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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: 1774

CAS number: 80-62-6

Exposure Limits and Health Effects (Updated September 6, 2012)

Standard Set By Exposure Limit Health Effect Codes -- Health Effects and Target Organs
OSHA 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
NIOSH REL 100 ppm (410 mg/m3) TWA HE15 -- eye, skin, nose, and respiratory irritation; dermatitis
ACGIH TLV® (1992) 50 ppm (205 mg/m3) TWA
100 ppm (410 mg/m3) STEL
dermal sensitizer (DSEN)
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

Carcinogenic classification:

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): 7x10-1 mg/m3

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

NIOSH 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).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Methyl Methacrylate. 2016.
  • 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/CEC/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.

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