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

CAS number: 7784-42-1

NIOSH REL: 0.002 mg/m3 15-minute CEILING; NIOSH considers arsine to be a potential occupational carcinogen as defined by the OSHA carcinogen policy [29 CFR 1990].

Current OSHA PEL: 0.05 ppm (0.2 mg/m3) TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 0.05 ppm (0.16 mg/m3) TWA

Description of substance: Colorless gas with a mild, garlic-like odor.

LEL: 5.1% (10% LEL, 5,100 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 6 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the statement by Patty [1963] that 6 to 30 ppm is the maximum concentration that can be inhaled in 1 hour without serious consequences [Henderson and Haggard 1943]. The chosen IDLH falls within the range of 1 to 10 ppm, which AIHA [1965] suggested might be dangerous for a 1-hour exposure [Elkins 1959; Kipling and Fothergill 1964].

Existing short-term exposure: National Research Council [NRC 1984] guidelines Emergency Exposure Guidance Levels (EEGLs):

  • 1-hour EEGL: 1.0 ppm
  • 24-hour EEGL: 0.1 ppm


Lethal concentration data:

Species Reference LC50(ppm) LCLo(ppm) Time Adjusted 0.5-hr LC(CF) Derived Value
Rat Gates et al. 1946 120 —– 10 min 83 ppm (0.69) 8.3 ppm
Mouse Gates et al. 1946 77 —– 10 min 53 ppm (0.69) 5.3 ppm
Rabbit Gates et al. 1946 201 —– 10 min 138 ppm (0.69) 14 ppm
Dog Gates et al. 1946 108 —– 10 min 75 ppm (0.69) 7.5 ppm
Human Henderson and Haggard 1943 —– 250 30 min 250 ppm (1.0) 25ppm
Human Tab Biol Per 1933 —– 300 5 min 165 ppm (0.55) 17 ppm
Human Teitelbaum and Kier 1969 —– 25 30 min 25 ppm (1.0) 2.5 ppm

Other animal data: RD50 (mouse), 13 ppm [Peterson and Bhattacharyya 1985].

Other human data: It has been reported that poisoning symptoms occur after a few hours 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].

Revised IDLH: 3 ppm
Basis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for arsine is 3 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [AIHA 1965; Henderson and Haggard 1943; Teitelbaum and Kier 1969]. [Note: NIOSH recommends as part of its carcinogen policy that the “most protective” respirators be worn for arsine at concentrations above 0.002 mg As/m3.]


  1. AIHA [1965]. Arsine. In: Hygienic guide series. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 26:438-441.
  2. Elkins HB [1959]. Arsenic, As. In: The chemistry of industrial toxicology. 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 62-65.
  3. Gates M, Williams J, Zapp JA [1946]. Arsenicals. In: Summary technical report of Division 9, NRDC. Vol. 1. Chemical warfare agents, and related chemical problems. Part 1. Washington, DC: Office of Scientific Research and Development, National Defense Research Committee, pp. 83-114.
  4. Henderson Y, Haggard HW [1943]. Noxious gases. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, p. 242.
  5. Kipling MD, Fothergill R [1964]. Arsine poisoning in a slag-washing plant. Br J Ind Med 21:74-77.
  6. NRC [1984]. Emergency and continuous exposure limits for selected airborne contaminants. Vol. 1. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, Committee on Toxicology, Board on Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, pp. 35-40.
  7. Patty FA, ed. [1963]. Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 880.
  8. Peterson DP, Bhattacharyya MH [1985]. Hematological responses to arsine exposure: quantitation of exposure response in mice. Fundam Appl Toxicol 5:499-505.
  9. Tab Biol Per [1933]; 3:231 (in German).
  10. Teitelbaum DT, Kier LC [1969]. Arsine poisoning: report of five cases in the petroleum industry and a discussion of the indications for exchange transfusion and hemodialysis. Arch Environ Health 19:133-143.