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General Description

  • Synonyms: Methylcyanide; ACN
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0060
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 75-05-8
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: AL7700000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1648 127
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Acetonitrile: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more.

Exposure Limits

  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 20 ppm, 34 mg/m3 TWA; Skin; Appendix A4 - Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 20 ppm, 34 mg/m3 TWA

Health Factors

  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 500 ppm
  • Potential Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting; headache; hypersalivation; chest pain or tightness; profuse sweating; abdominal pain and hematemesis; weakness, stupor; respiratory depression, metabolic acidosis; convulsions; tachycardia, shock; eye irritation
  • Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat---Mild (HE16); Acute Toxicity---Cyanosis, cardiac, respiratory arrest (HE4). Ingestion Acute: TDLO (human) 570 mg/kg
  • Affected Organs: Kidneys, liver, CVS, CNS, lung, skin, eyes
  • Notes: Metabolized by liver to cyanide

Literature Basis:

  • (profuse sweating, hypersalivation, cardiac and respiratory arrest) Cohrssen, B. Cyanides and nitriles. In Patty's Toxicology, 5th Ed., Vol. 4, Bingham, E., Cohrssen, B., Powell, C.H., eds., New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 1406-1410, 2001.
  • (headache, respiratory depression, metabolic acidosis, death) Robles, H. Acetonitrile. In Encyclopedia of Toxicology, Vol. 1, Wexler, P., ed. New York: Academic Press, pp. 16-17, 1998.
  • (abdominal pain, hematemesis) Sitting, M. Acetonitrile. Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Vol. 1, pp. 28-30, 1991.

Date Last Revised: 11/02/2001

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Charcoal Tube (400/200 mg sections)
  • analytical solvent: Benzene
  • alternate solvent: Acetone
  • alternate solvent: (99:1) Carbon Disulfide:Dimethylformamide
  • maximum volume: 25 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min TWA
  • maximum volume: 3 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min STEL
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 1606 (PDF))
  • method classification: Fully Validated

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