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Sulfur Dioxide

General Description

Synonyms:  Sulphur dioxide; Sulfurous acid anhydride; Sulfurous oxide; Sulfur oxide

OSHA IMIS code: 2290

CAS number(s): 7446-09-5

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
5 ppm (13 mg/m3) TWA
HE14 -- upper respiratory irritation, nosebleeds
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A
5 ppm (13 mg/m3) TWA
HE14 -- upper respiratory irritation, nosebleeds
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z - Shipyards
5 ppm (13 mg/m3) TWA
HE14 -- upper respiratory irritation, nosebleeds
NIOSH REL

2 ppm (5 mg/m3) TWA
5 ppm (13 mg/m3) STEL

HE4 -- blindness
HE9 -- bronchoconstriction
HE11 -- breathing difficulties
HE14 -- eye and respiratory irritation, eye and skin burning
ACGIH TLV® (2008) 0.25 ppm (0.65 mg/m3) STEL
A4
HE9 -- bronchoconstriction, exacerbation of asthma
HE10 -- decreased lung function, chronic respiratory symptoms
HE11 -- lower respiratory irritation and symptoms
HE14 -- upper respiratory irritation
CAL/OSHA PELs 2 ppm (5 mg/m3) TWA
5 ppm (10 mg/m3) STEL
 

Carcinogenic classification:

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): 0.01 ppm (acute)

NIOSH IDLH concentration: 100 ppm

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. Contact with liquid sulfur dioxide can cause frostbite on the skin (NIOSH/IPCS 2006).
  2. Some evidence indicates an association between environmental exposure to sulfur dioxide during pregnancy and low birth weight (ATSDR 1998).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Sulfur Dioxide. 2016.
  • ATSDR: Toxicological ProfileSulfur Dioxide. US Health and Human Services (US HHS), 1998.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guideline - Sulfur Dioxide, 1978.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety Cards - Sulphur Dioxide. October 10, 2006.

Chemical Sampling Information

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