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Camphor

General Description

  • Synonyms: 2-Camphonone; Synthetic camphor; Gum camphor; Laurel camphor
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0522
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 76-22-2
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: EX1225000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 2717 133
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Camphor (Synthetic): 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): 2 ppm, 12 mg/m3 TWA; 3 ppm, 19 mg/m3 STEL; Appendix A4 - Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen (TLV listed as Camphor, Synthetic)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 2 mg/m3 TWA (REL listed as Camphor (Synthetic))

Health Factors

  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 200 mg/m3
  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, mucous membrane; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; headache, dizziness, excitement, epileptiform convulsions; cough, sore throat; Ingestion Acute: Burning sensation in throat and chest; GI symptoms; confusion, seizures, unconsciousness; Skin Absorption; Hepatotoxicity without GI symptoms.
  • Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15) Acute Toxicity---short-term high hazard effects (HE4) CNS Effects (HE7)
  • Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, CNS
  • Notes:
    1. Most reported intoxications with camphor involve children under the age of 6 years. No occupational poisoning reports were found in the literature over the past 30 years.
    2. A reversible elevation of liver enzymes in an infant from absorption of camphor in Vicks VapoRub through the skin has been reported.
    3. Chronic ingestion may produce symptoms mimicking Reye's Syndrome.
    4. d-Camphor is listed among FDA's "food additives permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption" (21 CFR 172.515)
  • Literature Basis:
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Camphor (Synthetic).
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Camphor.
    • Mallinckrodt Baker, Inc.: Material Safety Data Sheet. DL-Camphor.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Camphor. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 475-476.
    • Uc, A., Bishop, W.P. and Sanders, K.D.: Camphor hepatotoxicity. South. Med. J. 93(6): 596-598, 2000.
  • Date Last Revised: 05/18/2004

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
  • maximum volume: 24 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • analytical solvent: (99:1) Carbon Disulfide:Methanol
  • method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 1301 (PDF))
  • method classification: Partially Validated

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