Uranium Oxide MSDS

Uranium Oxide MSDS

Constants of Uranium Oxide

Date MSDS prepared and effective date: 2002



Description: Metal Oxide (uranium)

Other Designations: DU, U, 238U, U-238, U3O8, triuranium octoxide

A byproduct of the gaseous diffusion enrichment cycle, DU is artificially
depleted in the lighter isotopes (233U, 234U and 235U). The refined DU metal
contains 0.2% 235U by weight. This depletion process effectively eliminates
nuclear criticality concerns. Used in research and in applications where its
high density and/or high atomic number are advantageous. Applications include
radiation shielding materials, catalysts, and glass colorants.

Uranium metal oxidizes readily. In this MSDS, “uranium oxide” refers to an
(unspecified) mixture of U3O8 with trace quantities of UO3 and UO2. Usually in
powder form, this mix of oxides is not considered to be pyrophoric or flammable.

NOTE: Depleted Uranium (DU) is regulated by the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC), or by authorized state agencies, which should be consulted for
specific requirements on all aspects of the production and distribution of this
radioactive material.


Ingredient Name: CAS Number: Percent: Exposure Limits:

Uranium Oxide: U3O8 1344-57-6 ca 100 * OSHA PEL: 0.05 mg/m3, 8-hr TWA

*ACGIH: 0.2 mg/m3, TLV-TWA

0.6 mg/m3, Ceiling

Toxicity Data: Not Listed

NRC inhalation DAC: 2E-11 Ci/ml (occupational); 6E-14 Ci/ml air (effluent),

*Defined for both soluble and insoluble uranium compounds.


Appearance & Odor: Uranium oxide is usually a dull, dark charcoal-gray or flat
black-colored powder (U308) with no detectable odor.

Boiling point: NA Specific Gravity (H2O=l): 8.30

Vapor Density (Air=1): NA Vapor Pressure: NA

Water Solubility (%): Insoluble Melting Point: >>1300 C

Evaporation Rate: NA % Volatile By Volume: NA

Molecular Weight: 842.09

Melting point for oxides is much higher than for metal (1132 C), but U3O8
decomposes to UO2 at 1300 C. {UO2 specific gravity = 10.96, melting point =
2878 C.}

{UO3 specific gravity = 7.29 (melting point NA)}


Flash Point (Method): None reported. Limits: LEL %: None reported. UEL %: None

NFPA Fire Hazard Symbol Codes: Flammability: 0, Health: 1, Reactivity: 0,
Special: **

** Values determined by manufacturer, not found in NFPA guidebook references.

Extinguishing Media: Uranium oxides are not considered flammable; but, if the
oxidation of metal powder is not complete, there may be some potential for
residual flammability/pyrophoricity. Use a dry chemical Class D or carbon
dioxide extinguisher to fight small uranium fires. Flood large fires with water
per DOT P.5800.3.

Unusual Fire or Explosion Hazards: Do not disperse metal powders or fines into a
dust cloud, which may be explosive. Water reactions may generate hydrogen gas,
which is flammable. Flammability data pertains to uranium metal powders; oxides
are not considered flammable, and no special data were found.

Special Fire-Fighting Procedures: Wear an approved self-contained breathing
apparatus (SCBA) with a full-face piece operated in the pressure demand or
positive-pressure mode.


Chemical Incompatibilities: Uranium metal can react dangerously with carbon
tetrachloride, chlorine, fluorine, nitric acid, nitric oxide, selenium, sulfur,
and water (in finely divided form). Uranium oxide may react violently with BrF3.
No other specific incompatibilities were identified.

Conditions to Avoid: Do not create dusty work conditions.

Hazardous Decomposition Products: Uranium metal fume and/or oxide can be
produced during uranium fires. Radioactive progeny (daughters) thorium-234,
protactinium-234, and protactinium-234m (metastable) are produced by natural
radioactive decay and are the source of the majority of the penetrating
radiation. These isotopes can be concentrated in situations where the metal is
melted, condensed, or dissolved, potentially elevating the observed external
dose rate.

Stability/Polymerization: Material is stable in closed containers at room
temperature under normal storage and handling conditions. Hazardous
polymerization cannot occur. In the presence of moisture or humidity, uranium
metal may react to evolve flammable hydrogen gas. For depleted uranium oxide,
this hazard is greatly diminished or eliminated.


Summary of Risk: Uranium and its salts are both toxic and radioactive.
Dermatitis, renal damage, acute necrotic arterial lesions, and possibly death
may occur from extreme exposure. Inhalation of fine uranium particles presents
increased radiation hazards; isolated uranium particles in the lungs may be a
long-term cancer hazard. The more soluble uranium compounds are considered most
toxic to the kidneys; the lung is the critical organ for insoluble respirable
dusts or fines such as oxide powders. Uranium dusts are respiratory irritants,
with coughing or shortness of breath as possible outcomes. Prolonged skin
contact can cause damage to the basal cells. Radioactivity is the property of
the spontaneous emissions of alpha or beta particles and gamma rays, by the
disintegration of the nuclei of the atoms.

Medical Conditions Which May Be Aggravated by Contact: None reported.

Target Organs: Respiratory system, skin, eyes, kidneys, liver, blood, lymphatic
system, and bone marrow.

Primary Entry Route(s): Inhalation of dusts or fines, ingestion, skin or eye

Acute Effects: Nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and coughing.

