Since we are promised a followup next week, allow me to shift the thread to something real, admitted and exposed. That is the use of White Phosphore has a weapon by the US in Irak.... from:http://www.nsc.org/ehc/chemical/phsphor.htm
White Phosphorus Chemical Backgrounder
White phosphorus (CAS #7723-14-0) is an element which does not occur naturally. Industries produce white phosphorus from naturally occurring phosphate rocks. Pure white phosphorus is a colorless to white waxy solid; commercial white phosphorus is usually white.
White phosphorus is used mainly for producing phosphoric acid and other chemicals such as phosphorus trichloride, calcium metaphosphate, phosphorus pentasulfide, phosphorus pentoxide, and red phosphorus. It is also used to make fertilizers, additives in foods and beverages, cleaning compounds, and other products. Small amounts of white phosphorus had been used as rat and roach poisons, and in fireworks, but are no longer used for this. In the past, white phosphorus was used to make matches, but another chemical with fewer harmful health effects has replaced it.
In the military, white phosphorus is used in ammunition such as mortar, artillery shells, and grenades. When ammunitions containing white phosphorus are fired in the field, they burn and produce smoke which contains both unburned phosphorus and burned phosphorus products. In military operations, this smoke screen is used to protect potential targets and to conceal movement of personnel and material.
White phosphorus has a garlic-like smell. It is soluble in alkali, ether, chloroform, benzene, and toluene. In air, it catches fire at temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above room temperature, and ignites spontaneously in moist air. Because of its high reactivity with oxygen in air, white phosphorus is generally stored under water. It is also incompatible or reactive with oxidizers, including elemental sulfur and strong caustics. It is considered a dangerous disaster hazard because it emits highly toxic fumes.
White phosphorus is a dangerous explosion hazard when it forms a chemical reaction with many chemicals, including alkaline hydroxides, beryllium, bromine, halogens, chlorine dioxide, chlorine trifluoride, chlorosulfonic acid, copper, iron, manganese compounds, nickel, nitrates, nitrogen dioxide, oxygen, performic acid, sulfuric acid, peroxyformic acid, chlorosulfuric acid, hologen azides, and hexalithium disilicide. When exposed to air emits a green light and gives off white funes.
Synonyms for white phosphorus (dry or under water or in solution) include: Amgard CPC, Amgard CPC 405, elemental phosphorus, Exolit 385, Eolit 405, Exolit LPKN 275, Exolit VPK-N 361, Fosforo Amarillo, Fosforo Blanco, Hishigado, Hostaflam, Nova Sol, Novaexcel, Novared, Phosphore Blance/Jaune, phosphorus yellow/white, phosphorus-31.
- Chemical Name: White Phosphorus
- Regulatory Name: White Phosphorus (yellow or white)
- Formula: P
- DOT Label: Spontaneously Combustible, Poison
- CAS: 7723-14-0
- STCC: 4916141, 4916139
- CHRIS: PPW
- UN Number: 1381
White phosphorus is a poison which can be absorbed through skin contact, ingestion, or breathing. If its combustion occurs in a confined space, white phosphorus will remove the oxygen from the air and render the air unfit to support life. Long-term absorption, particularly through the lungs and the gastrointestinal tract, can cause chronic poisoning, which leads to weakness, anemia, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal weakness, and pallor.
Eating or drinking less than one teaspoon of white phosphorus can cause vomiting; stomach cramps; liver, heart or kidney damage; drowsiness; and even death. Being burned with white phosphorus can cause heart, liver, and kidney damage. Breathing white phosphorus may damage lungs and throat.
White phosphorus can cause changes in the long bones; seriously affected bones may become brittle, leading to spontaneous fractures. White phosphorus is especially hazardous to the eyes and can severely damage them.
High concentrations of the vapors evolved by burning white phosphorus are irritating to the nose, throat, lungs, skin, eyes, and mucus membranes.
Breathing white phosphorus can cause coughing and the development of a condition known as phossy jaw -- poor wound healing in the mouth and a breakdown of the jaw bone. The most common symptom of exposure to white phosphorus is necrosis of the jaw.
Exposure to white phosphorus can also cause nausea, jaundice, anemia, cachexia, dental pain, and excess saliva.
- IDLH: 5 mg/m3 (NIOSH, 1997)
- TLV TWA: 0.1 mg/m3 For yellow phosphorus (ACGIH, 1999)
- NIOSH REL: TWA 0.1 mg/m3
- OSHA PEL: TWA 0.1 mg/m3
Most (85%) of the elemental phosphorus is converted to phosphoric acid which is used directly or converted to phosphate compound. Final applications include home laundry and automatic dishwasher detergents, industrial and institutional cleaners, food and beverages, metal cleaning and treatment, potable water and wastewater treatment, antifreeze and electronics. The remaining elemental phosphorus (15%) is used in P4-dependent applications which require the element as a direct reactant (P2S5, PCl3, POCl3, P2O5, and hypophosphite with smaller amounts leading to PH3, red phosphorus, phosphonates and other derivatives. Final applications include flame retardants, lubricant additives, insecticides, herbicides, water treatment, cleaning compounds, plasticizers, and semiconductors. [Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 4th ed. Volumes 1: New York, NY. John Wiley and Sons, 1991-Present.,p. V18 735]
U.S. manufacturers of white phosphorus are FMC Corporation, Pocatello, ID; Monsanto Company, Soda Springs, ID.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets a permissible exposure limit, time-weighted average, of white phosphorus of .1 mg/m3. The EPA lists white phosphorus as a hazardous air pollutant. EPA offices which regulate white phosphorus are Emergency and Remedial Response; Pesticide Programs; Solid Waste; and Toxic Substances.
