A new report that was issued on Friday by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that hydrofluoric-acid based chemicals are a danger to car wash employees. This chemical used in washing commercial vehicles is highly toxic and dangerous, and put the employees at a risk for health issues. The study was published by the CDC in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, where they wrote that exposure to this nefarious acid might lead to disability, and even death.
HYDROFLUORIC ACID IS A COLORLESS, AND CORROSIVE FORM OF HYDROGEN FLUORIDE
Hydrofluoric acid is a corrosive, colorless, and poisonous solution of hydrogen fluoride. This acid-based chemical is used by workers who wash cars and trucks. The researchers at the Washington Department of Labor and Industries only recently found this. Many unfortunate events have happened to car was workers during 2001 and 2013. For example, 48 car wash workers received burns that resulted from products they used that contained hydrofluoric acid, and a man even died after ingesting it.
HYDROFLUORIC ACID IS USED TO BRIGHTEN ALUMINUM AND REMOVE DIRT FROM CARS
Hydrofluoric acid is used to brighten aluminum and remove road dirt form cars, these are hydrofluoric acid-based chemicals are used in many car was procedures. So when workers had holes in their gloves, or didn’t wear them at all, they were injured. The workers experienced burns to their hands and even their heads or eyes.
THOSE AFFECTED HAD THIRD DEGREE BURNS AND SOME NEEDED SURGERY
Some of the workers were hospitalized with third-degree burns and some needed plastic surgery and skin transplants. In the end, seven workers were hospitalized, where three displayed sever burns and two needed surgical interventions. One researcher from the department of Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention programs said that hydrofluoric acid doesn’t cause immediate pain or distress, so its toxicity spreads subtly and in low concentrations. The hydrofluoric acid was causing the workers pain after a while, and then they realized they needed medical treatment.
This recent development has caused a lot of conversations that car wash companies should implement other alternatives to hydrofluoric acid based products. Another alternative that has been thought of is that workers should be made to wear protective gloves in order to prevent the health hazards involved.
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