will occur. The only symptoms noted may be general tiredness, pallor, breathlessness on exertion, and palpitations as would be expected with severe secondary anemia. The carcinogenicity of arsine in humans has not been established; however, arsenic and certain inorganic arsenic compounds are recognized human carcinogens.

Flammability and Explosibility

Arsine is flammable in air, having a lower explosion limit (LEL) of 5.8%. The upper limit has not been determined. Combustion products (arsenic trioxide and water) are less toxic than arsine itself. In the event of an arsine fire, stop the flow of gas if possible without risk of harmful exposure and let the fire burn itself out.

Reactivity and Incompatibility

Arsine is a strong reducing agent and reacts violently with oxidizing agents such as fluorine, chlorine, nitric acid, and nitrogen trichloride.

Storage and Handling

Because of its high acute toxicity, arsine should be handled using the "basic prudent practices" of Chapter 5.C, supplemented by the additional practices for work with compounds of high toxicity (Chapter 5.D), flammability (Chapter 5.F), and for work with compressed gases (Chapter 5.H). In particular, cylinders of arsine should be stored and used in a continuously ventilated gas cabinet or fume hood. Local fire codes should be reviewed for limitations on quantity and storage requirements. Carbon steel, stainless steel, Monel®, and Hastelloy ®C are preferred materials for handling arsine; brass and aluminum should be avoided. Kel-F® and Teflon® are preferred gasket materials; Viton® and Nylon® are acceptable.


In the event of a release of arsine, the area should be evacuated immediately. Regard anyone exposed to arsine as having inhaled a potentially toxic dose. Rescue of an affected individual requires appropriate respiratory protection. Remove exposed individuals to an uncontaminated area and seek immediate emergency medical help. Keep victim warm, quiet, and at rest; provide assisted respiration if breathing has stopped.

To respond to a release, use appropriate protective equipment and clothing. Positive pressure air-supplied respiratory protection is required. Close cylinder valve and ventilate area. Remove cylinder to a fume hood or remote area if it cannot be shut off.

Emergency response and rescue procedures should be in place before beginning work with arsine. Local rescue assistance may be needed and should be prearranged.


Excess arsine should be returned to the manufacturer, according to your institution's waste disposal guidelines. For more information on disposal procedures, see Chapter 7 of this volume.

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