CAS RN: 75-44-5

Skin / Eye / Resp. Irritants

A severe eye, skin, and mucous membrane irritant.
Because of phosgene's mild upper respiratory, eye, and skin irritancy and mildly pleasant odor, an exposed victim may not actively seek an avenue of escape before lower respiratory damage has occurred.
The irritant properties of phosgene are not sufficient to give warning of hazardous concn.
...concentrations of phosgene vapor >3 ppm will result in irritation of the eyes & nose. Such concn in contact with moist skin will also lead to irritation & erythema, but there is no evidence that they would result in serious skin injury. At 3 ppm the only effect reported on the human eye was inflammation (conjunctival hyperaemia). Liquid phosgene splashed in the eye, however, caused complete corneal opacification, conjunctival adhesions & perforation in one victim. Although skin contact can result in severe burns, no reports of such cases are avail.
Skin irritation is possible if concn are high enough, but the hazard is minimal compared to the severe lung damage that can be produced by much longer levels. ... Eye irritation & corneal edema have been reported in dogs exposed to lethal concn of phosgene.
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