Study on the Distribution of Fluorides in Plants and the Estimation of Ambient Concentration of Hydrogen Fluoride Around the Area of the Accidental Release of Hydrogen Fluoride in Gumi

구미 불산 누출사고 지점 주변 식물의 불소화합물 농도 분포 및 공기 중 불화수소 농도 추정에 관한 연구

  • Received : 2013.03.20
  • Accepted : 2013.07.19
  • Published : 2013.08.31


Objectives: The goal of this study is to identify the distribution of the foliar fluorine content of vegetation surrounding the area where hydrofluoric acid was accidently released in Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do on September 27, 2012. In addition, it also aims to estimate the concentration of hydrogen fluoride in the air on the day of the accident. Methods: Samples of plant leaves were collected on October 7, 2012 within 1 km from the site where the accident occurred. These samples were analyzed for soluble fluorine ion with an ion selective electrode. The ambient concentration of hydrogen fluoride was calculated using the fluoride content in the plant via the dose-rate equation (${\Delta}F$=KCT). Results: The arithmetic and geometric means of the concentrations were 2158.2 and 1183.7mg F $kg^{-1}$ for leaves and, 2.4 and 1.1 ppm HF for the air, respectively. The highest concentration of hydrogen fluoride in the air was 14.7 ppm, which is higher than the maximum concentration reported by the government (1 ppm) and the exposure limit (ceiling, 3 ppm). The concentrations of both fluorine and hydrogen fluoride decreased with increasing distance from the accident site and showed a significant decrease outside of a 500m radius from the site (p <0.05). Conclusions: The area around the accident site was highly polluted with hydrogen fluoride according to the results of this study. Considering the persistency of hydrogen fluoride in the environment, long-term monitoring and environmental impact assessment should be pursued.


Chemical accidental release;Gumi;hydrogen fluoride


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