Ideal would be a quick rinse of all superficial exposure, followed by i.v. calcium + magnesium in a saline i.v. and superficial calcium gluconate.
I would think the main point is to get the surface rinsed off quickly, no matter what the temperature. There have been good arguments for both warm and cold, but hey, you just want to get the superficial stuff off before any more soaks in. I would think that warm water in an eye wash would make it easier to keep the eyes well opened for a good wash, whether warm or cold water opened up the pores in the eyes better. I would think that a person is less likely to bend over and cover up in response to a warm shower than in a cold shower. I know, because I had cold showers at my father-in-law's house in Brasil until I figured out how to make the hot water come on. It seems that every faucet works differently depending on where you are in Brasil, so you get cold showers until you figure them out. I think they have to work differently in different parts of Brasil, because it lies from very near the equator to far south of the equator. The toilets flush the opposite direction, and probably the less dense warm water tends to rise towards the north, which is actually downward in the water pipe, leaving the cold water in the faucet, more pronounced in southern Brasil in my experience. It seems to take a bit of flushing with cold water to get the warm water to the faucet in Parana, but less time north of Campinas and São Paulo. I would not want to wait for the warm water, though, if I had an HF exposure near where my father-in-law lives in Parana. I would use the cold anyway.
Recall that I didn't have an i.v. (intravenous) solution on hand when I had the i.n. (intranasalis) exposure. I only had the calcium gluconate gel. My colleague was not fast enough at preparing a calcium/magnesium saline solution and autoclaving it, though we did have the butterflies. I posted a link to a New England Journal of Medicine article that our medical toxicologist gave me in which this was described as a successful treatment (if not too late and the exposure is not too extensive). Get everyone trained as phlebotomists just in case and have a couple of i.v. bags on hand.
Keep a tygon tube on the lab sink faucet, and have everyone practice nasal rinse, followed by shoving calcium gluconate gel up the nasal passages in case of an i.n. exposure.
R. Steven Pappas, Ph.D.
Smoke Analysis Group
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
4770 Buford Hwy, M.S. F-44
Atlanta, GA USA 30341-3717
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From: PLASMACHEM-L: Analytical Chem.(ICP's, DCP's, MIP's). [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael M Cheatham
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 7:29 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Treatment for HF exposure
The reason I have been asking the warm vs cold question is that our
building has a fairly new emergency shower/eyewash system installed
throughout in any room with a fume hood. It is installed as a warm (room
temp) system that is constantly flowing so that stagnant water never
builds up in the system and it constantly passes a UV light source to kill
Because of the large quantities of HF used in our geochem labs I have
wanted to know that answer ahead of time and make a change to the units in
those particular labs BEFORE we have to use them. As I already mentioned
we have used our shower/eye wash systems with the warm water. It is not a
question of using the shower, it is a question of what is best for the
person that may be in need.
This is all part of being prepared ahead of time and goes right along with
knowing which hospital in Syracuse to go to as well as that hospital
knowing what we do work with HF. This is part of Risk Management for us.
Risk elimination is not an option for us. We can't dissolve Zircon in any
other way AND keep the blank as low as possible at the same time. At this
point in time, it is the blank that drives the research. We have really
very very very low Pb blanks and are still pushing even lower. It is the
name of the game in Geochronology these days.
Michael M. Cheatham
321 Heroy Geology Laboratory Phone (315)-443-1261
Syracuse University Fax
Syracuse, NY 13244-1070