Phosphine / PH₃


Gas Identification

Other denomination
Phosphane, Phosphorus hydride, Phosphorated hydrogen
CAS Registry Number
SCBA type

Chemical properties

Molecular formula
Molecular mass
34 g/mol

Physical properties

Boiling point
-87,7 °C
Autoignition temperature
100 °C
Gas/Vapour density
9,96 eV

Flammability limit

1,6 % v/v
98 % v/v

Threshold limit value

0,1 ppm • 0,14 mg/m³
0,2 ppm • 0,28 mg/m³

Phosphine : Description and use


Phosphine is a highly toxic gas to mammals and humans. There is no antidote but it is the pesticide most widely used as a fumigant, despite the fact that a growing number of strains of targeted species have become resistant to it. This product is no longer authorised for use in agriculture in France.
It is a colourless, liquefied-compressed gas. In its pure state, it is odourless, but in practice it has an unpleasant odour similar to garlic or rotting fish due to its impurities.

Flammability: Phosphine is highly flammable, and it is considered pyrophoric if traces (0.2%) of diphosphane are present (i.e. it can spontaneously catch fire upon contact with air), even at temperatures below -15°C.

  • In organic synthesis in the chemical industry
  • As a doping agent in the manufacture of semiconductors
  • As a fumigation agent for treating stored foodstuffs and for the biocidal treatment of various materials (leather, natural or processed fibres, wood and derivatives, packaging materials, etc.)

Phosphine : Warnings and caution

GHS hazard statements

H220 - Extremely flammable gas.
H280 (L) - Contains gas under pressure; may explode if heated.
H314 - Causes severe skin burns and eye damage.
H330 - Fatal if inhaled.
H400 - Very toxic to aquatic life.

GHS precautionary statements

P210 - Keep away from heat, sparks, open flames, hot surfaces. No smoking.
P260 - Do not breathe gas.
P280 - Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P284 - Wear respiratory protection.
P410+P403 - Protect from sunlight. Store in a well-ventilated place.
P304+P341 - IF INHALED: If breathing is difficult, remove victim to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing.
P305+P351+P338 - IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing.

SGH02 : Inflammable
SGH04 : Gaz sous pression
SGH06 : Toxique
SGH05 : Corrosif
SGH09 : Danger pour le milieu aquatique