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BASF (1958) reported an acute oral ALD50 value of about 25 mg/kg for female rats. Pentacarbonyl iron was administered as an aqueous emulsion with 1% Traganth in concentrations of 2, 7.9, 15.9, 20.4, 25.1, 31.6, 40, 63 and 316 mg/kg. The toxic symptoms observed were unspecific. The animals were apethetic and atonic after application; breathing was accelerated and frequently intermittent. The lethal contaminated animals died not acutely, but within 1 - 4 days.

An acute oral ALD50 value of about 100 mg/kg were found for male and female mice when administered pentacarbonyliron as an aqueous emulsion with 1% Traganth (BASF, 1958).

An acute oral ALD50 value of about 20 mg/kg were found for rabbits when administered pentacarbonyliron as an aqueous (0.5 - 2%) dispersion with 1% Traganth (BASF, 1958).

An acute oral ALD50 value of about 100 - 200 mg/kg were found for cats when administered pentacarbonyliron as an aqueous (0.5 - 2%) dispersion with 1% Traganth (BASF, 1958).

Biodynamics (1988) reported an acute inhalation toxicity study of iron pentacarbonyl using rats. Male and female animals were offered vapour concentrations of 5.2, 17, 28 or 60 ppm (whole-body exposure). During the exposures, the most commonly noted signs of toxicity were labored breathing, closed eyes and reduced activity. Treatment-related signs were seen among the test substance-exposed animals especially at the 3 higher dose levels. These signs included labored breathing, rales, lacrimation and nasal discharge. Following the 60 ppm exposure, many of the animals were noted as cool to the touch. The control and 5.2 ppm animals showed minimal responses during this interval. Following the 3 higher exposure levels, signs similar to those seen immediately after exposure progressed and lead to complete mortality. Following 5.2 ppm exposure, a recovery was generally seen within a few days after exposure. The control animals showed the usual incidence of signs throughout the entire observation period. Various observations of discolored tissues and edema of the lungs were noted in spontaneously dying animals. These signs are not uncommon in animals which died prior to exsanguination. Red lungs and turbinates were also noted among the animals that were sacrificed. The relation to treatment of these findings is equivocal on the basis of gross examination only. Neurologic examination: A treatment-related pattern was seen during the first 2 days after exposure at the 3 high levels. The most common finding was flaccidity of body tone on the day after exposure. The 60 ppm animals also showed flaccidity of limb tone, decreased to pinch, righting and startle reflex, and ataxia. The control and 5.2 ppm animals were comparable. The acute inhalative LC50 value was found to be 10 ppm (= 0.08 mg/l) for male and female rats.

Biodynamics (1989) reported an acute dermal LD50 value of 56 - 170 mg/kg for male and female rabbits. Single doses of 50, 125, 190 or 250 mg/kg were administered undiluted to the clipped skin of the trunk. The majority of abnormal signs occurred between 1 and 4 days after dosing and frequently occurred as ante-mortem abnormalities in animals that died. These signs included respiratory abnormalities (hyperpnea, dyspnea, hypoactivity, cyanosis, a blue tint to the iris and poor food consumption). With the exception of one male in the 190 mg/kg group, which continued to exhibit hyperpnea, cyanosis, emaciation and poor food consumption for most of the post-dose period, all surviviors were free of significant abnormalities within 5 days after dosing. The majority of the sacrificed animals showed discoloration of the lungs. Although this is not an uncommon finding in laboratory rabbits, the high incidence suggests a possible relationship to the test substance administration. Other observations were unremarkable.

Justification for classification or non-classification

Classification proposal for acute oral toxicity according EU criteria: T+ and R28. GHS criteria: Fatal if swallowed (Cat. 2)

Classification proposal for acute inhalation toxicity according to EU criteria: T+ and R26. GHS criteria: Fatal if inhaled (Cat. 1)

Classification proposal for acute dermal toxicity according to EU criteria: T and R24. GHS criteria: Fetal in contact with skin (Cat. 2)