FUMIPHOS® Hazards to Humans and Domestic Animals DANGER:
Aluminum phosphide from FUMIPHOS® tablets, pellets or dust may be fatal if swallowed. Do not get in eyes, on skin or on clothing. Do not eat, drink or smoke while handling aluminum phosphide fumigants. If a sealed container is opened, or if the material comes into contact with moisture, water or acids, these products will release phosphine, which is an extremely toxic gas. If a garlic odor is detected, refer to the Industrial Hygiene Monitoring instructions for appropriate monitoring procedures. Pure phosphine gas is odorless; the garlic odor is due to a contaminant. Since the odor of phosphine may not be detected under some circumstances, the absence of a garlic odor does not mean that dangerous levels of phosphine gas are not present. Observe proper re-entry procedures specified in the label to prevent over-exposure.
4.2 Environmental Hazards
This product is very highly toxic to wildlife. Non-target organisms exposed to phosphine gas will be killed. Do not apply directly to water or wetlands (swamps, bogs, marshes, and potholes). Do not contaminate water by cleaning of equipment or disposal of wastes.
4.3 Physical and Chemical Hazards
Aluminum phosphide in tablets and partially spent dust will release phosphine if exposed to moisture from the air or if it comes into contact with water, acids and many other liquids. Since phosphine may ignite spontaneously at levels above its lower flammable limit of 1.8% v/v (18,000 ppm), it is important not to exceed this concentration. Ignition of high concentrations of phosphine can produce a very energetic reaction. Explosion can occur under these conditions and may cause severe personal injury. Never allow the buildup of phosphine to exceed explosive concentrations. Do not confine spent or partially spent aluminum phosphide fumigants as the slow release of phosphine from this material may result in formation of an explosive atmosphere. Aluminum phosphide tablets of FUMIPHOS®, outside their containers, should not be stacked or piled up or contacted with liquid water. This may cause a temperature increase, accelerate the rate of gas production and confine the gas so that ignition could occur.
It is preferable to open containers of aluminum phosphide products in open air as under certain conditions, they may flash upon opening. Containers may also be opened near a fan or other appropriate ventilation that will rapidly exhaust contaminated air. When opening, invert the container several times then point the container away from the face and body and slowly loosen the cap. Although the chances for a flash are very remote, never open these containers in a flammable atmosphere. These precautions will also reduce the fumigator’s exposure to phosphine gas. If containers are opened inside the structure to be fumigated, air monitoring must be conducted to ensure worker’s exposure to phosphine gas does not exceed the allowable limit of 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) of 0.3 ppm or the 15-minute Short-Term Exposure Limit (STEL) of 1.0 ppm phosphine.
Pure phosphine gas is practically insoluble in water, fats and oils, and is stable at normal fumigation temperatures. However, it may react with certain metals and cause corrosion, especially at higher temperatures and relative humidities. Metals such as copper, brass, other copper alloys and precious metals such as gold and silver are susceptible 5 to corrosion by phosphine.Thus, small electric motors, smoke detectors, brass sprinkler heads, batteries and battery chargers, fork lifts, temperature monitoring systems, switching gears, communication devices, computers, calculators and other electrical equipment should be protected or removed before fumigation. Phosphine gas will also react with certain metallic salts and, therefore, sensitive items such as photographic film, some inorganic pigments, etc., should not be exposed. Immediately after addition of phosphine to the structure, turn off any lights and unessential electrical equipment. FUMIPHOS® tablets are Restricted Use Pesticides due to the high acute inhalation toxicity of phosphine gas.