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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Bibenzene; Biphenyl; 1,1-Biphenyl; Lemonene; Phenylbenzene; Xenene

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1011

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 92-52-4

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: DU8050000

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Diphenyl: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 - 0.2 ppm, 1 mg/m3 TWA

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A - 0.2 ppm, 1 mg/m3 TWA

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards - 0.2 ppm, 1 mg/m3 TWA

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 0.2 ppm, 1.3 mg/m3 TWA (TLV listed under Biphenyl)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.2 ppm, 1 mg/m3 TWA

Health Factors

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 100 mg/m3

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, throat; headache; nausea; abdominal pain; lassitude (weakness, exhaustion); numbness of limbs; liver damage; psychic disturbances (irritability, sleep disturbance, loss of memory)

Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Bronchi, Lungs---Moderate (HE15); Neurotoxicity-CNS and PNS (Parkinsonism may occur many years after exposure) (HE7); Liver damage (HE3)

Affected Organs: Eyes, respiratory system, liver, CNS, peripheral nervous system


  1. EPA's reference dose for chronic oral exposure (daily oral exposure likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime) for diphenyl is 0.05 mg/kg/day.
  2. One study of paper mill employees who were exposed to diphenyl as a fungistatic agent estimated a relative risk of 5.6 for the delayed development of Parkinson's disease 27-34 years after their exposure.
  3. One death from liver failure was reported among nine cases of toxicity in employees exposed to diphenyl during its impregnation of papers used for wrapping citrus fruit. All nine showed signs of neurotoxicity and three others had histological evidence of liver damage.
  4. The large number of hydroxylated metabolites identified in urine of rats given diphenyl, including a catechol and other quinone-forming metabolites, indicates possible bioactivation of diphenyl to toxic metabolites. Incubation of radiolabeled diphenyl with liver microsomes from mice resulted in a time-dependent and NADPH-dependent covalent binding of radioactivity to liver proteins.

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Diphenyl.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Biphenyl.
  • U.S. EPA Integrated Risk Information System: 1,1-Biphenyl (CASRN 92-52-4).
  • Häkkinen, I., Siltanen, E., Hernberg, S., Seppäläinen, A.M., Karli, P. and Vikkula, E.: Diphenyl poisoning in fruit paper production: a new health hazard. Arch. Environ. Health 26(2): 70-74, 1973.
  • Halpaap, K., Horning, M.G. and Horning, E.C.: Metabolism of biphenyl in the rat. J. Chromatogr. 166(2): 479-490, 1978.
  • Meyer, T. and Scheline, R.R.: The metabolism of biphenyl. II. Phenolic metabolites in the rat. Acta Pharmacol. Toxicol. (Copenh.) 39(4): 419-432, 1976.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Biphenyl. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 341-342.
  • Tanaka, A., Morimoto, K. and Yamaha, T.: Small scale synthesis of labeled diphenyl and its binding to mouse liver microsomes. Radioisotopes 42: 564-568, 1993.
  • Wastensson, G., Hagberg, S., Andersson, E, Johnels, B. and Barregård, L.: Parkinson's disease in diphenyl-exposed workers-a causal association? Parkinsonism Relat. Disord. 12(1): 29-34, 2006.

Date Last Revised: 08/16/2006

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: Tenax-GC Tube (20/10 mg sections, 35/60 mesh)
    analytical solvent: Carbon Tetrachloride
    maximum volume: 30 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.5 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 2530 [20 KB PDF, 4 pages])
    method classification: Fully Validated

  • sampling media: XAD-7 Tube (100/50 mg sections, 15/50 mesh)
    analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
    maximum volume: 20 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2022)
    method classification: Partially Validated

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