hydrogen fluoride (HF), also known as hydrofluoric acid, is used primarily for metal cleaning and etching in Massachusetts. Nationally, HF is mainly used to manufacture chemical refrigerants.

HF is highly corrosive to all tissues and any contact with HF liquid or vapor can cause severe burns (sometimes with delayed onset), necrosis, and death. Skin contact with HF may not cause immediate pain, so systemic poisoning can begin before the person is aware of the exposure.

In 2017, Massachusetts facilities subject to TURA reported the use of over 230,000 pounds of HF. HF is designated as a Higher Hazard Substance (HHS) under the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA), which lowered the reporting threshold to 1,000 pounds/year, effective January 2016.