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Go Back   Lampwork Etc. > Library > Safety

Safety -- Make sure you are safe!

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  #31  
Old 2012-07-06, 7:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSimmons View Post
There is an article about etching safety in the next edition of The Glass Bead.

Robert
great timing

and thank you Corri for making this a sticky
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  #32  
Old 2012-07-08, 9:42am
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I figured that it was way past time to address the issue directly so I wrote the article. Etching is very popular and most people don't know nearly enough about how to handle these materials safely. Thanks for making this a sticky - it really is important.

Robert
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  #33  
Old 2012-09-09, 7:59am
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One addition from the Chemical Hygiene Officer at the University where I work:

If you are exposed to HF and don't have calcium gluconate on hand, a trip to the emergency room is a very good idea. When seeking medical treatment, it is best to take a copy of the MSDS with you to show them. IMPORTANT: make sure they understand that they are dealing with exposure to Hydrofluoric Acid, NOT Hydrochloric Acid. It is imperative that they understand this as the treatments are very different. Simply neutralizing the acid doesn't work as HF goes after calcium sources in your body, i.e., your bones. I have seen some really ugly photos of the consequences of improper treatment. HF is not something to be trifled with. BTW, consider a face shield in addition to safety glasses when working with strong acids.
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  #34  
Old 2012-09-09, 10:04am
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I google searched images

Scary stuff.

My husband worked in an auto shop without gloves. His right hand was dipped into cleaning chemicals all day. This was 20 years ago, and you should see his hand now. It still peels, cracks, bleeds, and looks bad. Imagine what else is going on in his body from the damage.


I was a dental assistant and was exposed to a lot of dangerous chemicals from cleaning wipes and sprays to chemical autoclave to mercury, and more. In my google image search I saw a dental image where we put the acid etch on the tooth to prepare for a composite filling. Yet another chemical I was exposed to. We are not trained to suction those vapors. Most dentists do not use dental dams, and often the acid is sprayed off and suctioned out, but often it gets lost into the patients mouth and swallowed. I have had it spray onto my arms and face before too.

Needless to say, I got very very sick and no longer could work as a Dental Assistant. I was diagnosed with MCS, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. We did filling all day long, and tossed this chemical around like it was just another tool.

So, when you go to the dentist, make sure you get a DENTAL DAM!!!! Especially if they are removing the mercury fillings and giving you the nice white plastic composite fillings. They are using this in your mouth.

Here is a google image search for hydrofluoric acid dental
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  #35  
Old 2012-09-09, 8:04pm
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Just purchased this stuff a week or two ago and am glad to have seen this thread. I was unaware this stuff was a hydrofluoric analogue.

I'm a chemist in a research lab. We work with lots of nasty stuff including liquid HCN (HCN salts used in gas chambers in WW2) which can kill you with a single drop. To this day, about the only chemical we refuse to work with is HF. It's an excellent digestive agent for metals analysis, but the risks aren't worth the advantages over alternatives.

When working with the glacial acids (as in the fatility story - way more concentrated than etch-all! - hate scare stories...) the fumes are potentially deadly and a drop will eat through your jeans in seconds. The problem with HF is how easily it penetrates through clothing and skin. Even with these relatively dilute solutions please be very very careful to avoid contact and treat all spills properly. Pretend it's another torch flame...

The good news is nitrile gloves seem fairly resistive to degradation and permeation but be aware that chemist use thicker gloves and don't buy them from the dollar store. Sunlight and heat may compromise your gloves.
http://www.ansellpro.com/download/An...tanceGuide.pdf

gloves, chemical apron, goggles, sleeves, face shield, and good ventilation are highly recommended.
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  #36  
Old 2012-12-19, 2:54pm
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Does anyone remember the episode of the tv show ER where a fire fighter got a bunch of hydrofluoric acid on him and they had to tell him he was going to die within a couple of hours? Carol Hathaway took down a letter to his daughter that he dictated and he died as she was reading it back to him. That's really all I had to know about hydrofluoric acid to never want to have anything to do with it.
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  #37  
Old 2012-12-19, 3:47pm
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If anyone watched "Breaking Bad" hydrofluoric acid is what they used to completely disintegrate human bodies.
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  #38  
Old 2012-12-21, 1:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntD View Post
Does anyone remember the episode of the tv show ER where a fire fighter got a bunch of hydrofluoric acid on him and they had to tell him he was going to die within a couple of hours? Carol Hathaway took down a letter to his daughter that he dictated and he died as she was reading it back to him. That's really all I had to know about hydrofluoric acid to never want to have anything to do with it.
yes, really stuck in my memory
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  #39  
Old 2012-12-26, 4:29pm
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Does anyone know if the wink rust stain remover works? Or is there a safe chemical method for etching? I don't have any luck with tumbling.
I would like to stop using the etchall after reading all of the safety information.
Thanks for the info,
Darlene
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  #40  
Old 2012-12-26, 4:46pm
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I started my working life in a cadetship in production and chemical engineering with Dunlop Australia in the early sixties and HF and it's derivitives were in the arsenal of materials that were used in our lab. The precautions taken for w.h.a.s. were as great as for phosgene which is a reaction product of chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents and burning polymers.
With the knowlege of the dangers of HF and it's derivatives that I gained in that period of my training I have deemed it the smartest move to just avoid the use of HF and derivatives even when the economics would suggest a compromise. The precautions available in a superbly equipped laboratory far surpass anything the casual home user can effect, so my advice would be to just keep as far from HF as possible Terry
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  #41  
Old 2012-12-26, 7:08pm
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Wink Rust and Stain remover works on some soft glass BUT it is 3-5% HF!!!
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  #42  
Old 2012-12-31, 9:10pm
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I just want to thank all of you who post information and do the research to help everyone be safe. I have some etch all. I have used it three time in 6 years, now I will wear gloves, respirator and take it outside.

