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Antimony and Compounds (as Sb)

General Description

Synonyms: Stibium; Other names vary depending on specific compound

OSHA IMIS code: 0230

CAS number: 7440-36-0

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • mixed cellulose ester filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns
  • maximum volume: 960 L
  • minimum volume: 480 L
  • maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
  • current analytical method: atomic absorption spectroscopy; AAS
  • current method reference: OSHA ID-121 (fully validated)
  • alternative analytical method: inductively coupled argon plasma; ICP/AES
  • alternative method reference: OSHA ID-125G and OSHA ID-206 (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

Exposure Limits and Health Effects (Updated September 6, 2012)

Standard Set By Exposure Limit Health Effect Codes -- Health Effects and Target Organs
OSHA 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
NIOSH REL 0.5 mg/m3 TWA heart muscle changes, heart disease
spontaneous late abortion, premature birth, gynecologic problems
ACGIH TLV® (1979)

0.5 mg/m3 TWA

skin and upper respiratory tract irritation
CAL/OSHA PELs 0.5 mg/m3 TWA upper respiratory tract irritation

Carcinogenic classification:

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established (antimony); 2 x 10-4 mg/m3 (antimony trioxide)

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

NIOSH 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).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Antimony and Compounds. 2016.
  • ATSDR: Toxicological Profile for Antimony and Compounds. 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 WebsiteAntimony Compounds. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network, 2000.
  • EPA: Integrated Risk Information SystemAntimony 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 for Antimony and its Compounds (as Sb). 1988.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety CardsAntimony. 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.

Chemical Sampling Information

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