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Boron trifluoride

General Description

  • Synonyms: Boron fluoride; Trifluoroborane
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0382
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7637-07-2
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: ED2275000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1008 125
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Boron trifluoride: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 1 ppm, 2.8 mg/m3 Ceiling
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 1 ppm, 3 mg/m3 Ceiling

Health Factors

  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 25 ppm
  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, nose, respiratory system; epistaxis (nosebleed); coughing, labored breathing, hypoxemia, pulmonary edema (may be delayed); headache, vertigo, chills and nausea; painful eye, skin burns; blurred vision; frostbite (on contact with liquid); in animals: pneumonitis, dental fluorosis, hypocalcemia, kidney damage.
  • Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Marked (HE14); Acute Toxicity-Hypoxemia (HE4); Lung edema (HE11).
  • Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, kidneys.
  • Notes: Decomposes on contact with water, forming toxic and corrosive hydrogen fluoride, fluoroboric acid and boric acid.
  • Literature Basis:
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Boron trifluoride.
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Boron Trifluoride.
    • Fluoride Action Network Pesticide Project: Boron Trifluoride. Material Safety Data Sheet. May 2001.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Boron Trifluoride. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 362-364.
    • Stewart, M.J., Waisberg, R. and Pretorius, E.J.: Poisoning with boron trifluoride. S. Afr. Med. J. 88(12): 1536-1537, 1998.
  • Date Last Revised: 05/14/2004

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Midget Fritted Glass Bubbler (MFGB) containing 10 mL 0.1 N NH4F
  • maximum volume: 15 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min (Ceiling)
  • current analytical method: Ion Specific Electrode; ISE
  • method reference: OSHA SLTC In-House File
  • method classification: Not Validated
  • note: Submit as a separate sample. Analysis is for fluoroborate (BF4-) ion. Samples must be stored and shipped in plastic bottles.

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