Thanks once again.
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  #43  
Old 2013-01-01, 12:57am
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I've used the white etching cream many times and have even gotten it on my fingers. Washed vigorously and never had any reaction to it. The brown liquid stuff scares me a lot more, for some reason. I am always super careful now, but still.. pretty scary. Sigh. I love etched glass.
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  #44  
Old 2013-01-01, 3:13pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrellglider View Post
I started my working life in a cadetship in production and chemical engineering with Dunlop Australia in the early sixties and HF and it's derivitives were in the arsenal of materials that were used in our lab. The precautions taken for w.h.a.s. were as great as for phosgene which is a reaction product of chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents and burning polymers.
With the knowlege of the dangers of HF and it's derivatives that I gained in that period of my training I have deemed it the smartest move to just avoid the use of HF and derivatives even when the economics would suggest a compromise. The precautions available in a superbly equipped laboratory far surpass anything the casual home user can effect, so my advice would be to just keep as far from HF as possible Terry
Well said. There are a lot of other ways to achieve an etched look using abrasives that are much safer if done right. Accidents happen so plan for the worst with any product you use.
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  #45  
Old 2013-04-08, 7:22pm
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Glad I read this! Thank you for the info, I think ill skip this stuff and just start saving for a sandblasting cabinet. Hope everyones safe!
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  #46  
Old 2013-06-07, 9:55pm
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I can not Thank You enough for putting this information on a sticky. I was the saftey guy in the Navy and I still took the manufacturers word for how safe this stuff is. DOH!, as Hommer Simpson would say. I had not bought any yet, but I was going to 'till today. This the excuse I need to go ahead and get a good rock tumbler and the abrasive kits for it. It will take a few days rather than a few hours I assume but will be worth it in the long run. Besides that, now I could tumble the pretty stones I find.
I wonder if portland cement has enough lime in it to serve as a quench for this HF Acid. I have a half a bag of that left from some project or other. I was thinking of using that to neutralize the muriatic acid left from some brick projects. I seem to remember that cement is made from baked limestone, but the mind does funny things as one grows older. Phill.
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  #47  
Old 2013-06-09, 4:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedslug View Post
I can not Thank You enough for putting this information on a sticky. I was the saftey guy in the Navy and I still took the manufacturers word for how safe this stuff is. DOH!, as Hommer Simpson would say. I had not bought any yet, but I was going to 'till today. This the excuse I need to go ahead and get a good rock tumbler and the abrasive kits for it. It will take a few days rather than a few hours I assume but will be worth it in the long run. Besides that, now I could tumble the pretty stones I find.
I wonder if portland cement has enough lime in it to serve as a quench for this HF Acid. I have a half a bag of that left from some project or other. I was thinking of using that to neutralize the muriatic acid left from some brick projects. I seem to remember that cement is made from baked limestone, but the mind does funny things as one grows older. Phill.
I'm glad you found the info, newbies are the exact reason I put it up
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  #48  
Old 2014-10-06, 12:35am
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I used to etch so many of my beads... no ventilation, in the kitchen sink, wasn't even careful! Yikes. I stopped etching years ago, for no good reason, but thought about starting again. I'm glad this was posted as a warning, especially as I've got kids now! Thank you!
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  #49  
Old 2014-10-06, 12:56am
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Um Rock Tumbler with 1000 frit silicon carbide grinding compound.
The only problem here is that it doesn't like to get into a deep indentations
without a tiny carrying agent. I've been know to use saw dust for this, but
it can take a lot longer to etch since the saw dust softens the tumble.

I worked for years with HF, both weak and very strong solutions in the
scientific end of glass. Trust me its nasty. It will also eat your mucus membranes
away after time.

There was a window on the wall above the sink area we used for cleaning apparatus with HF.
It became etched just from the fumes. No wonder I have cataracts and can't smell any thing!
Not to mention the skin cancer I have removed from my face occasionally.
LOL isn't life grand?

