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J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2004;42(4):355-61.

Hexafluorine vs. standard decontamination to reduce systemic toxicity after dermal exposure to hydrofluoric acid.

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Swedish Poisons Information Centre, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.



Dermal exposure to hydrofluoric acid (HF) may cause severe burns and systemic toxicity. Hexafluorine (Prevor, France) is a product marketed as an emergency decontamination fluid for HF skin and eye exposures. Documentation concerning Hexafluorine is scanty, and a recent study indicates that its ability to reduce HF burns is at most equal to that of water.


The present study was conducted to evaluate Hexafluorine's capacity to reduce HF-induced systemic toxicity.


Sprague Dawley rats were anesthetized, catheterized in the left femoral artery, and shaved on their back. A filter paper (3.5 x 6 cm) was soaked in 50% HF and applied on the back of each rat for 3 min. Thirty seconds after removal of the paper, a 3-min rinsing with either 500 mL Hexafluorine (group H), 500 mL water (group W), or 500 mL water followed by a single application of 2.5% calcium gluconate gel (group Ca) was carried out. Blood samples were analyzed for ionized calcium and potassium (before injury and 1, 2, 3, and 4 h after) and also for ionized fluoride (1, 2, and 4 h after injury).


The animals developed hypocalcemia, hyperkalemia, and hyperfluoridemia after the HF exposure. The only significant difference observed among the groups was in serum potassium at 1 h between group Ca and group W. However, there was a constant trend toward milder hypocalcemia and less pronounced hyperkalemia in group Ca compared to the other groups. There were no differences in the electrolyte disturbances between the Hexafluorine-treated animals and those treated with water only. Five of 39 animals died before completion of the experiment as a result of the HF exposure, one from group Ca and two from each of the other two groups.


In this experimental study, decontamination with Hexafluorine was not more effective than water rinsing in reducing electrolyte disturbances caused by dermal exposure to hydrofluoric acid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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