US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

Alert: Due to technical difficulties with the website, some pages are temporarily unavailable.
To file a complaint with OSHA or to ask a safety and health question, call 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA).

Aluminum (as Al), Metal (Respirable Fraction)

General Description

  • Synonyms: Aluminum; Aluminium; Aluminum powder; Aluminum, elemental
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: A110
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7429-90-5
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: BD0330000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1309 170 (powder, coated); 1396 138 (powder, uncoated); 9260 169 (molten)
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Aluminum: Physical description, chemical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit Limit Values HE Codes Health Factors and Target Organs
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - General Industry See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 5 mg/m3 TWA HE19 Physical irritation*
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry Not established    
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards 5 mg/m3 TWA HE19 Physical irritation*
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) 5 mg/m3 TWA HE10 Lung changes that may lead to pulmonary fibrosis
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2008) 1 mg/m3 TWAA4 HE7 Neurotoxicity
HE10 Pneumoconiosis
HE11 Lower respiratory tract irritation
CAL/OSHA PEL 5 mg/m3 TWA    

* Health factors for the PELs are not specific to aluminum but are the basis for OSHA's generic limits for particulates.

  • National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Not listed
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Not listed
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carcinogenic classification: Not listed
  • EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Level (MRL): Not established
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) concentration: Not established
  • Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards:
    1. Respiratory effects, particularly impaired lung function and fibrosis, have been observed in workers exposed to aluminum dust or fumes (ATSDR 2008).
    2. Aluminium cast-house workers reported significantly more respiratory symptoms (continuous trouble with breathing, repeated trouble with breathing, wheezing, asthma attacks, and doctor-diagnosed asthma) compared to a general population sample and an internal reference group (van Rooy et al. 2011).
    3. Chronic occupational exposure to aluminum dust and fumes can cause signs of cholestasis (Bogdanovic and Bulat 2008).
  • Literature Basis
    • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Aluminum Metal and Insoluble Compounds. 2008.
    • ATSDR: Toxicological Profile for Aluminum. September 2008.
    • Bogdanovic, M. and Bulat, P.: Biliary Function in Workers Occupationally Exposed to Aluminum Dust and Fumes. Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology 59(2): 135-9, 2008.
    • NIOSH: Recommendations for occupational safety and health - Compendium of policy documents and statements. NIOSH Publication No. 92-100. 1992.
    • NIOSH: 1988 OSHA PEL Project Documentation - Aluminum Metal. September 2011.
    • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-123, (1981, January). Provides a table of contents of guidelines for many hazardous chemicals. The files provide technical chemical information, including chemical and physical properties, health effects, exposure limits, and recommendations for medical monitoring, personal protective equipment (PPE), and control procedures.
    • van Rooy, F.G., Houba, R., Stigter, H., Zaat, V.A., Zengeni, M.M., Rooyackers, J.M., Boers, H.E., Heederik, D.J.: A cross-sectional study of exposures, lung function and respiratory symptoms among aluminium cast-house workers. Occup Environ Med. 68(12): 876-82, 2011.

Date last revised: 9/6/2012

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
Federal OSHA and OSHA State Plan personnel submitting samples to the OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center Laboratory for analysis must use the tared gravimetric sampling media described immediately below.
  • tared 37-mm diameter low-ash polyvinyl chloride filter preceded by 10 mm Nylon Cyclone
  • maximum volume: 816 Liters
  • minimum volume: 408 Liters
  • flow rate: 1.7 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gravimetric
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2121)
  • method classification: Partially Validated
  • note: OSHA personnel can obtain tared sampling media from the Salt Lake Technical Center.
  • note: If the net weight of the sample yields a concentration below the standard for the substance, the Salt Lake Technical Center will perform no further work on that sample. If the net weight corresponds to an amount greater than the standard, the sample may be analyzed for the appropriate element and the result reported as the substance.
  • note: Refer to Chemical Sampling Information for "alpha-Alumina" when sampling workplaces that have aluminum oxide exposures (welding, etc.).
  • current elemental analysis method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-121)
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • alternate analytical method: Samples are prepared as described in OSHA ID-121 and are analyzed by Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma; ICP/AES or ICP/MS.
  • note: When analysis of aluminum metal is requested, an elemental analysis is performed and reported as aluminum metal. The analytical method does not distinguish between dust and fume; or between aluminum metal and other acid soluble or partially acid soluble aluminum compounds.
Alternative Sampling/Analytical Method:
    • sampling media: Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 µm preceded by 10 mm Nylon Cyclone
    • maximum volume: 816 Liters
    • minimum volume: 408 Liters
    • flow rate: 1.7 L/min
    • current elemental analysis method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS
    • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-121)
    • method classification: Fully Validated
    • alternate analytical method: Samples are prepared as described in OSHA ID-121 and are analyzed by Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma; ICP/AES or ICP/MS.
    • note: When analysis of aluminum metal is requested, an elemental analysis is performed and reported as aluminum metal. The analytical method does not distinguish between dust and fume; or between aluminum metal and other acid soluble or partially acid soluble aluminum compounds.

** All Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Search Chemical Sampling Information

Index

By Name

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

By CAS Number
collage image - OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center
Back to Top

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close