Chronic Effect(s): Primarily the effects of radiation from insoluble compounds.
Possibilities include pneumoconiosis, pulmonary fibrosis, lymphoma,
osteosarcoma, and lung cancer.

Eye Contact: Flush immediately, including under the eyelids, gently but
thoroughly with flooding amounts of running water for at least 15 minutes.

Skin Contact: Immediately wash with soap and water. Decontaminate body surfaces

following radiation standards (procedures). Be careful not to abrade skin, in order to avoid

systemic uptake.

Inhalation: Remove exposed person to fresh air and support breathing as needed.

Ingestion: Never give anything by mouth to someone who is unconscious or
convulsing. Seek professional medical assistance.

assistance for further treatment, observation, and support after first aid.
Follow established procedures including radiation monitoring programs.

NOTE TO PHYSICIAN: Following significant ingestion, gastric lavage, with 2% bicarbonate
solution, is recommended. A 5% bicarbonate solution has been used by some poison
control specialists in radiation treatment. Depending on the solubility of the
material, follow–up bioassay (urine) sampling can be used to assess the
severity of a potential assimilation.

Carcinogenicity: The NTP, IARC, and OSHA do not specifically list uranium and

its compounds as carcinogens; because of its radioactivity it is considered a carcinogen if

inhaled, ingested, or injected. The ACGIH lists uranium and its compounds as an

A1 (Confirmed Human) carcinogen. NIOSH also lists uranium and its compounds as a confirmed carcinogen.


Spill/Leak Procedures: Accidental leaks or spills of uranium and its compounds
must be planned for well in advance of starting any work procedure. Special
radiation procedures are required, and professional assistance may be needed.
Notify safety or health physics personnel, evacuate all non-essential personnel,
and provide adequate ventilation. Clean-up personnel need protection against
contact with, and inhalation of, dust or oxides.

Waste Management/Disposal: Follow all applicable federal, state, and/or local
regulations governing the disposal of radioactive waste and contaminated

OSHA Designations:

Listed as Air Contaminant (29 CFR 1910.1000)

See OSHA Guideline for Uranium and Insoluble Compounds

EPA Designations:

RCRA Hazardous Waste (40 CFR 261.33): Exempted from RCRA regulation as Source

SARA Extremely Hazardous Substance (40 CFR 355):  Not listed.

SARA Section 313 Toxic Chemical (40 CFR 372.65): Not listed.

Reported in EPA TSCA Inventory: Yes

Transportation Data (49 CFR 172.101-2):

Proper Shipping Name: Radioactive Material, Low Specific Activity, n.o.s.

Identification Number: UN 2912

DOT Hazard Class: Radioactive Material, Class 7 UN Register: UN 2912


Personal Protective Equipment:

Goggles: Wear safety glasses with side shields. In dusty environments, wear
chemical safety goggles and a face shield, per OSHA eye- and face-protection

Respirator: For emergency operations, entry into unknown atmospheres, or
atmospheres immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH), wear a SCBA with a
full-face piece operated in the pressure demand (positive pressure) mode. If
significant oxide or powder formation has become airborne or the concentrations
exceed OSHA, and/or NRC limits, wear a properly fitted NIOSH-approved
air-purifying respirator equipped with HEPA cartridges. Because each type of
respirator has an assigned protection factor, respirator selection should be
done by an industrial hygienist, health physicist, or other qualified

Other: Wear impervious gloves, boots, aprons, etc., as appropriate, to prevent
prolonged or repeated skin contact.

Workplace Considerations:

Ventilation: Provide local ventilation as required to maintain exposure below
the USNRC DAC (Derived Air Concentration) and OSHA PELs specified in Section 2.

Safety Stations: Where powders, fines, dusts, or fumes of the metal are likely
to be present, make emergency eye wash stations, safety/quick-drench showers,
and washing facilities available in the work area. At a minimum, emergency
eyewashes and showers should meet the design and performance requirements of the
current ANSI Z358.1 Emergency Eyewash and Shower Standard.


Storage Segregation: Store uranium oxide in closed containers; prevent access by
unauthorized personnel. Depending on quantity stored, containers and area may
require special signs or postings based on RQ and dose rate. Deliberate
breaching of a container seal or gasket to prevent buildup of hydrogen gas,
which may evolve from oxidation reactions of residual metal with moisture, can
minimize the potential for explosive situations.

Contamination: Practice good personal hygiene. Always wash thoroughly after

using this material. Avoid transferring it from your hands to your mouth while

eating, drinking, or smoking. Do not eat, drink, or smoke in work areas. Do not allow exposure of

personnel with open wounds or cuts. Use radiation monitoring equipment, if available,

responsive to alpha and beta emissions.

Handling/Storage: Do not allow moisture contamination of storage facilities or

containers. Moisture contact may complete the oxidation of any residual metal

and evolve potentially explosive concentrations of hydrogen gas. Follow established federal and state

regulations for the use and storage of radioactive materials.

Prepared By:

International Bio-Analytical Industries, Inc.

3595 N. Dixie Hwy. Unit 5

Boca Raton, FL 33431

  • International Bio-Analytical Industries, Inc. is the worlds leading manufacturer of specialty Uranium compounds and has now entered into full production of Uranyl Acetate, Uranyl Nitrate, Uranium Tetra Fluoride, Uranium Oxide and other fine specialty uranium compounds and reagents manufactured exclusively from depleted uranium.
    Should you require further information and pricing regarding our fine specialty chemical compounds formulated from depleted uranium then please contact our manufacturing department by submitting the following form.


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