Jay, the answer is a resounding YES. Ammonium bifluoride is NH4F*HF, an adduct of ammonium fluoride and hydrofluoric acid. Here are some excerpts from the MSDS, which is for a 28% solution only (!):Emergency Overview:
• Corrosive product, hazardous to human health, can be fatal.
• Hazardous product for aquatic environment.
• Burns may not be immediately painful or visible. Onset can be delayed up to 24 hours.
• Presents hazards from its ionized fluorine which binds with calcium in the body and can result in hypocalcemia (possible life-threatening lowering of serum calcium).
• Can be absorbed through the skin in fatal amounts.
• In case of decomposition, releases hydrogen fluoride.
"Ammonium bifluoride solution has free hydrogen fluoride. The effect of HF, i.e. the onset of
pain, particularly in dilute solutions, may not be felt for up to 24 hours. It is important that workers
have immediate access to the antidote (calcium gluconate) both on and off the worksite in order
to apply it as soon as possible. Instructions should be given for the worker not to use the gel in
the eye and the worker to still seek medical attention regardless of how minor the contact. The
calcium combines with the fluoride to form the insoluble calcium fluoride thus preventing the
fluoride from entering the intact skin and causing tissue damage. HF antidote gel, 2.5 % calcium
gluconate, is available through Pharmascience of Montreal, Canada [(800)207-4477] or your local
"[...] more than half the banana genome is shared with humans (a fact more
evident among some of my acquaintances than others)" - Sir Robert May
Dr. Johan Schijf
Assistant Professor, Aquatic Environmental Geochemistry
UMCES/Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
P.O. Box 38, 1 Williams Street
Solomons, MD 20688-0038
Tel. (410) 326-7387 (office) 7392 (lab)
Fax (410) 326-7341
e-mail: [log in to unmask] Jay Tompkins <[log in to unmask]>:
> Hello PlasmaChem:
> We have a 2 gallon jug of ammonium bi-fluoride that is 90% in water,
> used for cleaning. Someone from PlasmaChem, a while ago, indicated
> that this stuff is more dangerous than HF because there is no burning
> sensation although its effect on the system is the same. Should we
> have calcium gluconate on hand as for HF and someone in EHS informed
> of this material here? The person who made up the solution moved
> onto another job and the jug is .
> Jay Tompkins
> Associate Scientist
> Analytical BioChemistry Laboratories, Inc.,
> 4780 Discovery Drive,
> Columbia MO 65201
> Tel: 573-777-6012
> Integrated Chemistry and Biology Services for Product Development