Diborane is a highly toxic, flammable and reactive gas. Diborane is spontaneously combustible in moist air and may burn or explode upon contact with halogenated compounds. The repulsive odor of the gas cannot be detected below the permissible exposure limit, resulting in very poor warning properties.

Emergency Procedures

Skin Contact: Skin contact may cause thermal burns and irritation. Flush affected areas immediately with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes. Seek medical attention, as needed.

Eye Contact: Immediately flush with water for at least 15 minutes. Seek immediate medical attention.

Inhalation: Inhalation results in irritation of the respiratory tract and may cause headache, nausea, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, fever and weakness. Overexposure may result in damage to the central nervous system, kidneys and liver. Death can result from pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) and/or lack of oxygen. Chronic exposure to low concentrations may cause headaches, lightheadedness, fatigue and weakness in the muscles. PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION IS NECESSARY IN ALL CASES OF OVEREXPOSURE. Conscious persons should be assisted to an area with fresh, uncontaminated air.

Ingestion: Not a likely route of exposure. Consult a poison control center or physician.


Earth-ground and bond all lines and equipment associated with the system. All electrical equipment should be non-sparking or explosion proof. Ensure that carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are available. Do not use halogenated extinguishing agents such as Halon or carbon tetrachloride.

Explodes on contact with fluorine, chlorine, halogenated hydrocarbons, fuming nitric acid, and nitrogen trifluoride. May produce hydrogen upon contact with water. Contact with aluminum, lithium, and other active metals may form metal halides, which may ignite spontaneously. Diborane will attack some forms of plastic, rubber and coatings.


Consider using leak detection and alarm systems. Store and use in a fume hood or ventilated gas cabinet free of ignition sources. Follow all applicable recommendations for storage and handling of compressed gases.


Diborane cylinders should be returned to the compressed gas distributor when emptied or no longer used.

Section 10 Chemical List