Phosphine is a highly flammable, toxic and pyrophoric gas. Phosphine is irritating to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Inhalation may result in pulmonary edema. Phosphine is a central nervous system depressant and toxic to the kidneys.

Emergency Procedures

Skin Contact: Causes irritation ranging from mild to burning pain. Wash affected area well with soap and copious amounts of water for 15 minutes. If irritation persists, seek medical attention.

Eye Contact: Causes mild eye irritation. Immediately flush with water for at least 15 minutes. Seek medical attention if irritation persists.

Inhalation: Conscious persons should be assisted to an uncontaminated area and inhale fresh air. Quick removal from the contaminated area is most important. Unconscious persons should be moved to an uncontaminated area, given artificial resuscitation and supplemental oxygen. Medical assistance should be sought immediately.

Ingestion: Not a likely route of exposure since phosphine is a gas at room temperature. If swallowed, drink two glasses of water or milk. Do not induce vomiting. Contact poison control center or seek medical attention.


Avoid contact with air. Phosphine is pyrophoric (spontaneously combustible in air) and does not need an ignition source. Incompatible with bases, halogens, nitric acid, chromium oxychloride, silver nitrate, mercuric nitrate, nitrogen trichloride and oxidizing agents.

Earth-ground and bond all lines and equipment associated with the system. Electrical equipment should be non-sparking or explosion-proof. Use protective gloves made of neoprene, butyl rubber, PVC or polyethylene.

No extinguishing media exists. In event of a fire, turn off source if safe to do so and allow release to burn itself out.


Consider using leak detection and alarm systems. Store and use in ventilated gas cabinet or fume hood. Store away from incompatible materials such as bases, halogens and other oxidizing agents. Follow all applicable recommendations for storage and handling of compressed gases.


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

Section 10 Chemical List