Add to MyChemicals Print Friendly Page
Chemical Datasheet

ALUMINUM PHOSPHIDE

4.3 - Dangerous when wet material 6.1 - Poisonous materials
Chemical Identifiers | Hazards | Response Recommendations | Physical Properties | Regulatory Information | Alternate Chemical Names

Chemical Identifiers

CAS Number - Chemical Abstracts Service registry number. Unique identification number assigned to this chemical by the American Chemical Society.

UN/NA Number - The United Nations-North America number (also called UN number or DOT number). 4-digit number identifying an individual chemical or group of chemicals with similar characteristics. Required on shipping papers; often shown on placards or labels. This numbering system was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and then became the UN standard system for classifying hazardous materials.

DOT Hazard Label - U.S. Department of Transportation hazard warning label for the chemical (such as flammable liquid or corrosive). This label must be displayed on shipped packages, railroad tank cars, and tank trucks according to specifications described in 49 CFR 172.

CHRIS Code - 3-letter code used by the U.S. Coast Guard to identify individual chemicals included in its CHRIS (Chemical Hazards Response Information System) manual.

NFPA 704 - Text description of the diamond-shaped placard, which contains codes indicating the level of the chemical's health, flammability, and instability hazards, along with special hazards such as water- and air-reactivity. See a guide to the NFPA diamond.

General Description - Brief description of the chemical's general appearance, behavior, and hazardousness.

List of data sources.
CAS Number UN/NA Number DOT Hazard Label CHRIS Code
  • 20859-73-8
  • Dangerous When Wet
  • Poison
NFPA 704
Diamond Hazard Value Description
4
4 2
W
Blue Health 4 Can be lethal.
Red Flammability 4 Burns readily. Rapidly or completely vaporizes at atmospheric pressure and normal ambient temperature.
Yellow Instability 2 Readily undergoes violent chemical changes at elevated temperatures and pressures.
White Special W Reacts violently or explosively with water.
(NFPA, 2010)
General Description
Aluminum phosphide is a dark gray or dry, yellow, crystalline solid. It reacts with moisture to give phosphine, a flammable and poisonous gas. Normally, phosphine will spontaneously ignite upon contact with air. If there is an excess of water, the phosphine fire will not normally ignite any surrounding combustible material.

Hazards

Reactivity Alerts - Special alerts if the chemical is especially reactive (see list of reactivity alerts).

Air & Water Reactions - Special alerts if the chemical reacts with air, water, or moisture.

Fire Hazard - Description of the chemical's fire hazards (such as flammability, explosion risk, or byproducts that may evolve if the chemical is burned).

Health Hazard - Description of the chemical's health hazards (such as toxicity, flammability, or corrosivity).

Reactivity Profile - Description of the chemical's potential reactivity with other chemicals, air, and water. Also includes any other intrinsic reactive hazards (such as polymerizable or peroxidizable).

Reactive Groups - List of reactive groups that the chemical is assigned to, based on its known chemistry. Reactive groups are categories of chemicals that react in similar ways because their chemical structures are similar. Reactive groups are used to predict reactivity when you add a chemical to MyChemicals. Read more about reactive groups.

Potentially Incompatible Absorbents - Absorbents are products that can be used to soak up liquids from spills. However, some absorbents can react with particular chemicals (that is, they are incompatible), so caution should be used in selecting the correct absorbent for your situation. This section provides a list of potentially incompatible absorbents that have been known to react with liquids assigned to one or more of the reactive groups listed on this datasheet. Read more about absorbents, including situations to watch out for.

List of data sources.
Reactivity Alerts
Air & Water Reactions
Decomposed by water or moist air, evolving phosphine slowly, a toxic gas that often ignites [Merck 11th ed. 1989]. Based on a scenario where the chemical is spilled into an excess of water (at least 5 fold excess of water), half of the maximum theoretical yield of Phosphine gas will be created in 15 minutes. Experimental details are in the following: "Development of the Table of Initial Isolation and Protective Distances for the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook", ANL/DIS-09-2, D.F. Brown, H.M. Hartmann, W.A. Freeman, and W.D. Haney, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, June 2009.
Fire Hazard
Releases toxic fumes on exposure to moist air, water, or acids. Decomposes to produce phosphine gas. Avoid water, dilute mineral acids, dilute or concentrated hydrochloric acid. Stable when dry. Avoid moist air. (EPA, 1998)
Health Hazard
Acute toxicity occurs primarily by the inhalation route when aluminum phosphide decomposes into the toxic gas, phosphine. The human median lethal dose for aluminum phosphide has been reported to be 20 mg/kg. Rated as super toxic: probable oral lethal dose is less than 5 mg/kg or less than 7 drops for a 70 kg (150 lb.) person. (EPA, 1998)
Reactivity Profile
ALUMINUM PHOSPHIDE is a reducing agent. Contact with mineral acids causes explosive evolution of toxic phosphine [Wang, C. C. et al., J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem., 1963, 25, p. 327]. Heating produces highly toxic fumes of phosphorus oxides. Can react vigorously upon contact with oxidizing agents. [Sax, 9th ed., p. 119].
Belongs to the Following Reactive Group(s)
Potentially Incompatible Absorbents

No information available.

Response Recommendations

Isolation and Evacuation - Isolation and evacuation distance recommendations from the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).

Firefighting - Response recommendations if the chemical is on fire (or near a fire).

Non-Fire Response - Response recommendations if the chemical isn't on fire (or near a fire).

Protective Clothing - Recommendations for protective gear.

Dupont Tychem® Suit Fabrics - A table of normalized breakthrough times for DuPont Tychem suit fabrics for the chemical, if available.

First Aid - Recommended first aid treatment for people exposed to the chemical.

List of data sources.
Isolation and Evacuation
Excerpt from GUIDE 139 [Substances - Water-Reactive (Emitting Flammable and Toxic Gases)]:

As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area in all directions for at least 50 meters (150 feet) for liquids and at least 25 meters (75 feet) for solids.

SPILL: See ERG Table 1 - Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances on the UN/NA 1397 datasheet.

FIRE: If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions. (ERG, 2012)
Firefighting
Wear self-contained breathing apparatus when fighting fires involving this material. If contact with the material is anticipated, wear full protective clothing.

Do not use water or foam. Small fires can be extinguished with dry chemical, soda ash, or lime. Large fires -- withdraw from area and let fire burn. Move container from fire only if you can do it without risk. (EPA, 1998)
Non-Fire Response
Excerpt from GUIDE 139 [Substances - Water-Reactive (Emitting Flammable and Toxic Gases)]:

Fully encapsulating, vapor protective clothing should be worn for spills and leaks with no fire. ELIMINATE all ignition sources (no smoking, flares, sparks or flames in immediate area). Do not touch or walk through spilled material. Stop leak if you can do it without risk. DO NOT GET WATER on spilled substance or inside containers. Use water spray to reduce vapors or divert vapor cloud drift. Avoid allowing water runoff to contact spilled material. FOR CHLOROSILANES, use AFFF alcohol-resistant medium expansion foam to reduce vapors.

SMALL SPILL: Cover with DRY earth, DRY sand or other non-combustible material followed with plastic sheet to minimize spreading or contact with rain. Dike for later disposal; do not apply water unless directed to do so.

POWDER SPILL: Cover powder spill with plastic sheet or tarp to minimize spreading and keep powder dry. DO NOT CLEAN-UP OR DISPOSE OF, EXCEPT UNDER SUPERVISION OF A SPECIALIST. (ERG, 2012)
Protective Clothing
For emergency situations, wear a positive pressure, pressure-demand, full facepiece self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or pressure- demand supplied air respirator with escape SCBA and a fully-encapsulating, chemical resistant suit. (EPA, 1998)
DuPont Tychem® Suit Fabrics
No information available.
First Aid
Warning: Effects may be delayed for several hours. Caution is advised.

Signs and Symptoms of Acute Aluminum Phosphide Exposure: Acute exposure to aluminum phosphide usually results in headache, cough, tightness and pain in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, lethargy, and stupor. Muscle pain, fatigue, chills, tremor, lack of coordination, seizures, and coma may be observed. Pulmonary edema and cardiac irregularities are also commonly found. Gastrointestinal effects include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Renal (kidney) damage, hepatic (liver) damage, and jaundice may also occur. Contact with aluminum phosphide may cause severe burns to skin and eyes.

Emergency Life-Support Procedures: Acute exposure to aluminum phosphide may require decontamination and life support for the victims. Emergency personnel should wear protective clothing appropriate to the type and degree of contamination. Air-purifying or supplied-air respiratory equipment should also be worn, as necessary. Rescue vehicles should carry supplies such as plastic sheeting and disposable plastic bags to assist in preventing spread of contamination.

Inhalation Exposure:
1. Move victims to fresh air. Emergency personnel should avoid self-exposure to aluminum phosphide.
2. Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate, and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer oxygen or other respiratory support.
3. Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
4. Transport to a health care facility.

Dermal/Eye Exposure:
1. Remove victims from exposure. Emergency personnel should avoid self- exposure to aluminum phosphide.
2. Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate, and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer oxygen or other respiratory support.
3. Remove contaminated clothing as soon as possible.
4. If eye exposure has occurred, eyes must be flushed with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
5. Wash exposed skin areas twice with soap and water.
6. Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
7. Transport to a health care facility.

Ingestion Exposure: No information is available. (EPA, 1998)

Physical Properties

This section contains physical properties, flammability limits, and toxic thresholds for this chemical (see definitions of each property). More property data is available for common chemicals.

See also the Levels of Concern guide for information on AEGLs, ERPGs, PACs, and IDLH values.

List of data sources.
Chemical Formula:
  • AlP
Flash Point: data unavailable
Lower Explosive Limit (LEL): data unavailable
Upper Explosive Limit (UEL): data unavailable
Autoignition Temperature: data unavailable
Melting Point: Does not melt or decompose at temperatures up to 1832° F. (EPA, 1998)
Vapor Pressure: data unavailable
Vapor Density (Relative to Air): data unavailable
Specific Gravity: 2.85 at 59.0 ° F (EPA, 1998)
Boiling Point: data unavailable
Molecular Weight: 57.95 (EPA, 1998)
Water Solubility: data unavailable
IDLH: data unavailable

AEGLs (Acute Exposure Guideline Levels)

Final AEGLs for Aluminum phosphide (20859-73-8)
Exposure Period AEGL-1 AEGL-2 AEGL-3
10 minutes NR 4 ppm 7.2 ppm
30 minutes NR 4 ppm 7.2 ppm
60 minutes NR 2 ppm 3.6 ppm
4 hours NR 0.5 ppm 0.9 ppm
8 hours NR 0.25 ppm 0.45 ppm
NR = Not recommended due to insufficient data
(NAC/NRC, 2013)

ERPGs (Emergency Response Planning Guidelines)

No ERPG information available.

PACs (Protective Action Criteria)

Chemical PAC-1 PAC-2 PAC-3
Aluminum phosphide (20859-73-8) 0.42 ppm 2 ppm 3.6 ppm
(SCAPA, 2012)

Regulatory Information

This section contains regulatory information from the Title III Consolidated List of Lists (see details about each regulatory field).

List of data sources.
Regulatory Name CAS Number/
313 Category Code
EPCRA 302
EHS TPQ
EPCRA 304
EHS RQ
CERCLA RQ EPCRA 313
TRI
RCRA
Code
CAA 112(r)
RMP TQ
Aluminum phosphide 20859-73-8 500 100 100 313 P006

(EPA List of Lists, 2012)

Alternate Chemical Names

This section provides a listing of alternate names for this chemical, including trade names and synonyms.