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Vanadium Fume (as V2O5)

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: 2571

CAS number(s): 1314-62-1

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
0.1 mg/m3 Ceiling
HE14 -- respiratory tract irriation
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A
0.1 mg/m3 Ceiling
HE14 -- respiratory tract irriation
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z - Shipyards
0.1 mg/m3 Ceiling
HE14 -- respiratory tract irriation
NIOSH REL 0.05 mg/m3 Ceiling (15 minutes) HE10 -- chronic bronchitis
HE14 -- eye, nose, throat, and respiratory irritation; allergic skin rash
ACGIH TLV® (2008) 0.05 mg/m3 (inhalable particulate matter) TWA
HE11 -- lower respiratory tract irritation
HE14 -- eye and upper respiratory tract irritation
CAL/OSHA PELs 0.05 mg/m3 TWA
HE11 -- lower respiratory tract irritation
HE14 -- eye and upper respiratory tract irritation

Note: The REL applies to all vanadium compounds except Vanadium metal and Vanadium carbide (see Ferrovanadium dust).

Carcinogenic classification:

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

NIOSH 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).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Vanadium Pentoxide. 2016.
  • ATSDR: Toxicological Profile for Vanadium. 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/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety CardsVanadium 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.

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