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Iron Oxide Fume

General Description

Synonyms: Ferric oxide; Iron (III) oxide; Ferrous oxide; Iron (II) oxide

OSHA IMIS code: 1520 (IMIS History: Iron Oxide Fume [as Fe2O3] prior to 9/1/89)

CAS number: 1332-37-2 (iron oxide); 1309-37-1 (ferric oxide); 1345-25-1 (ferrous oxide)

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 1910.1000 Table Z-1
10 mg/m3 TWA
HE10 -- pulmonary siderosis (benign pneumoconiosis)
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A
10 mg/m3 TWA
HE10 -- pulmonary siderosis (benign pneumoconiosis)
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z - Shipyards
10 mg/m3 TWA
HE10 -- pulmonary siderosis (benign pneumoconiosis)
NIOSH REL 5 mg/m3 TWA HE10 -- pulmonary siderosis (benign pneumoconiosis)
ACGIH TLV® (2005) 5 mg/m3 TWA (respirable particulate matter)
A4
HE10 -- pulmonary siderosis (benign pneumoconiosis)
CAL/OSHA PELs

5 ppm TWA

HE10 -- pulmonary siderosis (benign pneumoconiosis)

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: 2,500 mg/m3 (as Fe)

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. The acute intrapulmonary instillation of small ferric oxide particles in human volunteers induced a transient subclinical inflammation that resolved within four days (Lay et al. 1998).
  2. The inhalation of respirable iron oxide particles at an average concentration of 12.7 mg/m3 for 30 minutes by human volunteers was reported to not significantly affect alveolar epithelial permeability, lung diffusing capacity, or pulmonary function (Lay et al. 2001).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Iron Oxide. 2016.
  • Lay, J.C., Bennett, W.D., Kim, C.S., Devlin, R.B. and Bromberg, P.A.: Retention and intracellular distribution of instilled iron oxide particles in human alveolar macrophages. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 18(5): 687-695, 1998.
  • Lay, J.C., Zeman, K.L., Ghio, A.J. and Bennett, W.D.: Effects of inhaled iron oxide particles on alveolar epithelial permeability in normal subjects. Inhal. Toxicol. 13(12): 1065-1078, 2001.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guideline for Iron Oxide Fume. September 1978.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety CardsFerric Oxide. October 28, 2004.

Chemical Sampling Information

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