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Fluorine

Who is at risk?

Various compounds of fluorine are used extensively in the air conditioning industry as refrigerants.

Fluorine is also used as fuel for nuclear power stations and as an oxidising agent in rocket fuel.

Odour

Strong irritating odour

Toxicity

Fluorine gas is highly corrosive to exposed tissue and can cause death at very high concentrations. Upon contact with the skin, the gas reacts with moisture to create Hydrofluoric acid which penetrates the skin and causes destruction of deep tissue layers including bone – limb loss is common in this circumstance.

Acute Exposure

Concentration Health Effect
< 3 ppm Irritation of nose and eyes
> 3 ppm Pronounced eye and respiratory symptoms - stinging and burning eyes and throat
30 ppm Respiratory symptoms worsen
120 ppm Maximum that can be tolerated for 1 minute – severe skin and throat irritation.
50 - 250 ppm Life threatening for brief exposure

Exposure Controls & Protection

Leak Detection & Control

NFPA 704 Signal

  Hazard Value Description
Health 4 Can be lethal.
Flammability 0 Will not burn under typical fire conditions.
Instability 4 Readily capable of detonation or explosive decomposition or explosive reaction at normal temperatures and pressures.
Special OX Possesses oxidizing properties