LABORATORY CHEMICAL SAFETY SUMMARY: NITROGEN DIOXIDE

Substance

Nitrogen dioxide

(Nitrogen peroxide)

CAS 10102-44-0

 

Formula

NO2

 

Physical Properties

Yellow-brown liquid to reddish brown gas; generally a mixture of NO2 and N2O4 (at - 11 °C liquid is 0.01% NO2, at 21 °C liquid is 0.1% NO2 and gas is 15.9% NO2) bp 21 °C, mp -11 °C

Miscible in all proportions with water reacting to form nitric and nitrous acids

 

Odor

Pungent, acrid odor detectable at 0.12 ppm

Vapor Density

1.58 (air = 1.0)

 

Vapor Pressure

720 mmHg at 20 °C

 

Flash Point

Noncombustible

 

Toxicity Data

LC50 inhal (rat)

88 ppm (4 h)

 

PEL (OSHA)

5 ppm (9 mg/m3; ceiling)

 

TLV-TWA (ACGIH)

3 ppm (5.6 mg/m3)

 

STEL (ACGIH)

5 ppm (9.4 mg/m3)

Major Hazards

Highly toxic by inhalation; high concentrations of the gas and liquid NO2-N2O4 are corrosive to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

Toxicity

The acute toxicity of nitrogen dioxide by inhalation is high. Inhalation may cause shortness of breath and pulmonary edema progressing to respiratory illness, reduction in the blood's oxygen carrying capacity, chronic lung disorders and death; symptoms may be delayed for hours and may recur after several weeks. Toxic effects may occur after exposure to concentrations of 10 ppm for 10 min and include coughing, chest pain, frothy sputum, and difficulty in breathing. Brief exposure to 200 ppm can cause severe lung damage and delayed pulmonary edema, which may be fatal. Nitrogen dioxide at concentrations of 10 to 20 ppm is mildly irritating to the eyes; higher concentrations of the gas and liquid NO2-N2O4 are highly corrosive to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Nitrogen dioxide can be detected below the permissible exposure limit by its odor and irritant effects and is regarded as a substance with adequate warning properties.

Animal testing indicates that nitrogen dioxide does not have carcinogenic or reproductive effects. It does produce genetic damage in bacterial and mammalian cell cultures; however, most studies in animals indicate that it does not produce heritable genetic damage.



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