||Safety and Health Topics:
Synonyms: Methyl methanoate; Formic acid, Methyl ester
OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1770
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 107-31-3
NIOSH, Registry of Toxic Effects (RTECS) Identification Number: LQ8925000
Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1243 129
NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Methyl Formate: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 100 ppm, 250 mg/m3 TWA
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 100 ppm, 250 mg/m3 TWA
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 100 ppm, 250 mg/m3 TWA
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 100 ppm, 246 mg/m3 TWA; 150 ppm, 369 mg/m3 STEL
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 100 ppm, 250 mg/m3 TWA; 150 ppm, 375 mg/m3 STEL
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 3 - Not Classifiable as to its Carcinogenicity to Humans
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA
NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 4,500 ppm
Potential symptoms: Eye, nose, skin irritation; chest tightness, cough, dyspnea (labored breathing, shortness of breath), bronchitis; visual disturbance; headache, dizziness, CNS depression, unconsciousness; drying and cracking of the skin; in animals: pulmonary edema; narcosis.
Health Effects: CNS effects (HE7); Narcosis (HE8); Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15)
Affected organs: Eyes, respiratory system, CNS
Notes: 1) Vapor/air mixtures are explosive. Odor warning is insufficient when exposure limit is exceeded. 2) Metabolized in the liver to formic acid and formaldehyde by cytochrome P450, and the formaldehyde is further metabolized in the body to methanol and formic acid, which can be measured in urine.
Date Last Revised: 03/01/2004
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Methyl Formate.
- International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Methyl Formate.
- Nihlen, A. and Droz, P.O.: Toxicokinetic modeling of methyl formate exposure and implications for biological monitoring. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 73(7): 479-487, 2000.
- Peng, H.M., Raner, G.M., Vaz, A.D. and Coon, M.J.: Oxidative cleavage of esters and amides to carbonyl products by cytochrome P450. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 318(2):333-339, 1995.
- Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Methyl Formate. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1572-1573.
Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
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sampling media: SKC, Inc. Anasorb 747 Tube (400/200 mg sections)
analytical solvent: (90:10) Methanol/Dimethyl Formamide
maximum volume: 3 Liters maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min
current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2041)
method classification: Partially Validated
note: Samples must be refrigerated as soon after sampling as possible and sent to the laboratory refrigerated and overnight.