Phosphor P-31, Type 139








ESPI Metals

1050 Benson Way, Ashland, OR 97520

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Product Name:         Phosphor P-31, Type 139

Formula:                  ZnS:Ag:Cu 




Hazardous Component:      Zinc Sulfide           Silver                 Copper  

CAS Number:                      1314-98-3             7440-22-4           7440-50-8

Percent (%):                      ca 100                  <0.1                    <0.1

OSHA/PEL:                          NE                        0.01 mg/m3         1 mg/m3 (dust);  0.1 mg/m3 (fume)

ACGIH/TLV:                         NE                       0.01 mg/m3         1 mg/m3 (dust); 0.2 mg/m3 (fume)






Boiling Point:                   N/A

Melting Point:                  ca 1850 oC

Specific Gravity:              4.1

Solubility in H2O:             Insoluble

Appearance and Odor:    White powder, odorless




Flash Point:  N/A

Autoignition Temperature:  N/A 

Flammable LimitsUpper:  N/A       Lower:  N/A

Extinguishing Media:  Use extinguishing agents suitable for the surrounding fire.

Special Fire Fighting Procedures:  Firefighters must wear full face, self-contained breathing apparatus with full protective clothing to prevent contact with skin and eyes.

Unusual Fire & Explosion Hazard:  May burn to form sulfur dioxide at high temperatures (>950 oC).  Contact with strong acids will liberate hydrogen sulfide.  Hydrogen sulfide may form explosive mixtures with air.




Effects of Exposure:

To the best of our knowledge the chemical, physical and toxicological properties of phosphor p-31 have not been thoroughly investigated and recorded.

Zinc compounds have variable toxicity, but generally are of low toxicity.  Zinc is not inherently a toxic element.  However, when heated, it evolves a fume of zinc oxide which when inhaled fresh can cause a disease known as “brass founders”, “ague” or “brass chills.”  Zinc oxide dust which is not freshly formed is virtually innocuous.  There is no cumulative effect from the inhalation of zinc fumes.  (Sax, Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, eighth edition)

Hydrogen sulfide is a human poison by inhalation.  Severe eye irritant and mucous membrane irritant.  An asphyxiant.  The irritant action has been explained on the bases that hydrogen sulfide combines with the alkali present in moist surface tissues to form sodium sulfide, caustic.  Hydrogen sulfide does not combine with the hemoglobin of the blood; its asphyxiation is due to paralysis of the respiratory center.  It is an insidious poison since sense of smell may be fatigued.  The odor and irritating effects do not offer a dependable warning to workers who may be exposed to gradually increasing amounts and therefore become used to it (Sax, Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, eighth edition).

The absorption of silver compounds into the circulation and the subsequent deposition of the reduced silver in various tissues of the body may result in the production of a generalized greyish pigmentation of the skin and mucous membranes - a condition known as argyria.  The introduction of fine particles of silver through breaks in the skin produces a local pigmentation at the site of the injury.  These compounds may be irritating to the skin and mucous  membranes. (Sax, Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials).

Copper compounds may be irritating to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.  They may cause metal fume fever, hemolysis of the red blood cells and injury to the liver, lungs, kidneys and pancreas.  Ingestion may also cause vomiting, gastric pain, dizziness, anemia, cramps, convulsions, shock, coma and death.  Copper solutions may cause sensitization reactions.

Acute and Chronic Effects:

Inhalation:  None expected.  Zinc compounds are considered to have a relatively low order of toxicity.  However, as a matter of good practice, exposure to high concentrations of the dust should be avoided.

Ingestion:  Unknown, but probably none for any kind of accidental ingestion likely to occur in an industrial environment.

Skin/Eye Contact:  Prolonged or repeated skin contact may cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals.



INHALATION:  Remove to fresh air, keep warm and quiet, give oxygen if breathing is difficult and seek medical attention.

INGESTION:  Give 1-2 glasses of milk or water and induce vomiting, seek medical attention.  Never induce vomiting or give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.

SKIN:  Remove contaminated clothing, brush material off skin, wash affected area with soap and water.  Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

EYE:  Flush with copious amounts of  water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.




Stability:  Stable

Incompatibility (Material to Avoid):  Avoid contact with strong acids.

Hazardous Decomposition Procedures:  Hydrogen sulfide is released when phosphor comes in contact with strong acids.

Hazardous Polymerization:  Will not occur




Steps to be Taken in Case Material is Released or Spilled:  Wear appropriate respiratory and protective equipment specified in section VIII.  Isolate spill area and provide ventilation.  Scoop or vacuum up spill using a high efficiency particulate absolute (HEPA) air filter and place in a closed container for proper disposal.  Take care not to  raise dust.

Waste Disposal Method:  Dispose of in accordance with State, Federal and Local regulations.




Respiratory Protection:  NIOSH/MSHA approved respirator

Ventilation:  Use local exhaust ventilation which is adequate to limit personal exposure to levels which do not exceed the PEL or TLV.  If such equipment is not available, use respirators as specified above.  A minimum velocity of 100 CFM is recommended.

Protective gloves:  Gloves are recommended if prolonged or repeated contact is likely.

Eye Protection:  Safety glasses or goggles are recommended.

Other Protective EquipmentNormal laboratory gear.




Precautions to Be Taken in Handling and Storage:  Store in a cool, dry place in tightly sealed containers.  Do not store together with acids or oxidizing agents.  Wash thoroughly after handling.  Maintain good housekeeping procedures to prevent accumulation of dust.  Use clean-up methods which minimize dust generation such as vacuuming or wet clean-up.  If airborne dust is generated, use an appropriate NIOSH approved respirator.

Work Practices:  Implement engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain concentration of exposure at low levels.  Use good housekeeping and sanitation practices.  Do not use tobacco or food in work area.  Wash thoroughly after handling and before eating or smoking and at the end of the work shift.  Do not shake clothing or other items to remove dust.  Use a vacuum.  Avoid dust inhalation and direct skin contact.  Do not ingest.  Do not blow dust off clothing or skin with compressed air.  Maintain eyewash capable of sustained flushing, safety drench shower, and facilities for washing.

TSCA Listed:  Yes

DOT Regulations:

Hazard Class:     None


The above information is believed to be correct, but does not purport to be all inclusive and shall be used only as a guide.  ESPI shall not be held liable for any damages resulting from handling or from contact with the above product.


Issued by:                 S. Dierks

Revised/Verified:       April 2012