Last edited by hyperT; 2014-10-06 at 1:13am.
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  #50  
Old 2014-10-06, 12:20pm
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Oh wow, hyperT, that sucks! I was actually daydreaming of using some kind of tumbler just last night...
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  #51  
Old 2015-03-28, 12:36pm
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PerfectDeb, like any chemicals it is potentially dangerous. In general - everything around us is potentially dangerous. Car, glass, gas, power supply and sockets, water supply on 30th floor, home dust - everything - was, is and will be.

Proper handling, safety procedures and understanding of what you are dealing with - is what turns the dangerous things to pretty safe ones. And this is the only way.

A cheap always kept separately and dedicated plastic container, a pair of disposable gloves, ventilation, mask (optional), a glass with baking soda solution (1 teaspoon per glass at room temp) to neutralize the acid and a proper rinsing in running water makes chemical etching no more dangerous than regular WC cleaning.
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  #52  
Old 2015-03-28, 1:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katia View Post
PerfectDeb, like any chemicals it is potentially dangerous. In general - everything around us is potentially dangerous. Car, glass, gas, power supply and sockets, water supply on 30th floor, home dust - everything - was, is and will be.

Proper handling, safety procedures and understanding of what you are dealing with - is what turns the dangerous things to pretty safe ones. And this is the only way.

A cheap always kept separately and dedicated plastic container, a pair of disposable gloves, ventilation, mask (optional), a glass with baking soda solution (1 teaspoon per glass at room temp) to neutralize the acid and a proper rinsing in running water makes chemical etching no more dangerous than regular WC cleaning.
Sure best case the risk is manageable. I prefer to estimate my risk by asking about what happens in the case of an accident or worst case. If the answer is severe and beyond what I am willing to deal with then the risk is too high. I stay away from HF.
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  #53  
Old 2015-03-28, 1:33pm
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LarryC, you are right, but the best way to eliminate the danger is to somehow imagine it happens.

The most awful is somehow get this stuff in the eyes by accident? No problem, swimming glasses are affordable. And it does not matter if it is recommended or not, is it fashionable or not - it provides safety for your own eyes? Yes. Then, let it be.

If something may etch glass in half an hour (in no time. actually) it is not safe, it is agressive, it needs to be handled with care and may be more safety cautions than required by the labelling of the bottle
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  #54  
Old 2015-03-28, 1:40pm
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LarryC, you are right, but the best way to eliminate the danger is to somehow imagine it happens.

The most awful is somehow get this stuff in the eyes by accident? No problem, swimming glasses are affordable. And it does not matter if it is recommended or not, is it fashionable or not - it provides safety for your own eyes? Yes. Then, let it be.

If something may etch glass in half an hour (in no time. actually) it is not safe, it is agressive, it needs to be handled with care and may be more safety precautions than required by the labelling of the bottle
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  #55  
Old 2015-03-30, 5:00pm
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Driving a car is dangerous, flying an airplane is dangerous, and walking down a flight of stairs is dangerous.

But if we do not drink and drive
And get off a plane if the pilot has been drinking
And if we hold onto the rail when we walk downstairs
And if we use proper ventilation, rubber gloves and not use any etching liquids after we have had a few too many, we all can survive using Etchall, airplanes, cars.

Life is dangerous.
Ever fall on a pile of glass rods? That can kill you.

I think that being educated about how to use products as mentioned above is a good tactic.

Oh, you use propane everyday. That can blow you up. But we all practice safety.

Ok, I am ready for a bashing!!

Mike
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  #56  
Old 2015-03-31, 2:30pm
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Concentrated hydrofluoric acid and anhydrous hydrogen fluoride gas are extremely dangerous because they are absorbed through the skin without an initial burning sensation. They can then react with bone, forming calcium fluoride and essentially dissolving bone, if not treated immediately.

Ammonium bifluoride solutions are less dangerous but should still be treated with respect. At a minimum gloves and safety glasses should be used. If it is splashed on the skin, it should be immediately rinsed off and neutralized with an mild alkaline material (baking soda, milk of magnesia, calcium carbonate,Tums, etc). Ammonium bifluoride solutions generally do not present an inhalation hazard since the hydrogen fluoride that is formed is very water soluble and has a low vapor pressure.

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  #57  
Old 2016-02-01, 10:16am
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I used the etching solution from the craft store for years, then read a warning thread about the solvent here on LE. Last year I bought a small tumbler, and I haven't looked back yet. That being said, I have to agree that even with different grit carrying agents (like tiny plastic pellets and larger ceramic pellets) the grit doesn't get into every nook and crevice. And that is a bummer. There are times when I feel that the liquid etching would work better, BUT the trade off is that the rock tumbler etching is so very much smoother. When I touch one of my tumbled focals it's like rubbing silk. Lovely! If it comes down to it, I'll save the few ones I have that need liquid etching and I'll do them all at once. Outside. Otherwise, as a die-hard liquid etcher for years, I'm very pleased with the tumbler results. If you have a chance, switch! You can buy all the stuff for about $130, which isn't bad, considering our hobby prices (lol).
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