Interesting find from another forum, Im not sure if I can link so I will copy the thread. Ive been using wheel brightener for the past 4 years, but I only detail my own cars, No gloves or mask, am I a dead man? Some wheel cleaners contain Ammonium Bi-fluoride. I've been doing some reading on this, and it really is some scary stuff! So I thought I would share my findings... A product like Meguiar's Wheel Brightener for instance, contains Ammonium Bi-fluoride (ABF). I should say that I generally like Meguiar's products, and they offer many alternative wheel cleaners without ABF. So this is not to bash a product or brand, but only meant as an example. I would also like to acknowledge Meguiar's for providing download-able MSDS's from their website, so people are able to know what they are actually dealing with. The first hint of the health risk is that Wheel Brightener has a NFPA health rating of 3, which reads: Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury even though prompt medical attention was given. I've found valuable information regarding ABF in an article from Professional Carwashing & Detailing Magazine, available here: Article Archives Here's a few quotes from that article: Ammonium bifluoride (ABF) is one of the most common, and dangerous, wheel cleaners used in automatic carwashes today. Its effectiveness removing brake dust and difficult contaminants from chrome wheels is undisputed, but some chemists say ABF presents an unjustifiable and potentially lethal risk to carwash operators and their employees. ... ABF, sometimes known as ammonium fluoride or ammonium hydrogen fluoride, is a crystalline salt formed when ammonium hydroxide reacts with HF. Through a complicated chemical reaction, ABF essentially becomes HF when mixed with water or liquid cleaning solutions. Similar to HF, ABF was originally developed for industrial uses, like etching glass, removing oxides from metals and eliminating mineral stains from stone, glass and porcelain. "Hydrogen fluoride and ammonium bi-fluoride. are created for industrial use only," says Dr. Andras Nagy, chief chemist for S&S Car Care, a North Canton, OH-based manufacturer of car-care products. "In Europe, people are stunned that car washes are using these types of chemicals." ... Chemists say it's the fluoride ions in HF and ABF that make many wheel cleaners and pre-soaks so potentially dangerous. Whether fluoride ions enter body tissues as the result of inhalation or skin contact, they cause deep, progressive burning that may quickly lead to multi-organ failure and death. Long-term exposure to even minimal amounts of ABF can lead to brittle bones, weight loss, anemia, and calcified ligaments. "ABF is extremely hazardous and can be harmful to several target organs in the human body, including the lungs, skin, eyes and kidneys," warns Roger McFadden, technical director and senior chemist with Coastwide Laboratories, Portland, OR. McFadden says one of the most frightening aspects of fluoride poisoning is that its effects are not immediately apparent. Unlike hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid, damage caused by HF and ABF takes place slowly. By the time a victim feels the effects, it's too late to reverse the damage. Pretty scary stuff huh? As stated in the quotes above ABF becomes Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) when mixed with water, which it will always be in any useable concentration. Here's a quote from Wikipedia on HF's health effects: Hydrogen fluoride is toxic and can be fatal if even small amounts are ingested or absorbed through the skin. HF burns require immediate treatment beginning with washing with water but specialized care is indicated. HF acid burns are not similar to those produced by hydrogen chloride (HCl), or other common acids. Onset time of symptoms of HF burns are proportional to concentration. Above 50% instantaneous effects are apparent. Between 20% and 50% clinical symptoms may not appear for one to eight hours. Concentrations below 20% may not result in symptoms for 24 hours. Entry routes include inhalation, ingestion, skin and eyes. Aside from burns to the eyes, skin, lungs, or digestive tract, the lowering of serum calcium (hypocalcemia) is one of the most serious consequences of HF exposure. As the free fluorine ion penetrates the skin it binds serum calcium forming covalent, nearly insoluble calcium fluoride (CaF2). This has effects on nerve conduction and can lead to extreme throbbing pain, metabolic changes, and even death. I think the most disturbing thing is the potential long term health effects of using products containing ABF. I really don't see why we need chemicals like this in the detailing business, and hope that it is only a matter of time before before they are replaced completely. But this will only happen if people stop buying products containing ABF. I hope this post will help to help raise the attention towards which chemicals actually are in the products we are all using.