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Bismuth Telluride

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ESPI Metals

1050 Benson Way, Ashland, OR 97520

Toll Free (800) 638-2581 * Fax (541) 488-8313

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Product Name:      Bismuth Telluride

Formula:                Bi2Te3

CAS Number:         1304-82-1



Hazardous Components:  Bismuth Telluride 

Percent (%):                    0-100 

OSHA/PEL:                        5 mg/m3 

ACGIH/TLV:                      10 mg/m3

HMIS Ratings: 

Health:                              3 


Reactivity:                        2  



Boiling Point:                    N/E

Melting Point:                   573 oC

Specific Gravity:               7.7 g/cc

Solubility in H2O:              Decomposes

Appearance and Odor:     Grey to black pieces, no odor



Flash Point: N/A 

Autoignition Temperature: N/E 

Explosive Limits:  Lower: N/E       Upper: N/E

Extinguishing Media: Use suitable extinguishing media for surrounding material and type of fire.  Do not use water.

Special Fire Fighting Procedures:  Wear a self-contained breathing apparatus and full protective clothing to prevent contact with skin and eyes.  Fumes from fire are hazardous.  Isolate runoff  to prevent environmental pollution.

Unusual Fire and Explosion Hazards: When heated to decomposition, bismuth telluride may emit toxic fumes of tellurium.  May react with water to evolve toxic gases. Moderate fire hazard by spontaneous chemical reaction with powerful oxidizing agents.  Slight explosion hazard with moisture.



Effects of Exposure:

To the best of our knowledge the chemical, physical and toxicological properties of bismuth telluride have not been thoroughly investigated and recorded.

Bismuth compounds are often poorly absorbed.  However exposure may cause loss of appetite, headache, skin rash, exodermatitis, kidney injury and jaundice.  Repeated or prolonged exposure may cause a bismuth line or black spots on the gums, foul breath and salivation.  Exposure to bismuth may cause injury to the mouth, esophagus and stomach.

Tellurium is converted in the body to dimethyl telluride which imparts a garlic-like odor to the breath and sweat.  Heavy exposures may result in headache, drowsiness, metallic taste, loss of appetite, nausea, tremors, convulsions, and respiratory arrest.

Acute Effects:

Inhalation: May cause irritation to the respiratory  system, a dry mouth, metallic taste, gingivitis, garlic odor to breath, sweat and urine.

Ingestion: May cause a dry mouth, suppression of sweat, malaise, albuminuria, diarrhea, skin reactions, stomatitis, diarrhea, headache, fever, rheumatic pain, black line on gums, garlic odor to breath and urine.

Skin: May cause irritation and itching. 

Eye: May cause irritation.

Chronic Effects:

Inhalation: May cause anorexia, nausea, depression, somnolence and affect the function of the liver and kidneys.

Ingestion:  May cause anorexia, anemia, black line on gums,  ulcerative stomatitis, nausea, depression and somnolence.  May affect the function of the liver and kidneys.

Skin: May cause dermatitis.

Eye: No chronic health effects recorded.

Target Organs: May affect the skin, liver, kidneys and central nervous system.

Medical Conditions Generally Aggravated by Exposure:  Pre-existing skin and respiratory disorders.

Carcinogenicity:  NTP:  No   IARC:  No   OSHA:  No




INHALATION: Remove victim to fresh air, keep warm and quiet, give oxygen if breathing is difficult and seek medical attention.

INGESTION: Give 1-2 glasses of milk or water and induce vomiting, seek medical attention immediately.  Never induce vomiting or give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.

SKIN: Remove contaminated clothing, brush material off skin, wash affected area with mild soap and water for 15 minutes, seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

EYE: Flush eyes with lukewarm water, lifting upper and lower eyelids, for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.



Stability: Stable

Conditions to Avoid: Water/moisture

Incompatibility: Strong acids, water/moisture and oxidizing agents. 

Hazardous Decomposition Products: Metal oxide fume 

Hazardous Polymerization: Will not occur.



Steps to Be Taken in Case Material Is Released or Spilled: Wear appropriate respiratory and protective equipment specified in     Section VIII.  Isolate spill area and provide ventilation.  Vacuum up spill using a high efficiency particulate absolute (HEPA) air filter and place in a closed container for proper disposal.  Take care not to  raise dust.

Waste Disposal Method: Dispose in accordance with Local, State and Federal regulations.



Respiratory Protection: Wear a NIOSH-approved dust, mist, vapor cartridge respirator.

Ventilation: Handle in a controlled environment.  Handle in an inert gas such as argon.  Use local exhaust to maintain concentration at or below PEL, TLV.

Protective Gloves: Neoprene 

Eye Protection: Safety Glasses 

Other Protective Equipment: Wear protective clothing to prevent contamination.



Precautions to be Taken in Handling and Storing: Store in a cool, dry area, Wash thoroughly after handling.  Store in tightly sealed container. Bismuth telluride may react with water.  Handle and store in a controlled environment and inert gas such as argon.

Work Practices:  Implement engineering and work practice   controls to reduce and maintain concentration of exposure at low levels.  Use good housekeeping and sanitation practices.  Do not use tobacco or food in work area.  Wash thoroughly  before eating and smoking.  do not blow dust off clothing or skin with compressed air. Maintain eyewash capable of sustained flushing, safety drench shower and facilities for washing.

TSCA Listed:  Yes

DOT Regulations:

   Hazard Class:                   6.1

   Identification Number:    UN3284

   Packing Group:                III

   Proper Shipping Name:   Tellurium compound, n.o.s. (Bismuth Telluride)    


The above information is believed to be correct, but does not purport to be all inclusive and shall be used only as a guide.  ESPI shall not be held liable for any damage resulting from handling or from contact with the above product.


Issued by:              S. Dierks

Revised/Verified:    April 2011