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Triphenyl Phosphate (TPP)

bulletTriphenyl Phosphate is an organo-phosphate.
bulletAll organo-phosphates are neuro-toxins i.e. they attack the nervous system or interfere with its proper functions.
bulletWith one exception all organo-phosphates are man made.
bulletAs can be seen from the diagram below TriPhenyl Phosphate (TPP) and TriCresyl Phosphate (TCP) are closely related.

Coppa copper

bulletTPP & TPP are used as synergizers in pesticides. The function in this type of situation is to interfere with the insects’ ability to fight off the attack by the pesticide
bulletThere is some evidence to suggest that TCP when used in aircraft engine oils leaches out copper from the engine itself causing mechanical damage. In a human the loss of copper from the blood could adversely affect the neurological and immune systems.


bulletOne of the ways in which TPP can attack the nervous system is to reduce the nutrient uptake of the axon or nerve body. The nerves which are most seriously affected therefore are the longest nerves i.e. the nerves of the arms and legs. This would affect control over those limbs. It is curious that these are the very symptoms of Parkinsons Syndrome. It would be interesting to speculate that the increase in the incidence of this ailment which is currently "unexplained" may coincide with the use of TPP & its related products.

TPP & other chemicals in your food

bulletThat TPP has already entered our food chain is evidenced in the USA FDA survey and analysis of foods in the USA. Be prepared to be shocked

Another nail in the coughin

bulletMuseum curators in the USA were warned to cease using TPP to whiten bones and objects in their collections as the effect was temporary and it would in the long run turn the item yellow. The same of product is marketed as a nail whitener containing TPP. It would appear that the ladies are being hit with a double whammy. One had it had the temporary effect of whitening the nails (perhaps to take away the yellow nicotine stains). It will then turn the nails yellow again and the nicotine will be blamed and the product used again. The second whammy is that under the nails is one of the most vulnerable parts of the organ known as the skin, The TPP is readily absorbed into the bloodstream.
bulletThe National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) is the American organization which sets the standards for the USA and in effect sets the standards for much of the western world. Australia does not do its own testing of these chemicals nor does it appear to even do checks. For the most part it appears to use figures and studies supplied by oil and chemical companies. That is the very companies who make and profit from the products. I have contacted NIOSH on several occasions seeking to have them review their standards for TPP and to draw up standards for the chemical as a gas not as a solid. It is clear that a level of exposure to something which is in a solid form is not usable as a safety level for the same chemical which is inhaled in a gaseous form. You do not have to be a Nobel prize winner to work that one out. It should be obvious to any physician.. It would appear that some Comcare and Telstra advisors have not come to this realization yet.


The following extracts taken from the USA state of New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services in regard to TPP




* Triphenyl Phosphate can affect you when breathed in.

* Exposure to Triphenyl Phosphate can irritate the eyes,nose, and throat.

* Triphenyl Phosphate may cause a skin allergy. If allergy develops, very low future exposure can cause itching and a skin rash.

* Triphenyl Phosphate may affect the liver and kidneys. High or repeated exposure may damage the nerves causing weakness, "pins and needles," and poor coordination in the arms and legs. (Note my comment on Parkinson’s Disease)


Triphenyl Phosphate is a colorless solid with a Phenol-like odor. It is used as a fire-retarding agent and a plasticizer for Cellulose Acetate and Nitrocellulose. (NB all that follows in in realtion to the chemical as a SOLID it is much worse as a gas)


* Triphenyl Phosphate is on the Hazardous Substance List because it is regulated by OSHA and cited by ACGIH, NIOSH and NFPA.


The New Jersey Right to Know Act requires most employers to label chemicals in the workplace and requires public employers to provide their employees with information and training concerning chemical hazards and controls. The federal OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, 1910.1200, requires private employers to provide similar training and information to their employees. Would that we had such rights in this

Country. Perhaps we should demand it.)

* Exposure to hazardous substances should be routinely evaluated. This may include collecting personal and area air samples. You can obtain copies of sampling results

from your employer. You have a legal right to this information under OSHA 1910.1020.

Date: May 2000



OSHA: The legal airborne permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 3 mg/m3 averaged over an 8-hour workshift.

NIOSH: The recommended airborne exposure limit is 3 mg/m3 averaged over a 10-hour workshift.

ACGIH: The recommended airborne exposure limit is 3 mg/m3 averaged over an 8-hour workshift.

(Note just COPIED one from the other and only as a solid}


* Where possible, enclose operations and use local exhaust ventilation at the site of chemical release. If local exhaust ventilation or enclosure is not used, respirators should be worn.

* Wear protective work clothing. (OH so simple and cheap to fix)

* Wash thoroughly immediately after exposure to Triphenyl Phosphate and at the end of the workshift.

* Post hazard and warning information in the work area. In addition, as part of an ongoing education and training effort, communicate all information on the health and

safety hazards of Triphenyl Phosphate to potentially exposed workers.


This Fact Sheet is a summary source of information of all potential and most severe health hazards that may result from exposure. Duration of exposure, concentration of the

substance and other factors will affect your susceptibility to any of the potential effects described below. (A bold claim which uses the term ALL POTENTIAL !!! BUT IT IS BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAVE)



Acute Health Effects

The following acute (short-term) health effects may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to Triphenyl Phosphate:

* Exposure to Triphenyl Phosphate can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. (Put this together with Indoor Toxic Moulds/Aspergillus and what have you got ??? DANGER)

Chronic Health Effects

The following chronic (long-term) health effects can occur at some time after exposure to Triphenyl Phosphate and can last for months or years:

Cancer Hazard

* According to the information presently available to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services,Triphenyl Phosphate has not been tested for its ability to cause cancer in animals. (Why not ?)

