"Phosphorus is very poisonous, 50 mg constituting an approximate fatal dose. Exposure to white phosphorus should not exceed 0.1 mg/m3 (8-hour time-weighted average per 40-hour work week). White phosphorus should be kept under water (as it is dangerously reactive in air) and should be handled with forceps, as contact with the skin may cause severe burns."
Growing concern over Israel's weapons use
By Donald Macintyre in Atatra, northern Gaza Strip
Friday, 23 January 2009
...If the investigation which the Israeli military announced this week into the use of white phosphorous is serious, it will have to examine the events at the Abu Kalima house here in this semi-rural suburb of of Beit Lahiya, among many other locations. It's unlikely to dwell for long on the fact that the war saw the first use of artillery in Gaza since late 2006.
The military ended it after 18 members of one family were killed by shelling on a civilian house in Beit Hanoun in November 2006.
But it will have to take into account that the Amnesty International have no doubt that the shells which killed the Abu Kalima family contained phosphorus. Nafez al Shaban, the Glasgow and US trained head of Shifa Hospital’s Burns Unit is certain that the bone-deep tissue destruction sustained by Mrs Kalima, her critically injured daughter in law and grandaughter, were caused by it. And finally fragments of the brown spongy substance, with its unpleasantly pungent smell, are still lying in the debris outside the Abu Kalima house...more
link to article in London Telegraph "Gaza's phosphorus casualties relive 3 week Israeli war"January 23, 2009