LABORATORY CHEMICAL SAFETY SUMMARY: ACRYLONITRILE

Substance

Acrylonitrile

(Vinyl cyanide, 2-propenenitrile, cyanoethylene, ACN)

CAS 107-13-1

 

Formula

H2C = CH-C=N

Physical Properties

Colorless liquid

bp 77 °C, mp -82 °C

Moderately soluble in water (7.3 g/100 mL)

 

Odor

Mild pyridine-like odor at 2 to 22 ppm

Vapor Density

1.83 (air = 1.0)

 

Vapor Pressure

100 mmHg at 22.8 °C

 

Flash Point

-1 °C

 

Autoignition Temperature

481 °C

 

Toxicity Data

LD50 oral (rat)

78 mg/kg

 

LD50 skin (rabbit)

250 mg/kg

 

LC50 inhal (rat)

425 ppm (4 h)

 

PEL (OSHA)

2 ppm

 

TLV-TWA (ACGIH)

2 ppm—skin

Major Hazards

Probable human carcinogen (OSHA "select carcinogen"); moderate acute toxicity; highly flammable.

Toxicity

Acrylonitrile is classified as moderately toxic by acute exposure through oral intake, skin contact, and inhalation. Symptoms of exposure include weakness, lightheadedness, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Acrylonitrile is severely irritating to the eyes and mildly irritating to the skin; prolonged contact with the skin can lead to burns.

Acrylonitrile is mutagenic in bacterial and mammalian cell cultures and embryotoxic/ teratogenic in rats at levels that produce maternal toxicity. Acrylonitrile is carcinogenic in rats and is regulated by OSHA as a carcinogen (29 CFR 1910.1045). Acrylonitrile is listed in IARC Group 2A ("probable human carcinogen") and is classified as a "select carcinogen" under the criteria of the OSHA Laboratory Standard.

Flammability and Explosibility

Highly flammable liquid (NFPA rating = 3). Vapor forms explosive mixtures with air at concentrations of 3 to 17% (by volume). Hazardous gases produced in fire include hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen. Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers should be used to fight acrylonitrile fires.



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