*         RIGHT TO KNOW PROGRAM           *

CAS Number:     7664-38-2
DOT Number:     UN 1805

RTK Substance number:  1516
Date:  February 1989  Revision:  First

* Phosphoric Acid can affect you when breathed in.
* Breathing the vapor can irritate the nose, throat, and lungs.  Higher
levels can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), a
medical emergency.
* Phosphoric Acid is a CORROSIVE CHEMICAL and contact with the liquid can
severely burn the skin and eyes.
* Long-term exposure to the liquid may cause drying and cracking of the

Phosphoric Acid is a colorless odorless solid or thick liquid.  It is used
in making metal products, rustproofing, and in making fertilizer and
livestock feeds.

* Phosphoric Acid is on the Hazardous Substance List because it is regulated
by OSHA and cited by ACGIH, DOT and EPA.
* This chemical is also on the Special Health Hazard Substance List because

* Exposure to hazardous substances should be routinely evaluated. This may
include collecting personal and area air samples.  You can obtain copies of
sampling results from your employer. You have a legal right to this
information under OSHA 1910.20.
* If you think you are experiencing any work-related health problems, see a
doctor trained to recognize occupational diseases. Take this Fact Sheet with

OSHA: The legal airborne permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 1 mg/m3
averaged over an 8-hour workshift and 3 mg/m3, not to be exceeded during any
(15 minute) work period.  (Final Rule January 1989).

ACGIH: The recommended airborne exposure limit is 1 mg/m3 averaged over an
8-hour workshift and 3 mg/m3 as a STEL (short term exposure limit).

* Where possible, enclose operations and use local exhaust ventilation at
the site of chemical release.  If local exhaust ventilation or enclosure is
not used, respirators should be worn.
* Wear protective work clothing.
* Wash thoroughly immediately after exposure to Phosphoric Acid.
* Post hazard and warning information in the work area.  In addition, as
part of an ongoing education and training effort, communicate all
information on the health and safety hazards of Phosphoric Acid to
potentially exposed workers.

This Fact Sheet is a summary source of information of all potential and most
severe health hazards that may result from exposure.  Duration of exposure,
concentration of the substance and other factors will affect your
susceptibility to any of the potential effects described below. 


Acute Health Effects
The following acute (short-term) health effects may occur immediately or
shortly after exposure to Phosphoric Acid:

* Contact can cause severe skin burns and can severely burn the eyes,
leading to permanent damage.
* Breathing the vapor can irritate the nose, throat, and lungs.  Higher
levels can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), a
medical emergency.

Chronic Health Effects
The following chronic (long-term) health effects can occur at some time
after exposure to Phosphoric Acid and can last for months or years:

Cancer Hazard
* According to the information presently available to the New Jersey
Department of Health, Phosphoric Acid has not been tested for its ability to
cause cancer in animals.

Reproductive Hazard
* According to the information presently available to the New Jersey
Department of Health, Phosphoric Acid has not been tested for its ability to
affect reproduction.

Other Long-Term Effects
* Repeated exposure can cause bronchitis with cough, phlegm, and/or
shortness of breath.
* Long-term exposure to the liquid may cause drying and cracking of the


Medical Testing
Before beginning employment and at regular times after that, the following
are recommended:

* Lung function tests.

If symptoms develop or overexposure is suspected, the following may be

* Consider chest x-ray after acute overexposure.

Any evaluation should include a careful history of past and present symptoms
with an exam.  Medical tests that look for damage already done are not a
substitute for controlling exposure.

Request copies of your medical testing.  You have a legal right to this
information under OSHA 1910.20.

Mixed Exposures
Because smoking can cause heart disease, as well as lung cancer, emphysema,
and other respiratory problems, it may worsen respiratory conditions caused
by chemical exposure.  Even if you have smoked for a long time, stopping now
will reduce your risk of developing health problems.


Unless a less toxic chemical can be substituted for a hazardous substance,
ENGINEERING CONTROLS are the most effective way of reducing exposure.  The
best protection is to enclose operations and/or provide local exhaust
ventilation at the site of chemical release.  Isolating operations can also
reduce exposure.  Using respirators or protective equipment is less
effective than the controls mentioned above, but is sometimes necessary.

In evaluating the controls present in your workplace, consider: (1) how
hazardous the substance is, (2) how much of the substance is released into
the workplace and (3) whether harmful skin or eye contact could occur. 
Special controls should be in place for highly toxic chemicals or when
significant skin, eye, or breathing exposures are possible.

In addition, the following control is recommended:

* Where possible, automatically pump liquid or transfer solid Phosphoric
Acid from drums or other storage containers to process containers.

Good WORK PRACTICES can help to reduce hazardous exposures.  The following
work practices are recommended:

* Workers whose clothing has been contaminated by Phosphoric Acid should
change into clean clothing promptly.
* Contaminated work clothes should be laundered by individuals who have been
informed of the hazards of exposure to Phosphoric Acid.
* Eye wash fountains in the immediate work area should be provided for
emergency use.
* If there is the possibility of skin exposure, emergency shower facilities
should be provided.
* On skin contact with Phosphoric Acid, immediately wash or shower to remove
the chemical.
* Do not eat, smoke, or drink where Phosphoric Acid is handled, processed,
or stored, since the chemical can be swallowed.  Wash hands carefully before
eating or smoking.
* Do not dry sweep for clean-up. Use a vacuum or a wet method to reduce dust
during clean-up.


for some jobs (such as outside work, confined space entry, jobs done only
once in a while, or jobs done while workplace controls are being installed),
personal protective equipment may be appropriate.

The following recommendations are only guidelines and may not apply to every

* Avoid skin contact with Phosphoric Acid.  Wear acid-resistant gloves and
clothing. Safety equipment suppliers/ manufacturers can provide
recommendations on the most protective glove/clothing material for your
* All protective clothing (suits, gloves, footwear, headgear) should be
clean, available each day, and put on before work.
* ACGIH recommends natural rubber, nitrile rubber, or polyvinyl chloride as
good to excellent protective materials.

Eye Protection
* Wear splash-proof chemical goggles and faceshield when working with
liquid, or wear dust-proof goggles and faceshield when working with powders
or dust, unless full facepiece respiratory protection is worn.

Respiratory Protection
IMPROPER USE OF RESPIRATORS IS DANGEROUS.  Such equipment should only be
used if the employer has a written program that takes into account workplace
conditions, requirements for worker training, respirator fit testing and
medical exams, as described in OSHA 1910.134.

* Where the potential exists for exposures over 1 mg/m3, use an MSHA/NIOSH
approved supplied-air respirator with a full facepiece operated in the
positive pressure mode or with a full facepiece, hood, or helmet in the
continuous flow mode, or use an MSHA/NIOSH approved self-contained breathing
apparatus with a full facepiece operated in pressure-demand or other
positive pressure mode.


Q: If I have acute health effects, will I later get chronic health effects?
A: Not always.  Most chronic (long-term) effects result from repeated
exposures to a chemical.

Q: Can I get long-term effects without ever having short-term effects?
A: Yes, because long-term effects can occur from repeated exposures to a
chemical at levels not high enough to make you immediately sick.

Q: What are my chances of getting sick when I have been exposed to
A: The likelihood of becoming sick from chemicals is increased as the amount
of exposure increases.  This is determined by the length of time and the
amount of material to which someone is exposed.

Q: When are higher exposures more likely?
A: Conditions which increase risk of exposure include dust releasing
operations (grinding, mixing, blasting, dumping, etc.), other physical and
mechanical processes (heating, pouring, spraying, spills and evaporation
from large surface areas such as open containers), and "confined space"
exposures (working inside vats, reactors, boilers, small rooms, etc.).

Q: Is the risk of getting sick higher for workers than for community
A: Yes.  Exposures in the community, except possibly in cases of fires or
spills, are usually much lower than those found in the workplace.  However,
people in the community may be exposed to contaminated water as well as to
chemicals in the air over long periods.  Because of this, and because of
exposure of children or people who are already ill, community exposures may
cause health problems.

The following information is available from:

     New Jersey Department of Health
     Occupational Health Service 
     Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
     (609) 984-1863

Industrial Hygiene Information
Industrial hygienists are available to answer your questions regarding the
control of chemical exposures using exhaust ventilation, special work
practices, good housekeeping, good hygiene practices, and personal
protective equipment including respirators.  In addition, they can help to
interpret the results of industrial hygiene survey data.

Medical Evaluation
If you think you are becoming sick because of exposure to chemicals at your
workplace, you may call a Department of Health physician who can help you
find the services you need.

Public Presentations
Presentations and educational programs on occupational health or the Right
to Know Act can be organized for labor unions, trade associations and other

Right to Know Information Resources
The Right to Know Infoline (609) 984-2202 can answer questions about the
identity and potential health effects of chemicals, list of educational
materials in occupational health, references used to prepare the Fact
Sheets, preparation of the Right to Know survey, education and training
programs, labeling requirements, and general information regarding the Right
to Know Act.  Violations of the law should be reported to (609) 984-5627.


ACGIH is the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. It
recommends upper limits (called TLVs) for exposure to workplace chemicals.

CAG is the Carcinogens Assessment Group of the federal EPA.

A carcinogen is a substance that causes cancer.

The CAS number is assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service to identify a
specific chemical.

A combustible substance is a solid, liquid or gas that will burn.

A corrosive substance is a gas, liquid or solid that causes irreversible
damage to human tissue or containers.

