Agent Name

Nickel carbonyl

CAS Number

13463-39-3

Formula

C4-Ni-O4

Major Category

Toxic Gases & Vapors

Synonyms

Nickel tetracarbonyl; Tetracarbonyl nickel; [NIOSH] UN1259

Category

Other Toxic Gases & Vapors

Description

Colorless to yellow liquid with a musty odor. [Note: A gas above 110 degrees F.] [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used to refine nickel by the Mond process; also used to deposit nickel films and as a catalyst to produce organic chemicals; Generated in reactions between fine nickel powder and carbon monoxide; [ACGIH] Workers are exposed mainly in nickel refining. Exposure may occur in electroplating and in the electronics industry. Smokers may be exposed. [Sullivan, p. 981-2]

Comments

Liquid causes second or third degree burns after short contact; [CHRIS] Highly toxic by inhalation with poor warning properties; Pulmonary edema may be delayed for 12 to 36 hours after exposure. Nickel carbonyl causes liver damage in inhalation and intravenous studies of animals. The estimated lethal dose in humans is 30 ppm for 340 minutes with death secondary to lung injury. Urinary nickel levels are useful in medical surveillance of exposed workers. Epidemiology studies provide equivocal evidence that nickel carbonyl causes lung cancer.[ACGIH] The chest x-ray may show evidence of pulmonary edema after nickel carbonyl exposure. [Sullivan, Table 16.3] Workers exposed to soluble nickel salts had increased nasal dysplasia and lung fibrosis. [Ullmann] Lung injury after nickel carbonyl exposure includes delayed pulmonary edema and rapidly infiltrating fibrosis. [Harber, p. 499] Acute findings following heavy exposure may include headache, delirium, seizures, and coma. [LaDou, p. 480] In high-dose animal studies, nickel and nickel carbonyl cause birth defects. [Frazier] See "ORGANOMETALS." See "Nickel" and linked occupational diseases.

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TIH

Yes

Ceiling (ACGIH)

0.05 ppm, as Ni

PEL (OSHA)

0.001 ppm, as Ni

IDLH (NIOSH)

2 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Other human data: It has been stated that 3 ppm for 30 minutes is the probable shortterm exposure limit [Kincaid et al. 1956].

Vapor Pressure

315 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

0.5 ppm

Odor Threshold High

3 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 35 ppm/30 min

Explanatory Notes

Odor threshold from AIHA; Vapors are heavier than air and can explode in air at 20 deg C; [Sullivan, p. 981]

Reference Link

ICSC: Nickel carbonyl

Flammability (NFPA)

3: May ignite at ambient temperature

Adverse Effects
Skin Sensitizer

Yes

Asthma

Yes

Toxic Pneumonitis

Yes

Fibrogenic

Yes

Neurotoxin

Other CNS Neurotoxin

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

Reproductive Toxin

Yes

Dermatotoxin

Skin Burns

IARC Carcinogen

Known Carcinogen

NTP Carcinogen

Human Carcinogen

ACGIH Carcinogen

Confirmed Animal

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Search TOXNET

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:

Activities

Activities with risk of exposure: