<< Back to Chemical Sampling Information
Synonyms: Corn starch; Rice starch; Sorghum gum; alpha-Starch; Starch gum; Tapioca starch
OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2263
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 9005-25-8
NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: GM5090000
NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Starch: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 - 15 mg/m3 TWA
Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards - 15 mg/m3 TWA
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 10 mg/m3 TWA; Appendix A4 - Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 10 mg/m3 TWA
Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, mucous membranes; rhinorrhea, cough, chest pain; dermatitis
Health Effects: Nuisance particulate (HE19)
Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system
- Starch is a noncombustible, but under certain circumstances its dust may represent an explosion hazard (see OSHA, 2005).
- Allergic contact dermatitis (urticaria) from cornstarch powder in latex gloves has been reported in health-care workers.
- Airborne starch particles have been measured in hospital rooms where powdered latex gloves were used.
- An inhalational study in healthy human volunteers exposed to cornstarch surgical glove powder at a median total dust concentration of 5.9 mg/m3 (respirable 0.62 mg/m3; ~40% organic, rest MgO) for one hour resulted in a 3-fold increase in inflammatory cells (eosinophilic granulocytes, alveolar macrophages, CD4+ T-cells) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.
- In one potato processing plant, workers pouring sacks of potato starch and corn starch during the production of "potato syrup" were exposed to airborne dust in the range of 115-200 mg/m3. The health effects of this exposure were not reported, but other authors consider airborne endotoxin to have an important role in the work-related symptoms of potato-processing workers.
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Starch.
- International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Starch.
- OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB 07-31-2005): Combustible Dust in Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Fire and Explosions.
- Crippa, M. and Pasolini, G.: Allergic reaction due to glove-lubricant-powder in health-care workers. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 70(6): 399-402, 1997.
- Dutkiewicz, J., Krysińska-Traczyk, E., Skórska, C., Cholewa, G. and Sitkowska, J.: Exposure to airborne microorganisms and endotoxin in a potato processing plant. Ann. Agric. Environ. Med. 9(2): 225-235, 2002.
- Ewers, L.M. and Tapp, L.C.: Endotoxin exposures during potato processing. Appl. Occup. Environ. Hyg. 16(12): 1079-1087, 2001.
- Grunewald, J., et al.: Lung accumulations of eosinophil granulocytes after exposure to cornstarch glove powder. Eur. Respir. J. 21(4): 646-651, 2003.
- Newsom, S.W. and Shaw, M.: A survey of starch particle counts in the hospital environment in relation to the use of powdered latex gloves. Occup. Med. (Lond.) 47(3): 155-158, 1997.
Date Last Revised: 10/11/2005
Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
** All Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.