Toxic Gases & Vapors
Arsenic hydride; Arsenic trihydride; Arseniuretted hydrogen; Arsenous hydride; Hydrogen arsenide; [NIOSH] UN2188
Colorless gas with a mild, garlic-like odor; Note: Shipped as a liquefied compressed gas; [NIOSH]
Arsine may be released in metal refining processes. It is used as a doping agent in microelectronics; also used in the manufacturing of organic chemicals and lead storage batteries. "Most cases of arsine poisoning do not result from the manufacture or use of the gas itself; rather, they come from the formation of arsine as a by-product of a chemical reaction involving, in most instances, a base metal, an arsenic impurity and an acid, or rarely, a strong alkali." [ACGIH]
Arsine damages the cell membrane of the red blood cell resulting in hemolysis. Since arsine is soluble, versus insoluble arsenic compounds, it is not as likely to be retained in the lung and increase the risk of lung cancer. [ACGIH] Acute arsine poisoning may induce acute tubular necrosis secondary to hemoglobinuria. [LaDou, p. 418] Two workers in a smelter suffered from arsine poisoning. The first patient had methemoglobinemia and hemoglobinuria at the time of hospital admission with complete resolution two weeks after exposure. [HSDB] Possible frostbite from contact with liquid; [NIOSH] See "Arsenic" and the linked occupational diseases.
Skin Designation (ACGIH)
Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs
It has been reported that poisoning symptoms occur after a few hours of exposure to 3 to 10 ppm [Henderson and Haggard 1943]. It has been suggested that 1 to 10 ppm might be dangerous for a 1 hour exposure [AIHA 1965] and that 6 to 30 ppm is the maximum concentration that can be inhaled in 1 hour without serious consequences [Henderson and Haggard 1943]. It has been estimated that 1,543 ppm for 2 minutes and 62 ppm for 30 minutes are minimal disabling exposures [Gates et al. 1946].
LC50 (rat) = 390 mg/m3/10 min
Odor threshold from AIHA: all referenced values < 1.0 ppm;
MetHgb is secondary toxic effect
Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:
Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: