Phosphine Information



Other Names

Phosphane, Hydrogen phosphide, Phosphorus trihydride; Phosphorus hydride

Chemical Formula


CAS Number

7803 – 51 – 2

Industry Uses

Fumigation; Pesticides; Microelectronics

Health Risks

Irritation; Vomiting; Multi-Organ system damage; convulsions; death

Vapor Pressure

41.3 atm

Water Solubility

Slightly Soluble




Fish or Garlic

Phosphine MSDS

What is Phosphine?

Phosphine is a colorless gas that is very toxic at extremely low concentrations. Phosphine is naturally found in blood, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, and saliva. It is located in the cytoplasm and in humans, it functions in the paclitaxel pathway. It is used as an insecticide for the fumigation of grains, animal feed, and leaf-stored tobacco. Phosphine is spontaneously flammable creating toxic fumes. It often reacts with air. It is heavier than air and tends to travel along the ground to an ignition source. Heating phosphine can cause explosion and violent rupture. Phosphine is very toxic to aquatic life.

Phosphine Exposure and Health Risks

Phosphine is extremely dangerous and highly toxic by inhalation. Even very low concentrations can be lethal. There is no antidote for phosphine poisoning, only treatment of symptoms. Artificial respiration, gastric lavage, and administration of activated charcoal may be necessary. Symptoms of acute phosphine inhalation are headaches, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, burning sub-sternal pain, nausea, vomiting, cough, labored breathing, chest tightness, pulmonary irritation, pulmonary edema, and tremors. Convulsions may ensue after an apparent recovery. Chronic exposure to phosphine can cause inflammation of respiratory tract, damage to gastrointestinal, cardio-respiratory, and central nervous systems, increased bone density, and jaundice. Contact with phosphine can cause irritation and skin burns.


The table below summarizes the most-recent exposure limits.




Not Recommended

AEGL-1 (8 hrs)


0.25 ppm

AEGL-2 (8 hrs)


0.45 ppm

AEGL-3 (8 hrs)


0.3 ppm

TWA (8 hrs)


0.3 ppm

TWA (8 hrs)


1 ppm



Sources: NIOSH, OSHA, EPA 

Measuring Phosphine

Phosphine concentration in the air can be measured in units of parts per million (ppm). Many of our products have digital communication capabilities for easy monitoring and control. We carry portable and fixed Phosphine monitors and kits. All of our Phosphine products can be viewed HERE.

Contact us for help choosing the right monitor for your application