A Filipina worker died Wednesday after suffering severe hydrofluoric acid burns in a chemical accident that took place at an optoelectronics factory in Miaoli, the county’s Fire Bureau said Thursday.
Tsao Chun-feng (曹春風), a section chief with the fire bureau, said the 29-year old victim, who was not identified, was rushed to a Taipei hospital for emergency treatment but did not survive.
Hydrofluoric acid is a colorless solution that is highly corrosive and capable of dissolving many types of materials. It is frequently used in the electronics industry, including for metal cleaning and glass etching.
The company that employed her in the Jhunan Science Park said the Filipina was wearing a protective apron that covered her front side to clean circuit boards using hydrofluoric acid, but had accidentally knocked over the substance as she turned around.
The acid got splattered onto her exposed thighs, causing severe burns, the company said.
According to Tsao, she was rushed to Veterans General Hospital in Taipei because only a few hospitals in Taiwan are able to deal with burns from hydrofluoric acid.
The woman’s coworkers said she had been working at the factory for at least two years and was planning to return home to the Philippines next month.