Arsine is an extremely toxic gas that destroys red blood cells and can cause widespread systemic injury. Inhalation may cause headache, delirium, nausea, vomiting, general malaise, tightness in the chest and pain in the abdomen or loins. Arsine does not have adequate warning properties to avoid overexposure. Symptoms may not occur until several hours after exposure. Arsine is listed as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Arsine is highly flammable and reacts violently with oxidizing agents, such as chlorine, nitric acid and fluorine.
Skin Contact: Dermatitis is associated with exposure to other arsenic compounds, but not necessarily from arsine. Flush affected area with copious amounts of water. Remove affected clothing as quickly as possible.
Eye Contact: Flush contaminated eye(s) with copious amounts of water. Part eyelids to assure complete flushing. Continue for a minimum of 30 minutes. See a physician for follow-up treatment as soon as possible.
Inhalation: Prompt medical attention is mandatory in all cases of exposure. Rescue personnel should be aware of the extreme fire and explosion hazard. Regard anyone exposed as receiving a potentially toxic dose. Quick removal from the contaminated area is most important. Self-contained breathing apparatus must be worn when entering a potentially contaminated environment.
Ingestion: Ingestion is unlikely. Drink water to dilute. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.
Follow all compressed gas general handling precautions when working with arsine. Earth-ground and bond all lines and equipment associated with the system. All electrical equipment should be non-sparking or explosion proof. Use only in a laboratory fume hood or enclosed system.
Carbon steel, stainless steel, Monel, and HastelloyC 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.
Protective gloves should be neoprene, butyl rubber, PVC, polyethylene or Teflon.
Cylinders of arsine should be stored and used in a ventilated gas cabinet or a fume hood.
Flammable gas cylinders in storage must be separated from oxygen cylinders by a distance of 20 feet or a non-combustible 5-foot wall with a fire rating of at least one half hour. Follow all compressed gas general storage procedures when working with arsine.
Arsine cylinders should be returned to the compressed gas distributor when emptied or no longer used.