Toxicological profile of Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)

SF6 accumulation, distribution and elimination were studied in rats exposed by inhalation. SF6 was found to distribute widely in the body with a relatively higher affinity for blood and fatty tissues, and to be rapidly eliminated, likely via the exhaled air, suggesting a low accumulation potential.

No significant adverse effects were recorded in several studies in humans acutely exposed to an atmosphere containing up to 80% SF6.

Limited acute inhalation studies were conducted in rats exposed up to 80% SF6. No deaths or adverse effects clearly attributable to SF6 were recorded in these studies.

No cardiac sensitisation was observed in dogs previously injected with adrenaline and exposed up to 20% SF6 in air. A slight anesthetic potential has been identified for SF6 in following acute exposure to high SF6 concentration in rats, dogs and humans. Signs of CNS depression attributable to anesthetic effects were also observed in rats and Guinea pigs exposed to 12,800 ppm and, with lower severity, 1,600 ppm for 4 consecutive months.

OECD SIDS Dossier on sulphur hexafluoride (2551-62-4).