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Tellurium compounds (as Te)

May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

CAS number: 13494–80–9 (Metal)

NIOSH REL: 0.1 mg/m3 TWA

Current OSHA PEL: 0.1 mg/m3 TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 0.1 mg/m3 TWA

Description of substance: Varies

Original (SCP) IDLH*: No Evidence [*Note: "Effective" IDLH = 50 mg Te/m3 -- see discussion below.]

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: Because no evidence of an IDLH for tellurium is shown in the available toxicological data, respirators have been selected on the basis of the assigned protection factor afforded by each device up to 500 ´ the OSHA PEL of 0.1 mg Te/m3 (i.e., 50 mg Te/m3); only the "most protective" respirators are permitted for use in concentrations exceeding 50 mg Te/m3.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50




Adjusted LD Derived value
Te: Rat Izmerov et al. 1982 oral 83 ----- 581 mg Te/m3 58 mg Te/m3
Te: Mouse Izmerov et al. 1982 oral 20 ----- 140 mg Te/m3 14 mg Te/m3
Te: Rabbit Izmerov et al. 1982 oral 67 ----- 469 mg Te/m3 47 mg Te/m3
G. pig Izmerov et al. 1982 oral 45 ----- 315 mg Te/m3 32 mg Te/m3
TeO6H6 Rabbit Muehlberger &Schrenk 1928 oral 56 ----- 392 mg Te/m3 39 mg Te/m3

Human data: None relevant for use in determining the revised IDLH.

Revised IDLH: 25 mg Te/m3

Basis for revised IDLH: No inhalation toxicity data are available on which to base an IDLH for tellurium compounds. Therefore, the revised IDLH for tellurium compounds is 25 mg Te/m3 based on acute oral toxicity data in animals [Izmerov et al. 1982; Muehlberger and Schrenk 1928].


1. Izmerov NF, Sanotsky IV, Sidorov KK [1982]. Toxicometric parameters of industrial toxic chemicals under single exposure. Moscow, Russia: Centre of International Projects, GKNT, p. 107.

2. Muehlberger CW, Schrenk HH [1928]. The effect of the state of oxidation on the toxicity of certain elements. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 33:270-271.