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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Thallium carbonate; Thallium sulfate; Other synonyms vary depending upon the specific soluble thallium compound

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2420

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7440-28-0

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: XG3425000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1707 151 (compounds, n.o.s.)

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Thallium (soluble compounds, as Tl): chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 - 0.1 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A - 0.1 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards - 0.1 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 0.1 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.1 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Health Factors

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 15 mg/m3 (as Tl)

Potential Symptoms: Headache; vertigo; lethargy; nausea, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, vomiting; blurred vision; ptosis, strabismus; peripheral neuritis, tremor; paresthesia of legs; rapid heart rate, retrosternal tightness, chest pain; myalgia, arthralgia; pulmonary edema; sleep disturbances (insomnia); convulsions, chorea, psychosis; liver, kidney damage; blackening of hair roots, alopecia, dystrophy of nails

Health Effects: Cumulative systemic toxicity (HE3); CNS effects (HE7)

Affected Organs: Eyes, CNS, lungs, liver, kidneys, GI tract, body hair


  1. Histopathologic changes induced by thallium in skin include follicular plugging, hypogranulosis, parakeratosis and focal epidermal necrosis, as well as upper dermal edema, disruption of dermal collagen, and dilation of superficial blood vessels.
  2. Psychiatric problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, insomnia) may persist after other symptoms of thallium intoxication have improved substantially. Treatment with some metal chelators (dithiocarb, D-penicillamine) may increase brain thallium concentrations and worsen neurotoxicity.
  3. Thallium-201 is used in a diagnostic procedure, single proton emission computed tomography (SPECT), to detect coronary artery disease and to assess myocardial perfusion.

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Thallium (soluble compounds, as Tl): chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Thallium.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Thallium sulfate.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Thallium carbonate.
  • Arbiser, J.L., Alani, R, Flynn, E., Wooten, V. and Byers, H.R.: Effects of thallium ion on cellular components of the skin. J. Dermatol. 24(3): 147-155, 1997.
  • Ficaro, E.P. and Corbett, J.R.: Advances in quantitative perfusion SPECT imaging. J. Nucl. Cardiol. 11(1): 62-70, 2004.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Thallium and Compounds. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 2190-2194.
  • Rusyniak, D.E., Furbee, R.B. and Kirk, M.A.: Thallium and arsenic poisoning in a small Midwestern town. Ann. Emerg. Med. 39(3): 307-311, 2002.
  • Saha, A., Sadhu, H.G., Karnik, A.B., Patel, T.S., Sinha, S.N. and Saiyed, H.N.: Erosion of nails following thallium poisoning: a case report. Occup. Environ. Med. 61(7): 640-642, 2004.

Date Last Revised: 08/18/2004

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns
    analytical solvent: Deionized Water
    maximum volume: 960 Liters
    minimum volume: 480 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
    current analytical method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-121)
    method classification: Validated
    note: Submit as a separate sample. If the filter is not overloaded, samples may be collected up to an 8-hour period.

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