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
Finely dispersed particles of antimony can form explosive mixtures in air (NIOSH/IPCS 2006).
EPA has a reference dose (RfD) for ingestion of metallic antimony, which is 0.0004 mg/kg/day (EPA 2000).
The EPA RfC is based on lung toxicity in a 1 year inhalation study in rats.
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).
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).
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).
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).
A chronic study of Fischer 344 rats exposed to antimony trioxide indicated a NOAEL of 0.51 mg/m3 (Newton et al. 1994).
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).
ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Antimony and Compounds. 2001.
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
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