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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION

  1. USES: Ammonium bifluoride is used in the manufacture of magnesium and its alloys; in purifying, cleansing and brightening various parts of dairy and beer processing equipment; as a metal cleaner, as an herbicide enhancer; in the porcelain and glass industries; and as a mordant in aluminum.
  1. TOXICOLOGY: Ammonium bifluoride dissolves in water and forms a weak solution of hydrofluoric acid. Ingested ammonium bifluoride probably reacts in the stomach to release hydrogen fluoride and fluoride ions. Highly electronegative fluoride ion penetrates tissues deeply and binds calcium leading to hypocalcemia (and hypomagnesemia), tissue burns, and cell death.
  1. EPIDEMIOLOGY: Poisoning is uncommon and is usually dermal, with mostly minor and moderate outcomes. Dermal exposure of a large surface area and/or to a high concentration product may be life-threatening. Ingestion of even a small amount is life threatening. Ocular and inhalational exposure are rare.
  1. WITH POISONING/EXPOSURE
    1. MILD TO MODERATE TOXICITY: DERMAL: Exposure can result in delayed, unrelenting, severe pain without visible signs of injury. OCULAR: Exposure can cause mucosal irritation. INHALATION: Inhalation of low concentrations may cause prompt mucosal irritation, dyspnea, cough, and wheezing. INGESTION: Gastrointestinal irritation (ie, nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, abdominal pain) may be expected following ingestion.
    1. SEVERE TOXICITY: DERMAL: Tissue destruction or necrosis may be caused by dermal exposures to large amounts of or highly concentrated solutions of HF, and may result in systemic poisoning. OCULAR: Exposure may cause corneal erosion, scarring and opacification. INHALATION/INGESTION: Ingestion or inhalation may cause systemic poisoning with hypocalcemia, ventricular dysrhythmias (prolonged QTc, torsade de pointe), hyperkalemia, hypomagnesemia, acidosis, and cardiac arrest. Ingestion of more than 30 mL of a 5% solution can be fatal.
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