CAW National Council 4000
Occupational Health and Safety

Hazardous Substances:  Iron Oxide

Iron oxide can create ill-health effects if inhaled.

Long-Term Effects

Long term inhalation of iron oxide creates x-ray changes of the lungs. This condition called siderosis is not disabling on its own.

Iron oxide together with silica dust is associated with silicosis which is of course disabling.

Iron oxide in combination with other airborne contaminants has been recently found to be associated with lung cancer.


All carcinogens should be eliminated from the workplace wherever possible since even minute amounts can initiate the uncontrolled
growth of abnormal cells.

Enclose process
Local exhaust ventilation
General dilution ventilation
Personal protective equipment


ACGIH TLV 5 mg/m3 (as iron)

Source:  CAW Health, Safety & Environment Department