MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET
SECTION 1. PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION
PRODUCT NAME: Helium, compressed
CHEMICAL NAME: Helium
SYNONYMS: Helium gas, Gaseous helium, Balloon gas
MANUFACTURER: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
7201 Hamilton Boulevard
Allentown, PA 18195-1501
PRODUCT INFORMATION: 1鈥?800鈥?752鈥?1597
MSDS NUMBER: 1008 REVISION: 4
REVISION DATE: March 1994 REVIEW DATE:
August 1997 **
SECTION 2. COMPOSITION / INFORMATION ON INGREDIENTS
Helium is sold as pure product > 99%.
CAS NUMBER: 7440-59-7
OSHA: Not established ACGIH: Simple asphyxiant NIOSH: Not established
SECTION 3. HAZARD IDENTIFICATION
Helium is a nontoxic, odorless, colorless, nonflammable gas stored in cylinders at
high pressure. It can cause rapid suffocation when concentrations are sufficient to
reduce oxygen levels below 19.5%. It is lighter than air and may collect in high
points or along ceilings. Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) may be
required by rescue workers.
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS
800 - 523 - 9374 Continental U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico
610 - 481 - 7711 other locations
POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS:
INHALATION: Simple asphyxiant. Helium is nontoxic, but may cause
suffocation by displacing the oxygen in air. Lack of sufficient oxygen can cause
serious injury or death.
EYE CONTACT: No adverse effect.
SKIN CONTACT: No adverse effect.
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ROUTE OF ENTRY: Inhalation
TARGET ORGANS: None
EFFECT: Asphyxiation (suffocation)
SYMPTOMS: Exposure to an oxygen deficient atmosphere (less than 19.5%) may cause
dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, excess salivation, diminished mental alertness, loss of
consciousness and death. Exposure to atmospheres containing 8-10% or less oxygen will bring
about unconsciousness without warning and so quickly that the individuals cannot help or
MEDICAL CONDITIONS AGGRAVATED BY OVEREXPOSURE: None
CARCINOGENIC POTENTIAL: Helium is not listed as a carcinogen or potential carcinogen by
NTP, IARC, or OSHA Subpart Z.
The practice of intentionally inhaling helium for a voice altering effect is
extremely dangerous and may result in serious injury or death!
SECTION 4. FIRST AID
INHALATION: Persons suffering from lack of oxygen should be moved to fresh air. If victim is not
breathing, administer artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, administer oxygen. Obtain
prompt medical attention.
EYE / SKIN CONTACT: Not applicable
SECTION 5. FIRE AND EXPLOSION
FLASH POINT: AUTOIGNITION: FLAMMABLE LIMITS:
Not applicable Nonflammable Nonflammable
EXTINGUISHING MEDIA: Helium is nonflammable and does not support combustion. Use
extinguishing media appropriate for the surrounding fire.
HAZARDOUS COMBUSTION PRODUCTS: None
SPECIAL FIRE FIGHTING INSTRUCTIONS: Helium is a simple asphyxiant. If possible, remove
helium cylinders from fire area or cool with water. Self contained breathing apparatus may be
required for rescue workers.
UNUSUAL FIRE AND EXPLOSION HAZARDS: Upon exposure to intense heat or flame cylinder will
vent rapidly and or rupture violently. Most cylinders are designed to vent contents when exposed to
elevated temperatures. Pressure in a container can build up due to heat and it may rupture if
pressure relief devices should fail to function.
SECTION 6. ACCIDENTAL RELEASE MEASURES
Evacuate all personnel from affected area. Increase ventilation to release area and monitor
oxygen level. Use appropriate protective equipment (SCBA). If leak is from container or it's valve,
call the Air Products鈥? emergency telephone number. If leak is in user鈥檚 system close cylinder valve
and vent pressure before attempting repairs.
SECTION 7. STORAGE AND HANDLING
STORAGE: Cylinders should be stored upright in a well-ventilated, secure area, protected from the
weather. Storage area temperatures should not exceed 125 掳F (52 掳C) and area should be free of
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combustible materials. Storage should be away from heavily traveled areas and emergency exits.
Avoid areas where salt or other corrosive materials are present. Valve protection caps and valve
outlet seals should remain on cylinders not connected for use. Separate full from empty cylinders.
Avoid excessive inventory and storage time. Use a first-in first-out system. Keep good inventory
HANDLING: Do not drag, roll, or slide cylinder. Use a suitable handtruck designed for cylinder
movement. Never attempt to lift a cylinder by its cap. Secure cylinders at all times while in use.
Use a pressure reducing regulator or separate control valve to safely discharge gas from cylinder.
Use a check valve to prevent reverse flow into cylinder. Do not overheat cylinder to increase
pressure or discharge rate. If user experiences any difficulty operating cylinder valve, discontinue
use and contact supplier. Never insert an object (e.g., wrench, screwdriver, pry bar, etc.) into valve
cap openings. Doing so may damage valve causing a leak to occur. Use an adjustable strap-
wrench to remove over-tight or rusted caps.