White phosphorus is regulated under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA); Clean Air Act; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980; and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
Under Section 302 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986, White phosphorus is listed as an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) and has a threshold planning quanitiy of 100 lbs.
Under Under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986, releases of more than one pound of white phosphorus into the air, water, and land must be reported annually and entered into the national Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).
National Overview of 1998 Toxics Release Inventory
In 1998, 54 facilities released 2,300,434 pounds of white phosporus. Of those releases, 23,603 pounds were air emissions; 3,761 pounds were surface water discharges; less than one pound was released by underground injection; 2,273,070 pounds were released to land; and, 2,300,434 pounds were transferred off-site for disposal. Total emissions for 1998 represented an decrease from 1997 emissions, which totaled 2,612,966 pounds; an increase from 1996 emissions, which totaled 2,109,066 pounds; an increase fro 1995 emissions, which totaled 1,927,733 and a decrease from 1988 (baseline) emissions, which totaled 4,120,617 pounds.
In 1998, 3,526,199 pounds of white phosporus waste were managed; less than one pound was recycled on-site; 236,289 pounds were recycled off-site; less than one pound was used for energy recovery on-site; less than one pound was used for energy recovery off-site; 981,152 pounds were treated on-site; 1,235 pounds were treated off-site; and 2,307,522 pounds were released on-and off-site.
The states in which the largest amounts of phosphorus were released in 1998 were: MS (12,600), NC (3,732), IL (3,527), DE (3,252), AR (1,705), TN (655), IN (500), PA (500), and NY (368).
The facilities releasing the largest amounts of phosphorus in 1998 were FMC Corp., Pocatello, ID(2,272,700); Mueller Copper Tube Co., Fulton, MS (12,600); Townsend Farms Inc., Bonlee, NC (3,732); Townsend Farms Inc., Millsboro, DE (3,252); Olin Corp., East Alton, IL (3,200); Townsend Farm of AR Inc., Newark, AR (1,700); P4 Production L.L.C. (Monsanto/60% JV Owner) Soda Springs, ID (590); Occidental Chemical Corp., Columbia, TN (505); Metallurgical Prods. Co., West Chester, PA (500).
The NIOSH recommended exposure limits (RELs) are time-weighted average (TWA) concentrations for up to a 10-hour workday during a 40-hour workweek. A short-term exposure limit (STEL) is designated by "ST" preceding the value; unless noted otherwise, the STEL is a 15-minute TWA exposure that should not be exceeded at any time during a workday. A ceiling REL is designated by "C" preceding the value. Any substance that NIOSH considers to be a potential occupational carcinogen is designated by the notation "Ca."
The OSHA permissible exposure limits (PEL) are found in Tables Z-1, Z-2, and Z-3 of the OSHA General Industry Air Contaminants Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000). Unless noted otherwise, PEL are TWA concentrations that must not be exceeded during any 8-hour workshift of a 40-hour workweek. A STEL is designated by "ST" preceding the value and is measured over a 15-minute period unless noted otherwise. OSHA ceiling concentrations (designated by "C" preceding the value) must not be exceeded during any part of the workday; if instantaneous monitoring is not feasible, the ceiling must be assessed as a 15-minute TWA exposure. In addition, there are a number of substances from Table Z-2 (e.g., beryllium, ethylene dibromide, etc.) that have PEL ceiling values that must not be exceeded except for specified excursions. For example, a "5-minute maximum peak in any 2 hours" means that a 5-minute exposure above the ceiling value, but never above the maximum peak, is allowed in any 2 hours during an 8-hour workday.
- CAMEO®, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, www.epa.gov/ceppo.
- Chemical Manufacturers Association, 1300 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22209: (703) 741-5000 or Chemical Referral Library, (800) 262-8200.
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Clearinghouse on Environmental Health Effects, 100 Capitola Drive, #108, Durham, NC 27713; (800) 643-4794; fax (919) 361-9408.
- TOXNET, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; www.toxnet.nlm.nih.gov
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M St., SW, Washington, DC 20460; Right to Know Hotline (800) 535-0202.
- U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Washington, DC, www.osha.gov
- OSHA PEL: Z-1 Table: www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_1000_TABLE_Z-1.html
- OSHA PEL: Z-2 Table: www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_1000_TABLE_Z-2.html