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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Oil of vitriol; Sulphuric acid

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2310

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7664-93-9

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: WS5600000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook [4 MB PDF, 392 pages]: 1830 137; 1831 137 (fuming); 1832 137 (spent)

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Sulfuric Acid: Chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more



Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit

Limit Values

HE Code

Health Factors and Target Organs

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1

1 mg/m3
TWA

HE10

Lung changes

HE11

Cough

OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A

1 mg/m3
TWA

HE10

Lung changes

HE11

Cough

OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See  29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards

1 mg/m3
TWA

HE10

Lung changes

HE11

Cough

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL)

1 mg/m3
TWA

HE3

Dental erosion

HE10

Pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and emphysema

HE11

Pulmonary edema

HE14

Respiratory irritation, cough

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2004)

0.2 mg/m3 TWA
(thoracic particulate mass)

A2 (when contained in strong inorganic acid mists)

HE3

Dental erosion

HE10

Pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and emphysema

HE14

Marked eye, nose, throat, bronchial, and skin irritation

CAL/OSHA PELs

0.1 mg/m3 TWA

3 mg/m3
STEL

 

Irritation of the upper and lower respiratory tract

National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Known to be a human carcinogen (sulfuric acid contained in strong inorganic acid mists) [153 KB PDF, 3 pages]

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 1 [428 KB PDF, 10 pages] (carcinogenic to humans)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carcinogenic classification: Not listed

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Level (MRL): Not established

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) concentration: 15 mg/m3

Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards

  1. Dental erosion due to sulfuric acid exposure is generally not detected in the maxillary teeth and is concentrated in the anterior mandibular teeth (Suyama et al. 2010).
  2. One of the 10 occupational fatalities reported to poison control centers in 2005 was due to sulfuric acid ingestion (Lai et al. 2006).
  3. The National Toxicology program concluded that inhalation of mists of strong inorganic acids caused cancer of the larynx and lung. (NTP 2011).

Literature Basis:

Date Last Revised: 11/16/2012

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:

  • sampling media: Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns
    maximum volume: 480 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
    current analytical method: Ion Chromatography; IC
    method reference: OSHA Manual of Analytical Methods (OSHA ID-113)
    method classification: Partially Validated
    note: Submit as a separate sample. Within 1 hour after sampling, transfer the filter to a clean screw cap vial. Phosphoric and Sulfuric acid may be submitted on the same filter; otherwise, submit as a separate filter.

  • sampling media: Treated Silica Gel Tube (Supelco ORBO-53; SKC, 226-10-03 or equivalent)
    maximum volume: 96 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
    current analytical method: Ion Chromatography; IC
    method reference: OSHA Manual of Analytical Methods (OSHA ID-165SG)
    method classification: Partially Validated
    note: Phosphoric, Nitric, and Sulfuric acids may be submitted on the same tube. Make sure that glass fiber filter plug is firmly in contact with silica gel before sampling and before sealing tube for shipment.

On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Drger
    model/type: Sulphuric Acid 1/a, order no. 67 28781
    sampling information: 100 strokes
    upper measurement limit: 5 mg/m3
    detection limit: approx. 1 mg/m3
    overall uncertainty: 49%
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Gastec
    model/type: 35
    sampling information: 10 strokes
    upper measurement limit: 5 mg/m3
    detection limit: 0.2 mg/m3
    overall uncertainty: 16% for 0.5 to 2 mg/m3, 8% for 3 to 5 mg/m3
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

Wipe Sampling Method:

  • sampling media: Whatman smear tab
    analytical solvent: Deionized water

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