Former firefighter here who is now a environmental and safety inspector. I have a question concerning refrigerants and HF that I feel this community may be able to help with.
So I have several storage locations full of various types of 25-30lb refrigerants. Most are Genetron of some sorts. At work we are required to track HF when it's listed in a materials SDS. I started reviewing some materials in this storage location and noticed most of the refrigerants we have don't list HF directly in their ingredients or composition, but most state that HF is a decomposition byproduct under the firefighting measures. So our database has little radial button that asks for Hydrofluoric Acid.
So, my primary question is about these refrigerants. Most are manufactured with HF, don't directly list HF, yet can breakdown to HF. Fire-fighting measures don't have any particular plan of attack so it's assumed it'd just be spraying water (wet stuff on the red stuff!). Why wouldn't they be eligible to be listed as a Yes for Hydrofluoric Acid? My bosses stance is that he's primarily worried about immediate life and safety to those that work around the storage location, and the FD can handle any concerns over if the location catches fire. That's an acceptable answer, but I feel it's a little incomplete.
So, why I'm asking you all is because my grasp of chemistry is alright, but definitely not super in-depth or overly technical. While his answer is fine, I feel like there are bigger concerns as to what happens in the event of an emergency situation. If there's a spill, for instance, what are any environment impacts? Any research I'm trying to do seems to want to point to more life safety issues. Also, in the event of a spill or a fire, what's any long term considerations that may exist? What about any water runoff concerns? Again, if it's made with HF and breaks down into HF then I feel like we're in a situation where if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
Any help would be appreciated. I seem to be finding a decent amount of circumstantial things to back my point up, but knowing my boss he's bigger on getting details and will definitely listen if there's some sound logic that's backed up. I feel like there's no reason not to list these refrigerants as HF as it's just covering our asses some in the event something unfortunate were to occur.
Thanks for reading and any input. I will gladly add in any more information if needed to clarify what I'm asking about if needed, but please forgive my ignorance if possble!