Agent Name

Potassium metabisulfite

CAS Number

16731-55-8

Formula

H2-O5-S2.2K

Major Category

Other Classes

Synonyms

Dipotassium disulfite; Dipotassium metabisulfite; Dipotassium pyrosulfite; Potassium disulfite; Potassium disulfite (K2S2O5); Potassium metabisulfite; Potassium pyrosulfite; Pyrosulfurous acid, dipotassium salt; [ChemIDplus]

Category

Sulfites

Description

A white granular or powdery solid with a sharp odor of sulfur dioxide; [CAMEO]

Sources/Uses

Sodium and potassium metabisulfite are used as antioxidants in photographic film development. [Kanerva, p. 1637]

Comments

A case of occupational asthma, confirmed by specific inhalation challenge, was reported in a worker whose job was to sprinkle dry metabisulfite on potatoes. [Malo JL, Cartier A, Desjardins A. Occupational asthma caused by dry metabisulphite. Thorax 1995 May;50(5); 585-6.] Similar cases have been reported in the wine, laundry, and lobster fishing industries. [Madsen J, Sherson D, Kjoller H, Hansen I, Rasmussen K. Occupational asthma caused by sodium disulphite in Norwegian lobster fishing. Occup Environ Med 2004;61:873-874]In the presence of water and acid, metabisulfite can generate toxic amounts of SO2. [ATSDR Med. Manag. Guidelines] See "SULFITES." May cause skin sensitization and asthma after prolonged contact; [ICSC] "Reactions to both sodium and potassium metabisulfite are expected." [Kanerva, p. 1828]

Reference Link

Occupational asthma caused by dry metabisulphite

Exposure Assessment
Reference Link

Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from potassium metabisulfite.

Adverse Effects
Skin Sensitizer

Yes

Asthma

Yes

IARC Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

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Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

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