Reproductive Hazard


* According to the information presently available to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Triphenyl Phosphate has not been tested for its ability to affect reproduction.

Other Long-Term Effects

* Triphenyl Phosphate may cause a skin allergy. If allergy develops, very low future exposure can cause itching and a skin rash.

* Triphenyl Phosphate may affect the liver and kidneys. Australian studies support this contention even at very low levels over a long time in humans)

* High or repeated exposure may damage the nerves causing weakness, "pins and needles," and poor coordination in the arms and legs. (Parkinsons ?? Why are Comcare & Telstra seeking to conceal or deny this ???)


Medical Testing

If symptoms develop or overexposure is suspected, the following are recommended:

* Evaluation by a qualified allergist, including careful exposure history and special testing, may help diagnose skin allergy.

* Liver and kidney function tests.

* Examination of the nervous system.

Any evaluation should include a careful history of past and present symptoms with an exam. Medical tests that look for damage already done are not a substitute for controlling

exposure. Request(demand)copies of your medical testing. You have a legal right

to this information under OSHA 1910.1020.

Mixed Exposures

* Because more than light alcohol consumption can cause liver damage, drinking alcohol may increase the liver damage caused by Triphenyl Phosphate.

Conditions Made Worse by Exposure

* Persons with pre-existing diseases of the nerves and muscles may be at increased risk of exposure to Triphenyl Phosphate.

Good WORK PRACTICES can help to reduce hazardous exposures. The following work practices are recommended:

* Workers whose clothing has been contaminated by Triphenyl Phosphate should change into clean clothing promptly.

* Do not take contaminated work clothes home. Family members could be exposed.

* Contaminated work clothes should be laundered by individuals who have been informed of the hazards of exposure to Triphenyl Phosphate. (Much children’s clothing is flame proofed with this chemical)

* Eye wash fountains should be provided in the immediate work area for emergency use.

* If there is the possibility of skin exposure, emergency shower facilities should be provided.

* On skin contact with Triphenyl Phosphate, immediately wash or shower to remove the chemical. At the end of the workshift, wash any areas of the body that may have

contacted Triphenyl Phosphate, whether or not known skin contact has occurred. ( In a call centre chained to our computers we bathe in it all day especially if the air flow is not adequate)


* Do not eat, smoke, or drink where Triphenyl Phosphate is handled, processed, or stored, since the chemical can be swallowed. Wash hands carefully before eating, drinking, smoking, or using the toilet.

* Use a vacuum or a wet method to reduce dust during cleanup.



* Avoid skin contact with Triphenyl Phosphate. Wear protective gloves and clothing. Safety equipment suppliers/manufacturers can provide recommendations on the most

protective glove/clothing material for your operation.

* All protective clothing (suits, gloves, footwear, headgear) should be clean, available each day, and put on before work.

Eye Protection

* Wear impact resistant eye protection with side shields or goggles.

* Wear a face shield along with goggles when working with corrosive, highly irritating or toxic substances.


Q: If I have acute health effects, will I later get chronic health effects?

A: Not always. Most chronic (long-term) effects result from repeated exposures to a chemical.

Q: Can I get long-term effects without ever having shortterm effects?

A: Yes, because long-term effects can occur from repeated exposures to a chemical at levels not high enough to make you immediately sick.

Q: What are my chances of getting sick when I have been exposed to chemicals?

A: The likelihood of becoming sick from chemicals is increased as the amount of exposure increases. This is determined by the length of time and the amount of

material to which someone is exposed.

Q: When are higher exposures more likely?

A: Conditions which increase risk of exposure include dust releasing operations (grinding, mixing, blasting, dumping, etc.), other physical and mechanical processes

(heating, pouring, spraying, spills and evaporation from large surface areas such as open containers), and "confined space" exposures (working inside vats,reactors, boilers, small rooms, etc.).( The heat from computer monitors is sufficient to cause them to elute or release the chemical into the air)

Q: Is the risk of getting sick higher for workers than forcommunity residents?

A: Yes. Exposures in the community, except possibly in cases of fires or spills, are usually much lower than those found in the workplace. However, people in the community may be exposed to contaminated water as well as to chemicals in the air over long periods. This may be a problem for children or people who are already ill. (See FDA survey of Foods 2000. Add to this other sources that are air increasingly air borne)

Public Presentations

Presentations and educational programs on occupational health or the Right to Know Act can be organized for labor unions,trade associations and other groups.(Why not here ? or does nobody care for us and our kids ?)

Right to Know Information Resources

The Right to Know Infoline (609) 984-2202 can answer questions about the identity and potential health effects of chemicals, list of educational materials in occupational health,

references used to prepare the Fact Sheets, preparation of the Right to Know survey, education and training programs, labeling requirements, and general information regarding the Right to Know Act. Violations of the law should be reported to (609) 984-2202


* Triphenyl Phosphate may burn, but does not readily ignite.

* Use water as an extinguisher.


* If employees are expected to fight fires, they must be trained and equipped as stated in OSHA 1910.156.


If Triphenyl Phosphate is spilled, take the following steps:

* Evacuate persons not wearing protective equipment from

area of spill until clean-up is complete.



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Last modified: August 01, 2010

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