Arsenic pentafluroide (AsF5) is an extremely toxic and corrosive gas that destroys red blood cells and can cause widespread systemic injury. Fluoride toxicity similar to hydrogen fluoride is characteristic for exposure. Inhalation is similar to arsine gas and may cause headache, delirium, nausea, vomiting, general malaise, tightness in the chest and pain in the abdomen or loins. Symptoms may not occur until several hours after exposure. AsF5 will give off irritation vapors in moist air; however, does not have adequate warning properties to avoid overexposure in most situations. Arsenic compounds are listed as Group 1 Carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
AsF5 is nonflammable but is readily hydrolized in the presence of water and humid environments to form arsenic and hydrogen fluoride.
Skin Contact: Remove affected clothing as quickly as possible. Flush affected area with copious amounts of water for 5 minutes and administer calcium gluconate 2.5% gel to prevent system fluoride toxicity. Seek medical attention immediately.
Eye Contact: Avoid the use of contact lenses when working with this material. Flush contaminated eye(s) with copious amounts of water. Part eyelids to assure complete flushing. Continue for a minimum of 30 minutes. Seek medical attention immediately.
Inhalation: Prompt medical attention is mandatory in all cases of exposure. Rescue personnel should be aware of the extreme toxicity hazard. Regard anyone exposed as receiving a potentially toxic dose. Quick removal from the contaminated area is most important. Self-contained breathing apparatus and full-containment suits must be worn when entering a potentially contaminated environment.
Ingestion: Ingestion is unlikely for gaseous materials. Drink 4-8 ounces of water or milk to dilute. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.
Follow all compressed gas general handling precautions when working with AsF5. Avoid exposure to water or humid environments, systems must be kept dry. Use only in a laboratory fume hood or enclosed system with continuous analytical monitoring equipped with alarm.
AsF5 will corrode glass and react violently with alkaline solutions. Stainless steel and nickel are preferred materials for handling AsF5. Kel-F and Teflon are preferred gasket materials.
Protective gloves should be Teflon or Kel-F.
Cylinders of arsenic pentafluoride should be stored and used in a ventilated gas cabinet or a fume hood. Follow all compressed gas general storage procedures when working with AsF5.
Arsenic pentfluoride cylinders should be returned to the compressed gas distributor when emptied or no longer used.