Arsine

CAS RN: 7784-42-1

Toxicity Summary

IDENTIFICATION: Arsine is a colorless, extremely flammable gas with a garlic odor. The gas is heavier than air and accumulates close to the surface, which makes distant ignition possible in the presence of flame or spark. Arsine is extensively used in the semiconductor industry for epitaxial growth of gallium arsenide, as a doping agent for silicon based solid state electronic devices and the manufacture of light emitting diodes. HUMAN EXPOSURE: In humans arsine is absorbed via the lungs and mucosal surface of the respiratory tract. After exposure, the concentration of arsine increases rapidly in blood, whereas the distribution to the liver, kidneys and other organs is much slower. In humans, arsine is metabolized to trivalent and pentavalent arsenic. Trivalent arsenic is methylated to monomethylarsonate and dimethylarsinate. Arsine metabolites are mainly excreted via urine. Arsine in humans induces hemolysis with an increase in plasma hemoglobin, iron and potassium and subsequent anemia and kidney damage. No reliable information is available on exposure levels at which these effects occur. Myocardial and pulmonary failures are other causes of death. Severe liver lesions are rare. Anemia is observed accompanied by Heinz-Ehrlich corpuscles and increased leukocytosis. Hemoglobin, hemosiderin, erythrocytes, proteins and casts, found in urine. There are no data on the carcinogenicity or mutagenicity of arsine in humans. ANIMAL STUDIES: In animals, arsine is absorbed via the lungs and respiratory tract. In animals exposed to arsine, the concentration of arsine increases rapidly in blood, whereas distribution to liver, kidneys and lungs and other organs is much slower. In animals, arsine is metabolized to trivalent and pentavalent arsenic. Trivalent arsenic is methylated to monomethylarsonate and dimethylarsinate. These metabolites are mainly excreted via urine. The acute toxicity of arsine in different species is high. Inhalation of arsine by mice caused an increase in the relative spleen weight and a decrease in hematocrit. Histopathological changes observed included hemosiderosis and extramedullary hematopoietic activity in the spleen. Repeated exposure to arsine caused persistent splenomegaly and slight suppression of bone marrow erythroid precursors in rats, mice and Syrian Golden hamsters. Methemoglobinemia was noted in mice. In one study arsine did not induce developmental toxicity in mice or rats. There are no data on the carcinogenicity or mutagenicity in animals.
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