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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION

  1. Boron trichloride is highly irritating and corrosive to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Chemical pneumonitis or noncardiogenic pulmonary edema may result from inhalation exposure. Severe acid eye and dermal burns can occur following direct splashes of this material. Ingestion can cause a caustic injury with persistent vomiting and diarrhea. Gastrointestinal tract bleeding may occur.
  1. Boron trichloride decomposes in water releasing boric and hydrochloric acids, as well as heat. It also decomposes in moist air to form hydrochloric acid and oily, irritating, corrosive substances. In a fire situation, toxic and irritating chloride fumes or hydrogen chloride may be released, especially on contact with water. The toxic action of boron trichloride is due in significant part to its decomposition to hydrochloric acid.
    1. Exposure to these decomposition products during air or water releases or fire situations may be predicted to cause severe irritation of the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract with potential chemical pneumonitis or noncardiogenic pulmonary edema.
  1. BORATE TOXICITY may occur, as this compound decomposes into BORIC and HYDROCHLORIC ACIDS on contact with moisture.
    1. Borates (boric acid) are well absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, open wounds, and serous cavities, and are potentially systemically toxic.
    1. Vomiting, retching, diarrhea, hypothermia and hyperthermia may occur.
    1. Dermatologic manifestations of borate intoxication include erythematous rash with desquamation (cooked lobster syndrome) and erythema on the buttocks and scrotum; these may take 3 to 5 days to fully develop.
    1. Seizures may be seen in chronic poisoning. Death results from dehydration, circulatory collapse, and renal failure, and generally occurs after several days of exposure.
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