ORIGINAL PAPER
Work-related health emergency cases due to hydrofluoric acid exposures reported to Texas poison centers
 
 
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1
Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX, USA
2
Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit, Texas Department of State Health Services, 1100 W 49th Street, Austin, Texas, 78756, USA
 
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2012;25(4):456–462
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ABSTRACT
Objectives Hydrofluoric acid is used in a number of industries. Work-related accidents involving hydrofluoric acid can result in serious injury and death. The intent of this investigation was to describe work-related hydrofluoric acid exposures in Texas. Materials and Methods Work-related hydrofluoric acid exposures reported to Texas poison centers during 2000–2010 were identified. The distribution of exposures was determined for various demographic and clinical factors. Results There were 409 work-related hydrofluoric acid exposures in years 2000–2010. The number of work-related exposures declined from 69 in 2000 to 18 in 2010. The patients were 85.3% male and 96.6% age 20 years or older. The distribution of cases by route of exposure was 69.4% dermal contact, 21.0% inhalation, 12.0% ocular, and 3.7% ingestion. At the time of reporting to Texas poison centers, the patient was already at or en route to a health care facility in 71.9% of the cases and referred to a healthcare facility in 20.5% of the cases. The medical outcome was known or expected to be not serious in 51.6% of the cases. Conclusions Hydrofluoric acid exposures reported to Texas poison centers decreased over the eleven-year period. The patients were almost all adults and primarily male. Most of the exposures occurred by dermal contact followed by inhalation. The majority of patients were managed at healthcare facilities. Slightly over half of the exposures were known or expected to not result in serious outcomes.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087