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Methyl Methacrylate

General Description

  • Synonyms: Methacrylate monomer; Methyl ester of methacrylic acid; Methyl-2-methyl-2-propenoate; Methyl propionate
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1774
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 80-62-6
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: OZ5075000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1247 129P
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Methyl Methacrylate: Physical description, chemical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazard Summary - Methyl Methacrylate: Uses, sources and potential exposure, acute and chronic health hazard information, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit Limit Values HE Codes Health Factors and Target Organs
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - General Industry See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 100 ppm (410 mg/m3) TWA HE15 Eye, skin, and respiratory irritation
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A 100 ppm (410 mg/m3) TWA HE15 Eye, skin, and respiratory irritation
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards 100 ppm (410 mg/m3) TWA HE15 Eye, skin, and respiratory irritation
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) 100 ppm (410 mg/m3) TWA HE15 Eye, skin, nose, and respiratory irritation; dermatitis
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (1992) 50 ppm (205 mg/m3) TWA
100 ppm (410 mg/m3) STEL
dermal sensitizer (DSEN); A4
HE11 Pulmonary deficits, pulmonary edema
HE15 Ocular and respiratory irritation, allergic dermatitis, erythema, decreased olfactory function
CAL/OSHA PELs 50 ppm (205 mg/m3) TWA 100 ppm (410 mg/m3) STEL HE10 Decreased pulmonary function
HE15 Decreased olfactory function
  • National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Not listed
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 3 (not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans)
  • EPA carcinogenic classification: Not likely to be carcinogenic to humans
  • EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): 7x10-1 mg/m3
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Level (MRL): Not established
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) concentration: 1,000 ppm
  • Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards
    1. Methyl methacrylate is highly flammable, and vapor/air mixtures may be explosive (NIOSH/IPCS 2003).
    2. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) oral reference dose (RfD) for methyl methacrylate is 1.4 mg/kg/day (EPA 1998).
    3. Adverse reactions to cosmetic fingernail preparations have resulted in dermatitis and prolonged paresthesia (Fisher and Baran 1991; Freeman et al. 1995).
    4. Because acrylate-based materials have largely replaced amalgams in restorative dentistry, dental personnel represent another occupational group at risk for developing contact allergy to methyl methacrylate (Piirilä et al. 1998).
    5. Methanol is a hydrolysis product of methyl methacrylate in the body and has been proposed as a biological marker of occupational exposure to airborne methyl methacrylate when measured in blood, serum, or urine. In one study, end of workday levels of approximately 8.2 mg and 14.5 mg methanol per liter of urine were suggested to correspond to TWA exposure levels of 50 ppm and 100 ppm, respectively (Mizunuma et al. 1993).
  • Literature Basis
    • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Methyl Methacrylate. 2001.
    • California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board: Initial and Final Statement of Reasons. July 6, 2006.
    • EPA: Integrated Risk Information System - Methyl Methacrylate (CASRN 80-62-6). March 2, 1998.
    • Fisher, A.A. and Baran, R.L.: Adverse reactions to acrylate sculptured nails with particular reference to prolonged paresthesia. Am. J. Contact Dermatitis 2(1): 38-42, 1991.
    • Freeman, S., Lee, M.-S. and Gudmundsen, K.: Adverse contact reactions to sculpted acrylic nails: 4 case reports and a literature review. Contact Dermatitis 33(6): 381-385, 1995.
    • Mizunuma, K., et al.: Biological monitoring and possible health effects in workers occupationally exposed to methyl methacrylate. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 65(4): 227-232, 1993.
    • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guideline for Methyl Methacrylate. September 1978.
    • NIOSH/IPCS: International Chemical Safety Cards - Methyl methacrylate. November 26, 2003.
    • Piirilä, P., et al.: Occupational respiratory hypersensitivity caused by preparations containing acrylates in dental personnel. Clin. Exp. Allergy 28(11): 1404-1411, 1998.
  • Date last revised: 09/06/2012

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • Coated Charcoal Tube (110/55 mg sections; 20/40 mesh); Coating is 10% (w/w) 4-t-Butylcatechol
  • analytical solvent: Toluene
  • alternate analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
  • maximum volume: 3 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 94)
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • XAD-2 Tube (400/200 mg sections; 20/50 mesh)
  • analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
  • maximum volume: 8 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 2537)
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • note: ship cold.

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