Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)

This is an online version of the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) which is produced by the USDOT for first responders during the initial phase of a Dangerous goods/Hazardous Materials incident. Have you ever wondered what those four digit numbers on the placards on the side of trucks and rail cars mean? Our online ERG will give you your answer.

FLUORINE (Refrigerated Liquid)



  • TOXIC; may be fatal if inhaled.
  • Vapors are extremely irritating.
  • Contact with gas or liquefied gas will cause burns, severe injury and/or frostbite.
  • Vapors from liquefied gas are initially heavier than air and spread along ground.
  • Runoff from fire control may cause pollution.


  • Substance does not burn but will support combustion.
  • This is a strong oxidizer and will react vigorously or explosively with many materials including fuels.
  • May ignite combustibles (wood, paper, oil, clothing, etc.).
  • Vapor explosion and poison hazard indoors, outdoors or in sewers.
  • Containers may explode when heated.
  • Ruptured cylinders may rocket.


  • CALL Emergency Response Telephone Number on Shipping Paper first. If Shipping Paper not available or no answer, refer to appropriate telephone number listed on the inside back cover.
  • As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area for at least 100 meters (330 feet) in all directions.
  • Keep unauthorized personnel away.
  • Stay upwind.
  • Many gases are heavier than air and will spread along ground and collect in low or confined areas (sewers, basements, tanks).
  • Keep out of low areas.
  • Ventilate closed spaces before entering.


  • Wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
  • Wear chemical protective clothing that is specifically recommended by the manufacturer. It may provide little or no thermal protection.
  • Structural firefighters' protective clothing provides limited protection in fire situations ONLY; it is not effective in spill situations where direct contact with the substance is possible.
  • Always wear thermal protective clothing when handling refrigerated/cryogenic liquids.


  • See Table 1 - Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances.
  • If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 1600 meters (1 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 1600 meters (1 mile) in all directions.



Small Fire
  • Dry chemical, soda ash, lime or sand.
Large Fire
  • Water spray, fog (flooding amounts).
  • Do not get water inside containers.
  • Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk.
Fire involving Tanks
  • Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles.
  • Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out.
  • Do not direct water at source of leak or safety devices; icing may occur.
  • Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety devices or discoloration of tank.
  • ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire.
  • For massive fire, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from area and let fire burn.


  • Do not touch or walk through spilled material.
  • If you have not donned special protective clothing approved for this material, do not expose yourself to any risk of this material touching you.
  • Do not direct water at spill or source of leak.
  • A fine water spray remotely directed to the edge of the spill pool can be used to direct and maintain a hot flare fire that will burn the spilled material in a controlled manner.
  • Keep combustibles (wood, paper, oil, etc.) away from spilled material.
  • Stop leak if you can do it without risk.
  • Use water spray to reduce vapors or divert vapor cloud drift. Avoid allowing water runoff to contact spilled material.
  • If possible, turn leaking containers so that gas escapes rather than liquid.
  • Prevent entry into waterways, sewers, basements or confined areas.
  • Isolate area until gas has dispersed.
  • Ventilate the area.


  • Move victim to fresh air.
  • Call 911 or emergency medical service.
  • Give artificial respiration if victim is not breathing.
  • Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult.
  • Clothing frozen to the skin should be thawed before being removed.
  • Remove and isolate contaminated clothing and shoes.
  • In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes.
  • Keep victim warm and quiet.
  • Keep victim under observation.
  • Effects of contact or inhalation may be delayed.
  • Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved and take precautions to protect themselves.

Data Source for our online 2008 ERG

This information was compiled from the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (2008 ERG) which is produced by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

(Data last updated/verified: Oct. 2, 2011)

Related Resources


WARNING: These pages are for general reference and educational purposes only and MUST NOT be relied upon as a sole source to determine regulatory compliance or where matters of life and health are concerned. This site and the author do not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or the sufficiency of the information provided and do not assume any responsibility for its use.

To ensure regulatory compliance when transporting hazardous materials or dangerous goods, one must receive proper training and certification from a qualified instructor and refer to the current year's Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 (49CFR) or your country's shipping regulations. In matters regarding workplace safety, refer to current OSHA regulations (29CFR) and NIOSH guidelines or your own country's health and safety regulations. No one should ever enter into a hazardous environment without proper training from qualified instructors.

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