Hydrofluoric Acid in the Southern California Atmosphere

Christopher D. Hance, Paul A. Solomon, Lynn G. Salmon, Theresa Fall, and Glen R. Cass
Environmental Science and Technology, 31 (1997) 956--959


Atmospheric hydrofluoric acid concentrations were measured at nine sites in Southern California during an 8-month period. Long-term average HF concentrations measured by the tandem filter method ranged from 0.13 µg/m3 (0.15 ppb) at San Nicolas Island to 0.22 µg/m3 (0.25 ppb) onshore at Rubidoux, CA. The ambient concetnration of HF shows little change throughout the year, with the notable exception of an occasional spike which approaches or exceeds 1 µg/m3 (1.12 ppb) over a 24-h averaging time. Due to the wide-ranging uses of HF in industry, and lacking natural sources to account for such spikes, it is possible that these spikes are due to accidental emissions from industrial sources, although no direct evidence of accidents on the dates involved was found.

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