BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In a recent CarWash Safety 101 with Mike Benmosche blog post, McNeil & Company National Carwash Program Specialist Mike Benmosche discusses the Aug. 21 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the potential risks associated with hydrofluoric acid (HF), which is a common ingredient in some carwash chemicals.

He explains in the blog post that this CDC report refers to examples in Washington State during 2001-13, where a fatality was associated with a worker of a truck wash who ingested the chemical. CDC also referenced 48 occupational cases related to HF exposure; and, among those injured, seven were hospitalized and two required surgery.

“Most of us know this is not a new topic. Much has been written over the years about HF and ABF (Ammonium bifluoride),” says Benmosche in the blog post. “Both of these chemicals can be dangerous, causing many carwash owners to discontinue using these products. However, these chemicals still exist in the industry for cleaning wheels and tunnel walls.”

He continues in the blog post by offering a few precautions to take if using HF or similar chemicals:

  • Train all employees regarding the hazards associated with these chemicals
  • Wear goggles and face shields (not glasses)
  • Wear an apron approved for use with corrosive chemicals
  • Wear neoprene and nitrile gloves
  • Wear appropriate shoes (no sneakers)
  • Use engineering and administrative controls to limit exposure.

Read the entire blog post on chemical safety here.

Check out more CarWash Safety 101 blog posts here.