In case of fire and thermal runaway of batteries based on Li-ion chemistry, significant amounts of hydrogen fluoride (HF) may be released. Due to its ability to cause skin damage and potentially systemic toxicological effects, a study was carried out to investigate the risk of dermal exposure for firefighters since they are fully protected from inhalation exposure by their use of respirators. In a controlled smoke diving exercise, performed in a container, air concentrations of HF were generated. Work protection factors for fire suite ensembles were investigated by measuring air concentrations of HF on the outside and inside of the garment barrier when realistic movements were executed. The potential for skin uptake was investigated by exposing human skin in a diffusion cell to gaseous HF and measuring HF in a receptor solution. An average work protection factor was determined to be 120. Low but detectable amounts of HF penetrated the skin in a concentration range of 10–1000 ppm. Skin humidified with sweat showed a higher degree of penetration than dry skin. Penetrated amounts were, however, much lower in comparison with studies covering dermal exposure to aqueous solutions of HF. Overall, our results indicate that the risk for a potential skin uptake of HF is low and it is unlikely that adverse health effects are caused from this exposure route during firefighting. However, a certain risk for smarting or redness of the skin cannot be excluded.


Thermal Runaway, Produkttest

Sidst opdateret 1. marts, 2022 - Kl. 11.07