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General Description

Synonyms: Vanadium pentoxide fume; Divanadium pentoxide fume; Vanadic anhydride fume; Vanadium oxide fume; Other synonyms vary depending on the specific vanadium compound

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2571

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 1314-62-1

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: YW2460000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook [4 MB PDF, 392 pages]: 2862 151

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Vanadium Fume: Physical description, chemical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit

Limit Values

HE Codes

Health Factors and Target Organs

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

0.1 mg/m3 Ceiling


Respiratory tract irritation

OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A

0.1 mg/m3 Ceiling


Respiratory tract irritation

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

0.1 mg/m3 Ceiling


Respiratory tract irritation

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

0.05 mg/m3 Ceiling

(15 minutes)


Chronic bronchitis

HE14 Eye, nose, throat, and respiratory irritation; allergic skin rash

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2009)

0.05 mg/m3 TWA
(inhalable particulate matter)


Lower respiratory tract irritation

HE14 Eye and upper respiratory tract irritation

0.05 mg/m3 TWA


Lower respiratory tract irritation

HE14 Eye and upper respiratory tract irritation

National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Not listed

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 2B [829 KB PDF, 68 pages] (possibly 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: 35 mg/m3 (as V)

Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards

  1. The pentavalent form of vanadium is considered to be one of the most toxic versions of this element (Barceloux 1999).
  2. Besides its respiratory effects, other symptoms of vanadium fume exposure include a greenish discoloration of the tongue and a metallic taste in one’s mouth (NIOSH 1978).
  3. One study found evidence that vanadium exposure may induce bronchial hyperreactivity and asthma in patients previously free of lung disease. In addition, these symptoms may persist up to 23 months following exposure (Irsigler et al. 1999).
  4. Based on evidence obtained from animal testing, individuals susceptible to vanadium-induced pulmonary inflammation may also be at a higher risk for lung cancer, and repeated exposures to vanadium can further increase this risk (Rondini et al. 2010).
  5. One study found that exposure to vanadium pentoxide can cause oxidation of DNA bases and affect DNA repair, resulting in DNA damage. This DNA damage and instability could be a precursor to cancer, suggesting that people exposed to vanadium may be at an increased risk for cancer (Ehrlich et al. 2008).
  6. Two-year inhalational studies by the NTP found that vanadium pentoxide was a lung carcinogen in male rats and male and female mice (Ress et al. 2003).
  7.  Vanadium is mainly excreted by the kidneys, with a terminal half-life in serum of about 10 days (Heinemann et al. 2003). Therefore, urinary vanadium is used as a biomarker of occupational exposure to vanadium pentoxide (ATSDR 2009).
  8. ACGIH established a biological threshold concentration in urine collected at the end of the work week of 50 µg of vanadium/gram of creatinine in urine. The concentration in the general population is usually less than 1 µg V/gram creatinine (ATSDR 2009).

Date last revised: 09/06/2012

Literature Basis

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Vanadium Pentoxide. 2009.
  • ATSDR: Toxicological Profile for Vanadium [7 MB PDF, 255 pages]. 2009.
  • Barceloux, D.G.: Vanadium. J. Toxicol. Clin. Toxicol. 37(2): 265-278, 1999.
  • Ehrlich, VA et al.: Inhalative exposure to vanadium pentoxide causes DNA damage in workers; results of a multiple end point study. Environ Health Perspect. 116(12): 1689-1693, 2008.
  • Heinemann, G., Fichtl, B. and Vogt, W.: Pharmacokinetics of vanadium in humans after intravenous administration of a vanadium containing albumin solution. Br. J. Clin. Pharmacol. 55(3): 241-245, 2003.
  • Irsigler, G.E., Visser, P.J. and Spangenberg, P.A.L.: Asthma and chemical bronchitis in vanadium plant workers. Am. J. Ind. Med. 35(4): 366-374, 1999.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guideline for Vanadium Pentoxide Fume. 1978.
  • NIOSH/IPCS: International Chemical Safety Cards - Vanadium Pentoxide. 2006.
  • Ress, N.B. et al.: Carcinogenicity of inhaled vanadium pentoxide in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice. Toxicol. Sci. 74(2): 287-296, 2003.
  • Rondini, EA., Walters, DM., and Bauer, AK.: Vanadium pentoxide induces pulmonary inflammation and tumor promotion in a strain-dependent manner. Part Fibre Toxicol. 12: 7-9, 2010.
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • sampling media: Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns
    maximum volume: 960 Liters
    minimum volume: 480 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min (TWA)
    maximum volume: 30 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min (Ceiling)
    current analytical method: Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma; ICP/DCP-AES
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-125G)
    method classification: Fully Validated
    note: Analytical method does not distinguish between dust and fume. If confirmation of Vanadium Pentoxide is necessary use the following sampling procedure:

  • sampling media: Tared Low Ash Polyvinyl Chloride (LAPVC) filter 5 microns
    maximum volume: 960 Liters
    minimum volume: 480 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
    current analytical method: X-ray Diffraction, XRD; and X-ray Fluorescence, XRF
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-185)
    method classification: Fully Validated
    note: Submit as a separate sample.

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