Helium is compatible with all common materials of construction. Pressure requirements should be
considered when selecting materials and designing systems.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Always store and handle compressed gases in accordance with
Compressed Gas Association, Inc. (ph. 703-412-0900) pamphlet CGA P-1, Safe Handling of
Compressed Gases in Containers. Local regulations may require specific equipment for storage or
CAUTION: Compressed gas cylinders shall not be refilled except by qualified producers of
compressed gases. Shipment of a cylinder which has not been filled by the owner or with the
owner鈥檚 written consent is a violation of federal law.
SECTION 8. PERSONAL PROTECTION / EXPOSURE CONTROL
ENGINEERING CONTROLS: Provide good ventilation and/or local exhaust to prevent
accumulation of high concentrations of gas. Oxygen levels in work area should be monitored to
ensure they do not fall below 19.5%.
GENERAL USE: None required.
EMERGENCY: Use SCBA or positive pressure air line with mask and escape pack in areas
where oxygen concentration is less than 19.5%. Air purifying respirators will not provide
OTHER PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT: Safety shoes are recommended when handling cylinders.
SECTION 9. PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
APPEARANCE: Colorless gas
MOLECULAR WEIGHT: 4.00
BOILING POINT (1 atm): -452.1 掳F (-268.9 掳C)
SPECIFIC GRAVITY (Air =1): 0.138
SPECIFIC VOLUME (at 70 F (21.1 C) and 1 atm): 96.71 ft 3/lb (6.037 m 3/kg)
FREEZING POINT/MELTING POINT: None
VAPOR PRESSURE (AT 70 F): Not applicable
GAS DENSITY (at 70 F (21.1 C) and 1 atm): 0.0103 lb/ft 3 (0.165 kg/m3)
SOLUBILITY IN WATER (Vol./Vol. at 32 F (0 C)): 0.0094
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SECTION 10. REACTIVITY / STABILITY
CHEMICAL STABILITY: Stable
CONDITIONS TO AVOID: None
HAZARDOUS DECOMPOSITION PRODUCTS: None
HAZARDOUS POLYMERIZATION: Will not occur.
SECTION 11. TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Helium is a simple asphyxiant.
SECTION 12. ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Helium is not toxic. No adverse ecological effects are expected. Helium does not contain any
Class I or Class II ozone depleting chemicals. Helium is not listed as a marine pollutant by DOT
(49 CFR 171).
SECTION 13. DISPOSAL
UNUSED PRODUCT / EMPTY CONTAINER: Return container and unused product to supplier. Do
not attempt to dispose of residual or unused quantities.
DISPOSAL: For emergency disposal, secure the cylinder and slowly discharge gas to the
atmosphere in a well ventilated area or outdoors.
SECTION 14. TRANSPORTATION
DOT HAZARD CLASS: 2.2
DOT SHIPPING LABEL: Nonflammable Gas
DOT SHIPPING NAME: Helium, Compressed
IDENTIFICATION NUMBER: UN1046
REPORTABLE QUANTITY (RQ): None
SPECIAL SHIPPING INFORMATION: Cylinders should be transported in a secure upright position in
a well ventilated truck. Never transport in passenger compartment of a vehicle.
SECTION 15. REGULATORY INFORMATION
U.S. FEDERAL REGULATIONS:
EPA - ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
CERCLA: Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980
requires notification to the National Response Center of a release of quantities of hazardous
substances equal to or greater than the reportable quantities (RQ) in 40 CFR 302.4.
CERCLA Reportable Quantity: None
SARA TITLE III: SUPERFUND AMENDMENT AND REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 1986
SECTION 302: Requires emergency planning based on threshold planning quantities
(TPQ) and release reporting based on reportable quantities (RQ) of EPA鈥檚 extremely
hazardous substances (40 CFR 355).
Helium is not listed as an Extremely Hazardous Substance.
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SECTIONS 311/312: Require submission of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and
chemical inventory reporting with identification of EPA defined hazard classes. The
hazard classes for this product are:
IMMEDIATE HEALTH: No PRESSURE: Yes
DELAYED HEALTH: No REACTIVITY: No
SECTION 313: Requires submission of annual reports of release of toxic chemicals that
appear in 40 CFR 372. This information should be included in all MSDSs that are copied
and distributed for this material.
Helium is not listed as a toxic chemical.
40 CFR PART 68: Risk Management for Chemical Accident Release Prevention. Requires the
development and implementation of risk management programs at facilities that manufacture,
use, store, or otherwise handle regulated substances in quantities that exceed specified
Helium is not listed as a regulated substance.
TSCA - TOXIC SUBSTANCE CONTROL ACT : Helium is listed on the TSCA inventory.
OSHA - OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
29 CFR 1910.119: Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals. Requires
facilities to develop a process safety management program based on Threshold Quantities (TQ)
of highly hazardous chemicals.
Helium is not listed as a Highly Hazardous Chemical.
Proposition 65: This product does NOT contain any listed substances which the State
of California requires warning under this statute.
SCAQMD Rule: VOC = Not applicable
SECTION 16. SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION
NFPA RATINGS: HMIS RATINGS:
HEALTH: 0 HEALTH: 0
FLAMMABILITY:0 FLAMMABILITY: 0
REACTIVITY: 0 REACTIVITY: 0
*Compressed Gas Association recommendation to designate simple asphyxiant.
**Documents with Effective Date of March 1994 and August 1997 are identical in content and either
may be used.
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