Saturday, August 2, 2014

hydrofluoric acid catalyst

Valero Energy Meraux petroleum refinery (according to response to noise and vibration reports) is shutting units for a turnaround.  It is also reported that the ALKY unit and the FCC unit will be permanently shut, that the plant will only do minimal processing for gasoline, and the hydrofluoric acid catalyst is being decommissioned, adding the neighbors will not longer have the HF odors.

Really?   which specific odor complaints were traced back to the dangerous HF acid and how long were residents exposed?  should we seek medical treatment? should we obtain bone scans to detect damage?

HF has poor warning properties. The odor threshold for humans is 3 ppm and irritation of mucous membranes begins at 5 ppm. I you can smell it, chances are the concentration is too high and immediate steps must be taken to lower it. Fluoride ions migrate through the body destroying tissue until lodging in the bones. If you suspect you have been exposed to hydrofluoric acid, seek immediate medical attention, even if you do not feel pain.

Inhalation of HF vapor may cause swelling in the respiratory tract up to 24 hours after exposure. Person who have inhaled HF vapor may need prophylactic oxygen treatment and should be seen by a physician as soon as possible.

USD Environmental, Health and Safety Department

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