Chemical Reaction between Boric Acid and Phosphine Indicates Boric Acid as an Antidote for Aluminium Phosphide Poisoning.

Title Chemical Reaction between Boric Acid and Phosphine Indicates Boric Acid as an Antidote for Aluminium Phosphide Poisoning.
Authors M. Soltani; S.F. Shetab-Boushehri; S.V. Shetab-Boushehri
Journal Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J
DOI 10.18295/squmj.2016.16.03.007

OBJECTIVES: Aluminium phosphide (AlP) is a fumigant pesticide which protects stored grains from insects and rodents. When it comes into contact with moisture, AlP releases phosphine (PH3), a highly toxic gas. No efficient antidote has been found for AlP poisoning so far and most people who are poisoned do not survive. Boric acid is a Lewis acid with an empty p orbital which accepts electrons. This study aimed to investigate the neutralisation of PH3 gas with boric acid.

METHODS: This study was carried out at the Baharlou Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, between December 2013 and February 2014. The volume of released gas, rate of gas evolution and changes in pH were measured during reactions of AlP tablets with water, acidified water, saturated boric acid solution, acidified saturated boric acid solution, activated charcoal and acidified activated charcoal. Infrared spectroscopy was used to study the resulting probable adduct between PH3 and boric acid.

RESULTS: Activated charcoal significantly reduced the volume of released gas (P <0.01). Although boric acid did not significantly reduce the volume of released gas, it significantly reduced the rate of gas evolution (P <0.01). A gaseous adduct was formed in the reaction between pure AlP and boric acid.

CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that boric acid may be an efficient and non-toxic antidote for PH3 poisoning.

Citation M. Soltani; S.F. Shetab-Boushehri; S.V. Shetab-Boushehri.Chemical Reaction between Boric Acid and Phosphine Indicates Boric Acid as an Antidote for Aluminium Phosphide Poisoning.. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2016;16(3):e3039. doi:10.18295/squmj.2016.16.03.007

Related Elements


See more Aluminum products. Aluminum (or Aluminium) (atomic symbol: Al, atomic number: 13) is a Block P, Group 13, Period 3 element with an atomic weight of 26.9815386. It is the third most abundant element in the earth's crust and the most abundant metallic element. Aluminum Bohr Model Aluminum's name is derived from alumina, the mineral from which Sir Humphrey Davy attempted to refine it from in 1812. Aluminum was first predicted by Antoine Lavoisier 1787 and first isolated by Hans Christian Øersted in 1825. Aluminum is a silvery gray metal that possesses many desirable characteristics. It is light, nonmagnetic and non-sparking. It stands second among metals in the scale of malleability, and sixth in ductility. It is extensively used in many industrial applications where a strong, light, easily constructed material is needed. Elemental AluminumAlthough it has only 60% of the electrical conductivity of copper, it is used in electrical transmission lines because of its light weight. Pure aluminum is soft and lacks strength, but alloyed with small amounts of copper, magnesium, silicon, manganese, or other elements, it imparts a variety of useful properties.


Phosphorus Bohr ModelSee more Phosphorus products. Phosphorus (atomic symbol: P, atomic number: 15) is a Block P, Group 15, Period 3 element. The number of electrons in each of Phosphorus's shells is 2, 8, 5 and its electronic configuration is [Ne] 3s2 3p3. The phosphorus atom has a radius of and its Van der Waals radius is Phosphorus is a highly-reactive non-metallic element (sometimes considered a metalloid) with two primary allotropes, white phosphorus and red phosphorus its black flaky appearance is similar to graphitic carbon. Compound forms of phosphorus include phosphates and phosphides. Phosphorous was first recognized as an element by Hennig Brand in 1669 its name (phosphorus mirabilis, or "bearer of light") was inspired from the brilliant glow emitted by its distillation.

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