LABORATORY CHEMICAL SAFETY SUMMARY: FLUORINE

Substance

Fluorine

CAS 7782-41-4

 

Formula

F2

 

Physical Properties

Pale yellow gas

bp -188 °C, mp -219 °C

Reacts with water

 

Odor

Strong ozone-like odor detectable at 0.1 to 0.2 ppm

Vapor Density

1.695 (air = 1.0)

 

Vapor Pressure

>760 mmHg at 20 °C

 

Toxicity Data

LC50 inhal (rat)

185 ppm (300 mg/m3; 1 h)

 

PEL (OSHA)

0.1 ppm (0.2 mg/m3)

 

TLV-TWA (ACGIH)

1 ppm (1.6 mg/m3)

 

STEL (ACGIH)

2 ppm (3.1 mg/m3)

Major Hazards

Dangerously reactive gas; contact with many materials results in ignition or violent reactions; highly irritating and corrosive to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.

Toxicity

The acute toxicity of fluorine is high. Even very low concentrations irritate the respiratory tract, and brief exposure to 50 ppm can be intolerable. High concentrations can cause severe damage to the respiratory system and can result in the delayed onset of pulmonary edema, which may be fatal. Fluorine is highly irritating to the eyes, and high concentrations cause severe injury and can lead to permanent damage and blindness. Fluorine is extremely corrosive to the skin, causing damage similar to second-degree thermal bums. Fluorine is not considered to have adequate warning properties.

Chronic toxicity is unlikely to occur due to the corrosive effects of fluorine exposure. Fluorine has not been found to be carcinogenic or to show reproductive or developmental toxicity in humans.

Flammability and Explosibility

Fluorine is not flammable, but is a very strong oxidizer, reacting vigorously with most oxidizable materials at room temperature, frequently with ignition. Water should not be used to fight fires involving fluorine.

Reactivity and Incompatibility

Fluorine is an extremely powerful oxidizing agent that reacts violently with a great many materials, including water, most organic substances (including greases, many plastics, rubbers, and coatings), silicon-containing compounds, and most metals. The reaction with water produces HF and ozone. Fluorine reacts explosively or forms explosive compounds, often at very low temperatures, with chemicals as diverse as graphite, sodium acetate, stainless steel, perchloric acid, and water or ice. Fluorine ignites in contact with ammonia,



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