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LITHIUM HYDRIDE

4.3 - Dangerous when wet
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The Chemical Identifier fields include common identification numbers, the NFPA diamond, U.S. Department of Transportation hazard labels, and a general description of the chemical. The information in CAMEO Chemicals comes from a variety of data sources.
CAS Number UN/NA Number
  • 7580-67-8
DOT Hazard Label USCG CHRIS Code
  • Dangerous When Wet
NIOSH Pocket Guide International Chem Safety Card
Lithium hydrideexternal link
NFPA 704
Diamond Hazard Value Description
2
3 2
W
Blue Health 3 Can cause serious or permanent injury.
Red Flammability 2 Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperatures before ignition can occur.
Yellow Instability 2 Readily undergoes violent chemical changes at elevated temperatures and pressures.
White Special W Reacts violently or explosively with water.
(NFPA, 2010)
General Description
A white or translucent crystalline mass or powder. The commercial product is light bluish-gray lumps due to the presence of minute amounts of colloidally dispersed lithium.

The Hazard fields include special hazard alerts, air and water reactions, fire hazards, health hazards, a reactivity profile, and details about reactive groups assignments and potentially incompatible absorbents. The information in CAMEO Chemicals comes from a variety of data sources.
Reactivity Alerts
  • Strong Reducing Agent
  • Water-Reactive
  • Pyrophoric
Air & Water Reactions
Burns readily in air, particularly if powdered. May ignite spontaneously in moist air. Reacts rapidly with water to form caustic lithium hydroxide and hydrogen [Bretherick 1979 p. 107].
Fire Hazard
In a fire, irritating alkali fumes may form. Lithium hydride can form airborne dust clouds which may explode on contact with flame, heat, or oxidizing materials. Additionally, spontaneous ignition occurs when nitrous oxide and lithium hydride are mixed. Lithium hydride also forms explosive mixtures with liquid oxygen. Contact with heat, moisture or acid causes exothermic reaction and evolution of hydrogen as well as lithium hydroxide. Incompatible with air and moisture, nitrous oxide, strong oxidizers, and liquid oxygen. Lithium hydride may ignite spontaneously in air and should be maintained and handled out of contact with air and moisture. Any contact with nitrous oxide; airborne powders may ignite upon reaching moisture. (EPA, 1998)
Health Hazard
This material is relatively toxic to people. It is more likely to cause irritation of skin and mucous membrane tissues rather than death. Its effects are primarily acute. A massive exposure to the eyes and by inhalation may be lethal. Those experiencing any ailment of the upper respiratory tract (e.g., bronchitis or pneumonia) are at a greater risk. (EPA, 1998)
Reactivity Profile
LITHIUM HYDRIDE is a strong reducing agent. Th esolid may decompose violently in contact with most oxidizing materials. It reacts exothermically with water to form caustic lithium hydroxide and hydrogen gas; the hydrogen may ignite. May ignite spontaneously in moist air. Mixtures with liquid oxygen are explosive. Ignites on contact with dinitrogen oxide [Mellor, 1967, vol. 8, suppl. 2.2, p. 214].
Belongs to the Following Reactive Group(s)
Potentially Incompatible Absorbents

No information available.

The Response Recommendation fields include isolation and evacuation distances, as well as recommendations for firefighting, non-fire response, protective clothing, and first aid. The information in CAMEO Chemicals comes from a variety of data sources.
Isolation and Evacuation
Excerpt from ERG Guide 138 [Substances - Water-Reactive (Emitting Flammable Gases)]:

As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area in all directions for at least 50 meters (150 feet) for liquids and at least 25 meters (75 feet) for solids.

SPILL: Increase, in the downwind direction, as necessary, the isolation distance shown above.

FIRE: If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions. (ERG, 2016)
Firefighting
Wear protective goggles or face shield, rubberized gloves, flame-proof outer clothing, respirator, and high boots or shoes. Large fires: withdraw from area and let fire burn, as lithium hydride may continue to re-ignite. A fire, once started, cannot be extinguished by ordinary methods.

Do not use water, carbon dioxide, dry chemical, or halogenated extinguishing agents such as carbon tetrachloride. Use dry graphite; or ground dolomite-based dry chemical extinguishers such as "Lith-X". Fires may be smothered by inverting a can over them. (EPA, 1998)
Non-Fire Response
Excerpt from ERG Guide 138 [Substances - Water-Reactive (Emitting Flammable Gases)]:

ELIMINATE all ignition sources (no smoking, flares, sparks or flames in immediate area). Do not touch or walk through spilled material. Stop leak if you can do it without risk. Use water spray to reduce vapors or divert vapor cloud drift. Avoid allowing water runoff to contact spilled material. DO NOT GET WATER on spilled substance or inside containers.

SMALL SPILL: Cover with DRY earth, DRY sand or other non-combustible material followed with plastic sheet to minimize spreading or contact with rain. Dike for later disposal; do not apply water unless directed to do so.

POWDER SPILL: Cover powder spill with plastic sheet or tarp to minimize spreading and keep powder dry. DO NOT CLEAN-UP OR DISPOSE OF, EXCEPT UNDER SUPERVISION OF A SPECIALIST. (ERG, 2016)
Protective Clothing
Skin: Wear appropriate personal protective clothing to prevent skin contact.

Eyes: Wear appropriate eye protection to prevent eye contact.

