Antimony trioxide, which is briefly known as ATO, is a chemical that has a significant effect on improving fire resistance properties. ATO is added to flame retardant materials such as plastic and textiles to increase their resistance against fire. Some believe that there is a link between antimony trioxide and cancer, But is it true? In this article we are going to answer all your possible questions about ATO.
How to buy antimony trioxide?
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Chemical and physical properties
Antimony trioxide’s formula is Sb2O3. It appears as a white, crystalline powder that doesn’t have any detectable odor. Some of the most important properties of ATO are listed below.
|Molecular weight||291.5 g/mol|
|Melting point||656 °C|
|Boiling point||1550 °C|
ATO can freely dissolve in cold water, however it is slightly soluble in hot water, too. We can also mix this chemical substance with tartaric acid, potassium hydroxide, acetic acid and hydrochloric acid.
How is it produced?
For producing ATO, first we need to react antimony trisulfide (Sb2S3) with FeCl3 to synthesize antimony trichloride (SbCl3). The next step is hydrolyzing SbCl3 to produce antimony trioxide (Sb2O3).
Antimony trioxide applications
ATO is widely used in several industries, which are as follows:
Flame proofing agent: This chemical substance may be used in several furniture, safety suits, plastics, carpeting and children products because it is able to improve flame proofing properties.
“Antimony trioxides are used as synergists to increase the activity of halogenated flame retardants by hindering the chain reaction of the flame gas phase through stepwise release of the halogenated radicals.”
Opacifier: Antimony trioxide is used in the ceramic industry as an opacifying agent. It can also prevent the transmission of light and apply a nice whiteness to the product.
Stabilizer: ATO is used in PVC formulation as a filler to provide a thermal stabilizing.
Antimony trioxide MSDS
You should keep this material away from excess heat, strong acids, strong bases and strong oxidizers. It also should be stores in a cool and dry place. If you don’t use suitable cloth and eyeglasses, it can cause irritation in your eye and skin. Inhaling ATO can also lead to respiratory tract irritation.
What are antimony trioxide health effects?
Some people believe that ATO is hazardous and can cause cancer; however, it is interesting to know that new studies have shown that ATO is neither able to cause cancer nor other health issues. However, you should still use a safety cloth, a face mask, and eyeglasses while working with this substance.
The bottom line
Antimony trioxide (Sb2O3) is a chemical substance used in PVC because of its thermal stabilizing properties. Industries use antimony trioxide flame retardant to improve the flame-proofing properties of products such as furniture. ATO is also used in the production of ceramics. The good news is that new studies have shown that this material can’t cause any health problems, and there is no relation between ATO and cancer.
Frequently asked questions
1. What is antimony trioxide used for?
ATO is used in the ceramic industry as an opacifying agent. Additionally, it has an important role in the flame-proofing properties of products such as suits or furniture.
2. Is antimony toxic to humans?
Some people believe that ATO is hazardous and can cause cancer; however, it is interesting to know that new studies have shown that ATO is neither able to cause cancer nor other health issues.
3. Is antimony trioxide flame retardant?
ATO has an important role in flame proofing products because it is able to improve flame proofing properties.
4. What products contain antimony trioxide?
This chemical substance may be used in several furniture, safety suits, plastics, carpeting and children products because it is able to improve flame proofing properties.
5. Is antimony trioxide hazardous?
Some people have thought that this substance has a link to cancer and is dangerous for human health. However, new studies have shown that that thought is not true and that ATO is not able to cause health issues.