LABORATORY CHEMICAL SAFETY SUMMARY: DIMETHYLFORMAMIDE

Substance

Dimethylformamide

(N,N-Dimethylformamide, DMF)

CAS 68-12-2

 

Formula

(CH3)2NCHO

 

Physical Properties

Colorless, clear liquid

bp 153 °C, mp -61 °C

Miscible with water in all proportions

 

Odor

Faint, ammonia-like odor detectable at 100 ppm

 

Vapor Density

2.5 (air = 1.0)

 

Vapor Pressure

2.6 mmHg at 20 °C

 

Flash Point

58 °C

 

Autoignition Temperature

445 °C

 

Toxicity Data

LD50 oral (rat)

2800 mg/kg

 

LD50 skin (rabbit)

4720 mg/kg

 

LC50 inhal (mouse)

9400 mg/m3; 2 h

 

PEL (OSHA)

10 ppm (30 mg/m3—skin)

 

TLV-TWA (ACGIH)

10 ppm (30 mg/m3—skin)

Major Hazards

Low acute toxicity; readily absorbed through the skin.

Toxicity

The acute toxicity of DMF is low by inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact. Contact with liquid DMF may cause eye and skin irritation. DMF is an excellent solvent for many toxic materials that are not ordinarily absorbed and can increase the hazard of these substances by skin contact. Exposure to high concentrations of DMF may lead to liver damage and other systemic effects.

Dimethylformamide is listed by IARC in Group 2B ("possible human carcinogen"). It is not classified as a "select carcinogen" according to the criteria of the OSHA Laboratory Standard. No significant reproductive effects have been observed in animal tests. Repeated exposure to DMF may result in damage to the liver, kidneys, and cardiovascular system.

Flammability and Explosibility

DMF is a combustible liquid (NFPA rating = 2). Vapors are heavier than air and may travel to source of ignition and flash back. DMF vapor forms explosive mixtures with air at concentrations of 2.2 to 15.2% (by volume). Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers should be used to fight DMF fires.



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