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Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals
ceramic materials, phosphorus, sulfur, copper wire, acetone, and many other organic and inorganic compounds. The literature on incompatibilities of fluorine should be carefully reviewed before attempting work with this substance.
Storage and Handling
Because of its extreme reactivity, toxicity, and gaseous nature, fluorine should be handled using the "basic prudent practices" of Chapter 5.C, supplemented by the additional precautions for work with reactive or explosive chemicals (Chapter 5.G) and work with compressed gases (Chapter 5.H). Work with fluorine requires special precautions and protective equipment and should be carried out only by specially trained personnel. Fluorine will react with many materials normally recommended for handling compressed gases.
In the event of skin contact, immediately wash with soap and water and remove contaminated clothing. In case of eye contact, promptly wash with copious amounts of water for 15 min (lifting upper and lower lids occasionally) and obtain medical attention. If large amounts of fluorine are inhaled, move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention at once.
In the event of a small leak, stop flow of gas if possible, or move cylinder to a fume hood or to a safe location in the open air. Accidental releases of fluorine require evacuation of the affected area and should be handled only by trained personnel equipped with proper protective clothing and respiratory protection.
Excess fluorine should be returned to the manufacturer if possible, according to your institution's waste disposal guidelines. For more information on disposal procedures, see Chapter 7 of this volume.