Safety of Multi-Etch
We recommend using a fume hood, gloves, goggles, and protective clothing when using Multi-Etch. However, if Multi-Etch splashes on your skin, you can simply rinse it off with no ill effects. If you get hydrofluoric acid on your skin, you want to get medical attention quickly or risk significant tissue damage, even if you rinse it right away: it's an insidious toxin that continues deep into your body hours and days after you think you've taken care of it sufficiently.
Note: Please be careful as Multi-Etch WILL bleach your clothes, so take precautions.
A major difference between Multi-Etch and hydrofluoric acid is that the fluoride in Multi-Etch is always bound up in solution; it is never released into the air. With hydrofluoric acid, fluoride is out-gassed continuously and it's wise to take air quality samples to make sure the fume hood has no back-draft.
The active ingredient in some consumer rust removers is hydrofluoric acid; if you use one of those products, treat it as an extremely hazardous material.
Here is one report on the seriousness of exposure to hydrofluoric acid: Hydrofluoric Acid Accident
For disposal, always check State and local regulations in your area. In California, probably the most environmentally strict State, it is permissible to sewer Multi-Etch using copious amounts of water. Hydrofluoric acid requires professional hazmat waste services, which is harder to obtain today due to the fact that fewer companies are willing to pick up hydrofluoric acid waste than in the past.
Please take a look at our Safety Data Sheets Below: