Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)
Cobalt metal dust and fume (as Co)
CAS number: 7440–48–4 (Metal)
NIOSH REL: 0.05 mg/m3 TWA
Current OSHA PEL: 0.1 mg/m3 TWA
1989 OSHA PEL: 0.05 mg/m3 TWA
1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 0.05 mg/m3 TWA
Description of Substance: Varies
Original (SCP) IDLH: 20 mg Co/m3
Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: Browning  made the statement that "metallic cobalt by inhalation and soluble salts by intratracheal injection act as acute lung irritants, producing oedema, and hemorrhage with a considerable outpouring of fluid from the capillaries in the peritoneal cavity. Many of the animals subjected to intratracheal injection of a suspension of cobalt metal dust developed acute pneumonia, often rapidly fatal as an initial reaction." Because no data on acute inhalation toxicity are available on which to base an IDLH for cobalt metal fume and dust, the chosen IDLH is based on the statement by Patty  that animals chronically exposed to a cobalt-metal blend at a concentration of 20 mg Co/m3 developed lesions in the lungs.
Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed
ACUTE TOXICITY DATA
Lethal dose data:
|43,190 mg Co/m3|
5,250 mg Co/m3
|4,319 mg Co/m3 |
525 mg Co/m3
Other animal data: It has been reported that animals chronically exposed for 3 years to a cobalt-metal blend at a concentration of 20 mg Co/m3 developed fibrotic lesions in the lungs [Patty 1963].
Human data: None relevant for use in determining the revised IDLH.
|Revised IDLH: 20 mg Co/m3 [Unchanged]
Basis for revised IDLH: Based on chronic toxicity data in animals [Patty 1963], the original IDLH for cobalt metal dust and fume (20 mg Co/m3) is not being revised at this time. This may be a conservative value due to the lack of relevant acute toxicity data for workers.
1. Browning E . Toxicity of industrial metals. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, p. 136.
2. FDRL . Acute oral LD50 study of cobalt powder-325 mesh t3N in Sprague Dawley rats. Waverly, NY: Food & Drugs Research Laboratories, Inc., FDRL Study No. 8005B.
3. Patty FA, ed. . Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 1032.
4. Simesen M . The fate of cobalt after oral administration
of metallic cobalt and subcutaneous injection of carbonatotetraminecobalt
chloride, with remarks on the quantitative estimation of cobalt
in organic materials. Arch Int Pharmaco Ther 62(3):347-356.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
TTY: (888) 232-6348
- New Hours of Operation
- Contact CDC-INFO