CALCIUM GLUCONATE GEL AS AN ANTIDOTE TO HYDROFLUORIC ACID BURNS ON
- Calcium Gluconate 2.5% Topical Gel can be purchased from:
- Pharmascience Inc., 175 Rano St., Buffalo, NY 14207-2176, phone
1-800-207-4477. The cost for a 25 g tube is $27.55 but a minimum
order of 6 tubes is required. A reduced price of $22.05 per
tube is attached to purchases of 12 or more tubes. Pharmascience
will add a 5% shipping and handling fee.
- Cameron Medical, 9430 Burtis Street, South Gate, CA, 90280, phone
1-800-777-3723, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,
Item #751500. The price is currently $32.82 for a 25 g tube.
The purchase of six or more tubes reduces the price to $30.75. This
does not include the cost for delivery.
- Attard's Minerals, 5081 Field Street, San Diego, CA, 92110. Order
or phone 1-619-275-2016. A 30-gram tube is $28 and a 60-gram tube
is $46. There is no minimum to buy. Orders of 6 or more get a 10%
discount. Orders have a $5 flat rate S&H charge.
ORS does not endorse any specific calcium gluconate supplier. The
vendors listed above are simply companies known to offer the gel.
This gel is available without a prescription (although please be aware
that it is not approved by the FDA). Prices are current for December
2000. FYI, ORS stocks two tubes on each campus: one in the first aid
pack and one in the wasteroom. The philosophy behind the stock distribution
is to have the gel immediately available in any location where HF
may be handled. Some lab workers keep gel supplies ready-to-grab on
the air foils (sills) of the fume hoods where they will be working
with this highly corrosive agent.
If the commercial gel product is not available, an emergency in-house
version can be prepared for treatment of hydrofluoric acid burns on
skin. This homemade gel is composed of 3.5 grams of calcium gluconate
powder mixed into 5 ounces of water-soluble lubricant such as K-Y
Jelly or Surgilube. Pre-made stock should be kept on-hand whenever
HF is to be used. There is little time for deliberation and searching
for the tubes. HF users may want to run practice drills for possible
HF incidents to guarantee that they can follow appropriate procedures
quickly and automatically.
- A local pharmacy may also be available to prepare antidote gel. The
pharmacist may choose to substitute magnesium for calcium.
NOTE: The major action of either of these two gels, commercial
or homemade, is to provide excess (or substitute) calcium stores so that
bone tissue does not act as the calcium supply. The calcium from the gel
will function as a fluoride scavenger to generate calcium fluoride, a
product that may be excreted from the body. Removal of calcium from blood
and tissue by fluoride ion attack results in a serious, frequently life-threatening
condition known as hypocalcemia.
All HF burns require a medical evaluation, whether treated with gel
Segal, Eileen B, "First Aid for a Unique Acid: HF," Chemical Health
and Safety, September/October 1998, Vol. 5, No. 5, p. 25.
Bronstein, A. C. and Currance, P. L. "Emergency Care for Hazardous Materials
Exposures." Mosby Company, 1988.
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