Objective: To analyze the damage caused by hydrofluoric acid to the health of operating workers and to explore health monitoring indicators.
Method: Occupational health examinations were carried out on 536 hydrofluoric acid operating workers from the etching process at a certain factory, and 256 persons in the control group.
Results: Among the 536 workers exposed to hydrofluoric acid, the detection rates of chronic nasopharyngeal inflammation, cough and shortness of breath, skin lesions and dental erosion were 60.07%, 34.9%, 30.0% and 27.1% respectively. When compared to those of 256 administrative and back-office staff members, the differences were significant. Among the hydrofluoric acid operating workers, there were significant differences in the incidence of increased and thickened lung markings, bronchitis or pulmonary inflammation, bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as abnormal pulmonary function indicators, sinus bradycardia, sinus arrhythmia, changes in ST-T and extrasystole; in addition, hydrofluoric acid had certain impacts on the routine blood and urine tests and liver functions of the operating workers.
Conclusion: Hydrofluoric acid causes a certain level of harm to workers’ organs such as the respiratory system, skin and mucosae, teeth, heart and liver. Meanwhile, industrial fluorosis and skeletal abnormalities are rare.
Translated by Trans Perfect Translations (2014)