Home > Blog > Hydrofluoric Acid – A Toxic Ingredient Used in Fossil Fuels

Hydrofluoric acid, also known as HF, is a highly dangerous gas, which can cause immediate damage to the lungs. This may lead to chronic lung disease. If the skin is exposed to HF, the gas will penetrate into the deep tissues, and may even alter the cellular structure in bones. It can be fatal if it is swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed into the skin.

Victims of exposure to HF may not even notice any indications until serious damage has already been done. People exposed in the course of their jobs may contact a Houston personal injury lawyer for damages. This acid is commonly used in the extraction of gas and oil. The Texas oil industry has a poor safety record, as reported in Fluoride Alert News.

In the last 10 years, more than 7,600 accidental releases of this fluoride have been reported. One refinery, the BP Texas City Refinery, had more than 600 safety violations until explosions led to the deaths of 15 workers and injuries to hundreds more. Families of victims in tragedies like this can engage the services of a Houston personal injury lawyer in order to be compensated, at least financially.

BP internal memos actually revealed that refinery managers sadly felt that safety was not the #1 priority at the plants in Texas, by the company executive officers in London. Shockingly, the memos discussed that there was a likelihood that the Texas City refinery would “kill someone” if nothing was done. Injured workers and family members can contact Kirkendall Dwyer LLP after accidents such as this one.

Workers are not even the only ones who are at risk of injury. The chemical HF in refinery accidents can cause mass casualties within civilians in the surrounding area. There are 50 refineries in the United States that use HF and some are close to urban areas that include Houston, Philadelphia, and Memphis. Contacting a Houston personal injury lawyer will allow people to at least receive financial recompense for accidents.