Wash skin: Brush (DO NOT WASH)

Remove: Work clothing that becomes wet or significantly contaminated should be removed and replaced.

Change: Workers whose clothing may have become contaminated should change into uncontaminated clothing before leaving the work premise.

Provide: Eyewash fountains should be provided in areas where there is any possibility that workers could be exposed to the substance; this is irrespective of the recommendation involving the wearing of eye protection. Facilities for quickly drenching the body should be provided (when concentration is >0.5 mg/m3) within the immediate work area for emergency use where there is a possibility of exposure. [Note: It is intended that these facilities provide a sufficient quantity or flow of water to quickly remove the substance from any body areas likely to be exposed. The actual determination of what constitutes an adequate quick drench facility depends on the specific circumstances. In certain instances, a deluge shower should be readily available, whereas in others, the availability of water from a sink or hose could be considered adequate.] (NIOSH, 2016)
DuPont Tychem® Suit Fabrics
No information available.
First Aid
Warning: Lithium hydride is an alkaline-corrosive agent. Contact with eyes may result in severe damage to the cornea, conjunctiva, and blood vessels. Caution is advised.

Signs and Symptoms of Acute Lithium Hydride Exposure: Acute exposure to lithium hydride may result in irritation and burning of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Increased salivation, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), abdominal pain, and spontaneous vomiting may occur. Stridor (high-pitched, noisy respirations), dyspnea (shortness of breath), and pulmonary edema are also common. Apathy and mental confusion may develop, with progression to coma and death.Emergency Life Support Procedures: Acute exposure to lithium hydride may require decontamination and life support for the victims. Emergency personnel should wear protective clothing appropriate to the type and degree of contamination. Air-purifying or supplied-air respiratory equipment should also be worn, as necessary. Rescue vehicles should carry supplies such as plastic sheeting and disposable plastic bags to assist in preventing spread of contamination.

Inhalation Exposure:
1. Move victims to fresh air. Emergency personnel should avoid self-exposure to lithium hydride.
2. Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate, and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer oxygen or other respiratory support.
3. Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
4. Transport to a health care facility.

Dermal/Eye Exposure:
1. Remove victims from exposure. Emergency personnel should avoid self- exposure to lithium hydride.
2. Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate, and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer oxygen or other respiratory support.
3. Remove contaminated clothing as soon as possible.
4. If eye exposure has occurred, eyes must be flushed with lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes.
5. Wash exposed skin areas for at least 15 minutes with water.
6. Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
7. Transport to a health care facility.

Ingestion Exposure:
1. Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate, and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer oxygen or other respiratory support.
2. DO NOT induce vomiting or attempt to neutralize!
3. Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
4. Activated charcoal is of no value.
5. Give the victims water or milk: children up to 1 year old, 125 mL (4 oz or 1/2 cup); children 1 to 12 years old, 200 mL (6 oz or 3/4 cup); adults, 250 mL (8 oz or 1 cup). Water or milk should be given only if victims are conscious and alert.
6. Transport to a health care facility. (EPA, 1998)

The Physical Property fields include properties such as vapor pressure and boiling point, as well as explosive limits and toxic exposure thresholds. The information in CAMEO Chemicals comes from a variety of data sources.
Chemical Formula:
  • HLi
Flash Point: data unavailable
Lower Explosive Limit (LEL): Flammable solid. (EPA, 1998)
Upper Explosive Limit (UEL): Flammable solid. (EPA, 1998)
Autoignition Temperature: 392 ° F (USCG, 1999)
Melting Point: 1256 ° F (EPA, 1998)
Vapor Pressure: 0 mm Hg at 68 ° F (EPA, 1998)
Vapor Density (Relative to Air): data unavailable
Specific Gravity: 0.76 to 0.77 (EPA, 1998)
Boiling Point: Decomposes (NIOSH, 2016)
Molecular Weight: 7.95 (EPA, 1998)
Water Solubility: Reacts with water (NIOSH, 2016)
Ionization Potential: data unavailable
IDLH: 0.5 mg/m3 (NIOSH, 2016)

AEGLs (Acute Exposure Guideline Levels)

No AEGL information available.

ERPGs (Emergency Response Planning Guidelines)

Chemical ERPG-1 ERPG-2 ERPG-3
Lithium Hydride (7580-67-8) 0.025 mg/m3 0.1 mg/m3 3 mg/m3
(AIHA, 2016)

PACs (Protective Action Criteria)

Chemical PAC-1 PAC-2 PAC-3
Lithium hydride (7580-67-8) 0.025 mg/m3 0.1 mg/m3 0.5 mg/m3
(DOE, 2016)

The Regulatory Information fields include information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Title III Consolidated List of Lists, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals Standard List (see more about these data sources).

EPA Consolidated List of Lists

Regulatory Name CAS Number/
313 Category Code
EPCRA 302
EHS TPQ
EPCRA 304
EHS RQ
CERCLA RQ EPCRA 313
TRI
RCRA
Code
CAA 112(r)
RMP TQ
Lithium hydride 7580-67-8 100 pounds 100 pounds

(EPA List of Lists, 2015)

DHS Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)

No regulatory information available.

OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard List

No regulatory information available.

This section provides a listing of alternate names for this chemical, including trade names and synonyms.
  • LITHIUM HYDRIDE
  • LITHIUM HYDRIDE(LIH)
  • LITHIUM MONOHYDRIDE

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