DEP is the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

DOT is the Department of Transportation, the federal agency that regulates
the transportation of chemicals.

EPA is the Environmental Protection Agency, the federal agency responsible
for regulating environmental hazards.

A fetus is an unborn human or animal.

A flammable substance is a solid, liquid, vapor or gas that will ignite
easily and burn rapidly.

The flash point is the temperature at which a liquid or solid gives off
vapor that can form a flammable mixture with air.

IARC is the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a scientific group
that classifies chemicals according to their cancer-causing potential.

A miscible substance is a liquid or gas that will evenly dissolve in

mg/m3 means milligrams of a chemical in a cubic meter of air.  It is a
measure of concentration (weight/volume).

MSHA is the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency that
regulates mining.  It also evaluates and approves respirators.

A mutagen is a substance that causes mutations. A mutation is a change in
the genetic material in a body cell.  Mutations can lead to birth defects,
miscarriages, or cancer.

NCI is the National Cancer Institute, a federal agency that determines the
cancer-causing potential of chemicals.

NFPA is the National Fire Protection Association.  It classifies substances
according to their fire and explosion hazard.

NIOSH is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.  It
tests equipment, evaluates and approves respirators, conducts studies of
workplace hazards, and proposes standards to OSHA.

NTP is the National Toxicology Program which tests chemicals and reviews
evidence for cancer.

OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which adopts and
enforces health and safety standards.

ppm means parts of a substance per million parts of air.  It is a measure of
concentration by volume in air.

A reactive substance is a solid, liquid or gas that can cause an explosion
under certain conditions or on contact with other specific substances.

A teratogen is a substance that causes birth defects by damaging the fetus.

TLV is the Threshold Limit Value, the workplace exposure limit recommended

The vapor pressure is a measure of how readily a liquid or a solid mixes
with air at its surface.  A higher vapor pressure indicates a higher
concentration of the substance in air and therefore increases the likelihood
of breathing it in.

>>>>>>>>>E M E R G E N C Y   I N F O R M A T I O N <<<<<<<<<

DOT Number:   UN 1805
DOT Emergency Guide code: 60
CAS Number:   7664-38-2
|Hazard rating      | NJ DOH  |   NFPA  |
|FLAMMABILITY       |    -    |    0    |
|REACTIVITY         |    -    |    0    |
|CORROSIVE                              |
|USE WATER ONLY                         |
Hazard Rating Key:  0=minimal; 1=slight; 
2=moderate; 3=serious; 4=severe


* Phosphoric Acid is a non-combustible solid or liquid.  Contact with common
metals may form a flammable gas that may cause a fire or explosion.
* Use water only to keep fire-exposed containers cool and to flush away
* If employees are expected to fight fires, they must be trained and
equipped as stated in OSHA 1910.156.


If Phosphoric Acid is spilled or leaked, take the following steps:

* Restrict persons not wearing protective equipment from area of spill or
leak until cleanup is complete. 
* Remove all ignition sources.
* Ventilate area of spill or leak.
* Collect powdered material in the most convenient manner and deposit in
sealed containers.
* Absorb liquids in vermiculite, dry sand, earth, or a similar material and
deposit in sealed containers.
* It may be necessary to contain and dispose of Phosphoric Acid as a
HAZARDOUS WASTE.  Contact your Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
or your regional office of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
for specific recommendations.

FOR LARGE SPILLS AND FIRES immediately call your fire department. You can
request emergency information from the following:

CHEMTREC: (800) 424-9300
NJDEP HOTLINE: (609) 292-7172


* Prior to working with Phosphoric Acid you should be trained on its proper
handling and storage.
* Phosphoric Acid must be stored to avoid contact with METALS and STRONG
CAUSTICS, because violent reactions occur.


In NJ, POISON INFORMATION 1-800-962-1253

Eye Contact
* Immediately flush with large amounts of water.  Continue without stopping
for at least 30 minutes, occasionally lifting upper and lower lids. Seek
medical attention immediately.

Skin Contact
* Quickly remove contaminated clothing.  Immediately wash area with large
amounts of water.  Seek medical attention immediately.

* Remove the person from exposure.
* Begin rescue breathing if breathing has stopped and CPR if heart action
has stopped.
* Transfer promptly to a medical facility.
* Medical observation is recommended for 24 to 48 hours after breathing
overexposure, as pulmonary edema may be delayed.


Vapor Pressure:  0.03 mm Hg at 68 degrees F (20 degrees C)
Water Solubility: Miscible


Chemical Name:
Phosphoric Acid

Other Names and Formulations:
Orthophosphoric Acid; White Phosphoric Acid; Sonac

Not intended to be copied and sold for commercial purposes.
Right to Know Program 
CN 368, Trenton, NJ  08625-0368
(609) 984-2202

Source: Environmental Research Foundation

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