Agent Name

Phosgene

Alternative Name

Carbonyl chloride

CAS Number

75-44-5

Formula

C-Cl2-O

Major Category

Toxic Gases & Vapors

Synonyms

Carbon dichloride oxide; Carbon oxychloride; Carbone (oxychlorure de) [French]; Carbonic acid dichloride; Carbonic chloride; Carbonic dichloride; Carbonio (ossicloruro di) [Italian]; Carbonyl chloride; Carbonyl dichloride; Carbonylchlorid [German]; Chloroformyl chloride; Combat gas; Fosgeen [Dutch]; Fosgen [Polish]; Fosgene [Italian]; Koolstofoxychloride [Dutch]; Phosgen; Phosgen [German]; [ChemIDplus] UN1076

Category

Acid Halides

Description

Colorless gas with a suffocating odor like musty hay; Note: A fuming liquid below 47 degrees F. Shipped as a liquefied compressed gas; [NIOSH] Vapor density = 3.4 (heavier than air); [HSDB]

Sources/Uses

Used as an intermediate in the synthesis of many organic chemicals; also produced from thermal decomposition or photodecomposition of chlorinated hydrocarbons--the heat or UV light of welding can generate phosgene from degreasing solvents; [ACGIH]

Comments

Like ozone and nitrogen dioxide, phosgene is less soluble that other irritant inhalants and more likely to cause pulmonary edema without the signs of severe upper respiratory injury. [LaDou, p. 522-5] After a significant inhalation exposure, the onset of pulmonary edema may be delayed for up to 48 hours. [ATSDR Medical Management] A lachrymator; [CHEMINFO] Phosgene is fibrogenic to the lungs in the context of an acute inhalation exposure complicated by bronchiolitis obliterans.

Reference Link

ATSDR Medical Management - Phosgene

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TIH

Yes

TLV (ACGIH)

0.1 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

0.1 ppm

MAK

0.1 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

2 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

It has been calculated that based on acute toxicity data in humans, the lethal dose for a 30­minute exposure would be about 17 ppm [Diller 1978]. It has been stated that 25 ppm for 30 to 60 minutes is dangerous and brief exposure to 50 ppm may be rapidly fatal [Henderson and Haggard 1943]. It has also been stated that 5 ppm is probably lethal for a 30­minute exposure [Jacobs 1967].

Odor Threshold Low

0.12 ppm

Odor Threshold High

5.7 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (cats) = 190mg/m3/15 min

Explanatory Notes

Odor threshold from AIHA;

Half Life

No reports found; [TDR, p. 1030]

Reference Link

Phosgene exposure: mechanisms of injury and treatment strategies

Adverse Effects
Lacrimator

Yes

Chronic Bronchitis

Yes

Toxic Pneumonitis

Yes

Fibrogenic

Yes

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

Search PubMed

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: