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Antimony and Compounds (as Sb)

General Description

  • Synonyms: Stibium; Other names vary depending on specific compound
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0230
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7440-36-0
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: CC4025000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1549 157 (inorganic compounds, n.o.s.); 2871 170 (powder); 3141 157 (inorganic liquid compounds, n.o.s.)
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Antimony: Physical description, chemical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazard Summary, Antimony Compounds, Uses, sources, potential exposure, acute and chronic health hazard information, 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
0.5 mg/m3 TWA HE3 Chronic poisoning, functional disorders of the heart, degeneration of the heart muscle
OSHA PEL -Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A
0.5 mg/m3 TWA HE3 Chronic poisoning, functional disorders of the heart, degeneration of the heart muscle
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards
0.5 mg/m3 TWA HE3 Chronic poisoning, functional disorders of the heart, degeneration of the heart muscle
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) 0.5 mg/m3 TWA HE3

Heart muscle changes, heart disease

HE5 Spontaneous late abortion, premature birth, gynecologic problems
HE10 Pneumoconiosis
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2001) 0.5 mg/m3 TWA HE15 Skin and upper respiratory tract irritation
CAL/OSHA PEL 0.5 mg/m3 TWA HE15 Upper respiratory tract irritation
  • National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Not listed
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans [antimony trioxide]).
  • EPA carcinogenic classification: Not listed
  • EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established (antimony); 2 x 10-4 mg/m3 (antimony trioxide)
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Level (MRL): Not established
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) concentration: 50 mg/m3 (as Sb)
  • Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards
    1. Finely dispersed particles of antimony can form explosive mixtures in air (NIOSH/IPCS 2006).
    2. EPA has a reference dose (RfD) for ingestion of metallic antimony, which is 0.0004 mg/kg/day (EPA 2000).
    3. The EPA RfC is based on lung toxicity in a 1 year inhalation study in rats.
    4. Various degrees of alteration in pulmonary function have been described in the literature, from bronchospasms and hyperinflation to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and inactive tuberculosis (ATSDR 1992).
    5. A study that examined port workers in Chile found that those regularly exposed to heavyweight vehicle traffic have higher blood levels of antimony, probably due to the fact that brake pad systems are one of the most important sources of antimony in fine particulate matter today (Quiroz et al. 2009).
    6. A group of Florida firefighters were found to have elevated antimony concentrations in hair due to antimony-containing uniforms. Because urinary antimony levels were within normal ranges, however, it is believed that wearing such uniforms is not a risk factor for antimony toxicity (de Perio et al. 2010).
    7. The relative order of toxicity of antimony compounds (from most to least toxic) is metallic antimony, antimony trisulfide, antimony pentasulfide, antimony trioxide, and antimony pentoxide (ACGIH 1966).
    8. A chronic study of Fischer 344 rats exposed to antimony trioxide indicated a NOAEL of 0.51 mg/m3 (Newton et al. 1994).
    9. An inhalation study of rats showed an increased incidence of lung neoplasms (tumors) in females exposed to antimony trioxide or antimony ore concentrate. None of the male rats in the control or treated groups or the female controls developed lung neoplasms (Groth et al. 1986).

    Literature Basis:

    • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Antimony and Compounds. 2001.
    • ATSDR: Toxicological Profile for Antimony and Compounds (PDF). September 1992.
    • de Perio, MA., Durgam, S., Caldwell, KL. and Eisenberg, J.: A health hazard evaluation of antimony exposure in fire fighters. J Occup Environ Med. 52(1): 81-84, 2010.
    • EPA: Air Toxics Website - Antimony Compounds. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network, 2000.
    • EPA Antimony trioxide (CASRN 1309-64-4), 1995.
    • Groth, DH., Stettlerb, LE., Burgb, JR., Buseyc, WM., Grant, JC., and Wong L.: Carcinogenic effects of antimony trioxide and antimony ore concentrate in rats. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 18(4): 607-626, 1986.
    • Newton, PE., Bolte HF., Daly, IW., et al.: Subchronic and chronic inhalation toxicity of antimony trioxide in the rat. Fund. Appl. Toxicol. 22: 561-576, 1994.
    • NIOSH: Occupational Safety and Health Guideline - Antimony and its Compounds (as Sb). 1988.
    • NIOSH/IPCS: International Chemical Safety Cards - Antimony. October 12, 2006.
    • Quiroz, W., et al.: Heavy weight vehicle traffic and its relationship with antimony content in human blood. J Environ Monit. 11(5): 1051-1055. 2009.

Date Last Revised: 10/3/2012

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

  • Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns
  • maximum volume: 960 Liters
  • minimum volume: 480 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
  • current analytical method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS
  • current method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-121)
  • current method classification: Fully Validated
  • alternative analytical method: Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma; ICP/AES
  • alternative method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-125G and OSHA ID-206)
  • alternative method classification: Fully Validated
  • note: If the filter is not overloaded, samples may be collected up to an 8-hour period.
Wipe Sampling Method:
  • Whatman smear tab Filter
  • analytical solvent: Distilled water

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