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February 9th, 2010

18-Wheeler Spills Hydrofluoric Acid on Dallas, Texas Freeway

Barrels of hydrofluoric acid spilled inside an 18-wheeler on riding on one of the busiest freeways in Texas on Friday during rush hour.

The acid spill of caused the Texas Department of Transportation to close Interstate 635 in both directions between Texas 289 and Dallas Tollway North while a hazardous-materials team cleaned up the scene.

No injuries were reported, and no reason was determined for the spill.

Hydrofluoric acid is a solution of hydrogen fluoride in water.  It is extremely corrosive and difficult to handle, but is a valued source of fluorine.  The danger in handling hydrofluoric acid is extreme, as skin saturation is usually painless, yet can be ultimately fatal.  High concentrations of hydrofluoric acid will quickly destroy the corneas of the eyes.

In low doses, this acid can merely irritate the eyes, nose and respiratory tract.  But once exposure increases, the highly corrosive acid can burn eyes, eat away flesh, and become fatal after prolonged exposure.

The acid is used in a variety of industrial settings, including oil refineries where it’s used in the process to make high-octane gas. Environmental activists and the United Steelworkers Union have for months been trying to get refineries to stop using it because it’s so dangerous.

If you or someone you know has been exposed to Hydrofluoric Acid or any other chemical irritant while on the job, on a third-party’s job site, or during a big rig traffic spill like this one last week in Dallas, Texas, please contact an experienced Texas Chemical Exposure Lawyer.  For a free legal consultation by e-mail, call us today.

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