Chlorine trifluoride

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

CAS number: 7790–91–2

NIOSH REL: 0.1 ppm (0.4 mg/m3) CEILING

Current OSHA PEL: 0.1 ppm (0.4 mg/m3) CEILING

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 0.1 ppm (0.38 mg/m3) CEILING

Description of Substance: Colorless gas or a greenish-yellow liquid (below 53 F) with a somewhat sweet, suffocating odor.

LEL: . . Nonflammable Gas

Original (SCP) IDLH: 20 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the following data presented by Horn and Weir [1955] concerning the inhalation toxicology of chlorine trifluoride. “Two dogs and 20 rats were exposed 6 hours/day for 2 days to 21 ppm. No mortality occurred among the animals, but during the first day’s exposure, the dogs became nauseated, coughed up a small quantity of mucous material, and had rapid respiration and salivation. Both the rats and the dogs had a singed feel to their fur.” This is probably a conservative IDLH because Deichmann and Gerarde [1969] made the statement that 50 ppm or more may be fatal in 0.5 to 2 hours.

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

10-min EEGL: 7 ppm

30-min EEGL: 3 ppm

60-min EEGL: 1 ppm


Lethal concentration data:






Adjusted 0.5-hr










Dost et al. 1974

Dost et al. 1974

Horn and Weir 1955

MacEwen and Vernot 1970

MacEwen and Vernot 1970

Vernot et al. 1977

LC100: 800

LC100: 400











15 min

35 min

4 hr

1 hr

1 hr

1 hr

632 ppm (0.79)

420 ppm (1.05)

190 ppm (2.0)

223 ppm (1.25)

288 ppm (1.25)

374 ppm (1.25)

63 ppm

42 ppm

19 ppm

22 ppm

29 ppm

37 ppm

Other animal data: No mortality occurred among 2 dogs and rats exposed to 21 ppm for 6 hours but the dogs became nauseated, coughed up a small amount of mucous material, and had rapid respiration and salivation [Horn and Weir 1955].

Human data: It has been reported that 50 ppm or more may be fatal in 30 minutes to 2 hours [Deichmann and Gerarde 1969].

Revised IDLH: 20 ppm [Unchanged]

Basis for revised IDLH: Based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Deichmann and Gerarde 1969] and animals [Horn and Weir 1955; MacEwen and Vernot 1970], the original IDLH for chlorine trifluoride (20 ppm) is not being revised at this time.



1. Deichmann WB, Gerarde HW [1969]. Chlorine trifluoride. In: Toxicology of drugs and chemicals. New York, NY: Academic Press, Inc., p. 651.

2. Dost FN, Reed DJ, Smith VN, Wang CH [1974]. Toxic properties of chlorine trifluoride. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 27:527-536.

3. Horn HJ, Weir RJ [1955]. Inhalation toxicology of chlorine trifluoride. AMA Arch Ind Health 12:515-517.

4. MacEwen JD, Vernot CH [1970]. Toxic Hazards Research Unit annual technical report: 1970. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Report AMRL-TR-70-77.

5. NRC [1984]. Emergency and continuous exposure limits for selected airborne contaminants. Vol. 2. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, Committee on Toxicology, Board on Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, pp. 12-16.

6. Vernot EH, MacEwen JD, Haun CC, Kinkead ER [1977]. Acute toxicity and skin corrosion data for some organic and inorganic compounds and aqueous solutions. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 42:417-423.

Page last reviewed: December 4, 2014