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Arsenic, Inorganic

General Description

Synonyms: Includes copper acetoarsenite, lead arsenate, and all inorganic compounds containing arsenic except arsine, measured as (As)

OSHA IMIS code: 0260

CAS number: 7440-38-2; 3687-31-8 (lead arsenate); 12002-03-8 (copper acetoarsenite)

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-105 (fully validated)
  • note: If the filter is not overloaded, samples may be collected up to an 8-hour period. For volatile arsenic compounds, sample with a MCEF 0.8 microns filter followed by a sodium carbonate treated backup pad. Arsenic and/or any of the following metals may be analyzed from the same full-shift sample: lead, cadmium, iron, zinc, and copper.
  • alternate analytical method: inductively coupled plasma; ICP-MS
  • method reference: OSHA 1006 (fully validated)
  • note: If arsine is suspected to also be present, sample with a MCEF and a sodium carbonate treated backup pad followed by and in series with a large charcoal tube containing 400 mg (front) and 200 mg (backup) sections of activated coconut shell charcoal. This sampling train is described in Section 5.1.2. of OSHA ID-105. The minimum air volume is 120 L and the sampling rate is 0.5 L/min with this sampling train.
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 1910.1018

0.01 mg/m3 TWA
5 μg/m3 Action Level

HE1 -- cancer (lung, lymphatic)
HE3 -- liver effects (cirrhosis, hepatitis)
HE4 -- acute toxicity, including respiratory and gastrointestinal effects
HE7 -- nervous system effects (peripheral neuritis)
HE15 -- skin, eye, mucous membrane, and respiratory irritation; skin sensitization; contact dermatitis; keratosis
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.1118
0.01 mg/m3 TWA
5 μg/m3 Action Level
HE1 -- cancer (lung, lymphatic)
HE3 -- liver effects (cirrhosis, hepatitis)
HE4 -- acute toxicity, including respiratory and gastrointestinal effects
HE7 -- nervous system effects (peripheral neuritis)
HE15 -- skin, eye, mucous membrane, and respiratory irritation; skin sensitization; contact dermatitis; keratosis
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1018
0.01 mg/m3 TWA
5 μg/m3 Action Level
HE1 -- cancer (lung, lymphatic)
HE3 -- liver effects (cirrhosis, hepatitis)
HE4 -- acute toxicity, including respiratory and gastrointestinal effects
HE7 -- nervous system effects (peripheral neuritis)
HE15 -- skin, eye, mucous membrane, and respiratory irritation; skin sensitization; contact dermatitis; keratosis
NIOSH REL 0.002 mg/m3 Ceiling (15 minute)
Ca
HE1 -- cancer (lung, lymphatic)
HE3 -- reduced peripheral circulation, increased mortality due to cardiovascular failure, cirrhosis of the liver
HE7 -- peripheral neuritis and neuropathy, weakness of the arms and legs
HE12 -- anemia
HE14 -- eye and skin irritation; contact dermatitis; sensitization; ulceration and perforation of the nasal septum
ACGIH TLV® (1990) 0.01 mg/m3 (as As)
A1
BEI®

TLV for lead arsenate (3687-31-8) was withdrawn for insufficient data in 2009.

HE1 -- cancer (lung, lymphatic)
HE3 -- reduced peripheral circulation, increased mortality due to cardiovascular failure, cirrhosis of the liver
HE14 -- eye and skin irritation; contact dermatitis; sensitization; ulceration and perforation of the nasal septum
CAL/OSHA PELs 0.01 mg/m3 TWA
0.005 mg/m3 Action Level
HE1 -- cancer (lung, lymphatic)
HE3 -- reduced peripheral circulation, increased mortality due to cardiovascular failure, cirrhosis of the liver
HE14 -- eye and skin irritation; contact dermatitis; sensitization; ulceration and perforation of the nasal septum

Carcinogenic classification:

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

NIOSH IDLH concentration: 5 mg/m3

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. Arsenic is combustible (NIOSH/IPCS 2010).
  2. Arsenic exposure may be associated with liver cancer (ACGIH 2001).
  3. Occupational exposure to arsenic may be a risk factor for coronary disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease (Navas-Acien et al. 2005).
  4. Occupational exposure to arsenic may increase the risk of developing stomach cancer (Kreuzer et al. 2012).
  5. Arsenic may be genotoxic and may cause Raynaud's phenomena, which is a peripheral vascular disease characterized by spasm of the digital arteries and numbness of the fingers (ATSDR 2007).
  6. Arsenic may cause Bowen's Disease, a neoplastic skin disease (Col et al. 1999).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Arsenic and Its Organic Compounds. 2016.
  • ATSDR: Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. August 2007.
  • Col, M., Col, C., Soran, A., Sayli, B.S., Ozturk, S.: Arsenic-related Bowen's disease, palmar keratosis, and skin cancer. Environmental Health perspectives. 107(8):687-689, 1999.
  • Kreuzer M, Straif K, Marsh JW, Dufey F, Grosche B, Nosske D, Sogl M.: Occupational dust and radiation exposure and mortality from stomach cancer among German uranium miners, 1946-2003. Occup Environ Med. 69(3):217-23, March 2012.
  • Navas-Acien A, Sharrett AR, Silbergeld EK et al.: Arsenic exposure and cardiovascular disease - A systematic review of the epidemiologic evidence. Am J Epidemiol. 162(11):1037-1049, 2005.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Safety and Health Standards - Toxic and Hazardous Substances - Inorganic Arsenic. 1910.1018.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Safety and Health Guideline for Inorganic Arsenic and its Compounds (as As) Potential Human Carcinogen. 1988.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety CardsArsenic. 2010.
  • OSHA. Occupational Safety and Health Standards, Medical surveillance guidelines - Inorganic arsenic. 29 CFR 1910.1018 App C.

Chemical Sampling Information

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