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Iron (Bulk)

General Description

Synonyms: Iron metal; Elemental iron

OSHA IMIS code: I200

CAS number: 7439-89-6

Chemical description and physical properties:

  • varies depending on specific compound

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • current analytical method: atomic absorption spectroscopy; AAS 
  • method reference: OSHA ID-121 (fully validated
  • sampling analytical error:0.16 
  • alternate analytical method: inductively coupled argon plasma; ICP 
  • method reference: OSHA ID-125G (fully validated)
  • sampling analytical error: 0.12 

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

Standard Set By Exposure Limit Health Effect Codes -- Health Effects and Target Organs
OSHA PEL Not established
NIOSH REL Not established
ACGIH TLV® (1998) Not established
CAL/OSHA PELs Not established

Carcinogenic classification:

  • NTP: Not listed
  • IARC: Not listed
  • EPA: Not listed

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

NIOSH IDLH concentration: Not established

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. Upon inhalation, iron is an irritant to the lungs and gastrointestinal tract (ILO 1998).
  2. The settling of iron particles in the eye results in siderosis. The extent of siderosis is affected by the location of the deposition. Deposition in the cornea results in a "rust ring" surrounding the area, which is associated with discomfort, hyperemia of the conjunctiva, and the influx of inflammatory cells (Grant 1986).
  3. Iron dust may induce interstitial lung disease (Chu et al. 2011).

Partial reference list:

  • Chu, H.Q., Liu, J.M., Gui, T., Zhao, L., Sun, D.Y., Zhang, J.B., Yi, X.H.: Case of interstitial lung disease possibly induced by exposure to iron dust. Heart Lung. 2012.
  • Grant, W.M.: Toxicology of the Eye. 3rd ed. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, p. 526, 1986.
  • International Labour Office (ILO): Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety. 4th edition, Volumes 1-4 1998. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Office, p. 63, 1998.

Chemical Sampling Information

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