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Hydrogen Fluoride

Gaseous hydrogen fluoride is a harsh respiratory irritant; the inhalation of hydrofluoric acid mists causes severe lung damage in exposed workers. A proposed new ASTM standard, WK38734, Test Method for the Determination of Particulate Fluorides and Hydrofluoric Acid Using Filter Sampling and Suppressed Ion Chromatography, will be used to prevent overexposure of hydrofluoric acid/hydrogen fluoride to workers.

WK38734 will be used by analytical laboratories and field industrial hygienists as a reference test procedure for monitoring occupational exposures to particulate fluorides and HF vapor.

“The proposed standard can be used to measure airborne concentration of gaseous HF and particulate fluorides at levels well above and below applicable occupational exposure limits for these chemical agents,” says ASTM member Dietmar Breuer, professor, IFA. “WK38734 has been fully validated through extensive research, interlaboratory trials and field studies.”

Hydrofluoric acid is used in a number of industrial processes, including etching and polishing of glass, processing of ores, as a catalyst for producing high-octane gasoline, etching of silicon components in the manufacture of semiconductors and for removing silica from metal surfaces.

WK38734 is being developed by Subcommittee D22.04 on Workplace Air Quality, part of ASTM International Committee D22 on Air Quality. In addition to WK38734, D22.04 is currently working on additional proposed draft standards. These include WK43943, Test Method for Measurement of Respirable Crystalline Silica in Workplace Air by Infrared Spectrometry as well as a proposed standard on sampling and analysis of organic vapors by means of canister collection of workroom atmospheric samples. Participation from knowledgeable experts in these areas is always welcome.

CONTACT Technical Information: Dietmar Breuer, IFA • Sankt Augustin, Germany • Phone: +49 (0) 2241 231-2533 | ASTM Staff: Jeffrey Adkins • Phone: 610-832-9738 | Upcoming Meeting: Oct. 5-8 • October Committee Week • New Orleans, La.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.