White Phosphorus is a toxic substance which is a colorless, white, or yellow waxy solid with a garlic like odor.
Some facts about White Phosphorus:
- It does not found naturally, but is manufactured from phosphate rocks.
- White phosphorus easily catches fire at temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above room temperature as it reacts rapidly with oxygen.
- White phosphorus can be used by industries for the manufacture of chemicals used in fertilizers, food additives, and cleaning compounds.
- It was used as a pesticide and in fireworks in the past.
- White phosphorus can be used by military in various types of ammunition as an incendiary agent, because it spontaneously catches fire in air.
- It can also be used as a smoke agent, because it produces clouds of irritating white smoke.
- White phosphorus can be released as smoke into indoor air.
- White phosphorus can contaminate water, but cannot be used to contaminate food.
- It is unlikely to contaminate agricultural products if white phosphorus releases as smoke.
- White phosphorus will get absorbed into the body when inhaled, ingested, or through skin contact.
- White phosphorus may degrade to a highly toxic compound called phosphine in water with low oxygen, which eventually evaporates to the air and is changed to less harmful chemicals
- White phosphorus can slightly build up in the bodies of fish that live in contaminated lakes or streams.
- White phosphorus may stick to particles in soil and be changed within a few days to less harmful compound.
- White phosphorus may remain unchanged for many years in deep soil or sediments with little oxygen.
- White phosphorus is listed as a Hazardous Air Pollutant by EPA.
- The inhalation exposure limit is set at 0.1 milligram of white phosphorus per cubic meter of air (0.1 mg/m3) for white phosphorus in the workplace during an 8 hour workday.
- This is set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and
- Health (NIOSH), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
- A small amounts of white phosphorus may result in liver, heart, or kidney damage, vomiting, stomach cramps, drowsiness, or deat.
- Coughing and irritation of the throat and lungs.
- Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body which is present in every cell of the body. Most of the phosphorus in the body is found in the bones and teeth as it help in its formation.
- Phosphorus works with the B vitamins and also helps with Kidney function, Muscle contractions, Normal heartbeat and Nerve signaling .
- It is a key component in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is used by the body for energy.
- Urine is such a good source of phosphorus as the kidneys release excess phosphorus into the urine.
- The main food sources of phosphorus are milk, seafood and meat such as chicken, pork and organ meats.
- High protein foods, such as beans, lentils and peas, are also good sources of phosphorus.
- Whole grain bread and cereal, nuts, seeds and chocolate contains a small amounts of phosphorus.
- The bioavailability of the phosphorus contained by seeds and nuts increases by sprouting it.
- Quinoa and amaranth has some amount of phosphorus.
- Phosphorus is also required by plants to make them strong and resistant to disease.
- Bone ash is often used as a primary ingredient in phosphorus rich fertilizers.
- Bat guano makes a good fertilizer as it is also rich in phosphorus.
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