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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Paraquat dichloride; 1,1'-Dimethyl-4,4'-bipyridinium dichloride; Paraquat dimethyl sulfate; 1,1'-Dimethyl-4,4'-bipyridinium bis (methylsulfate)

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1982

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 4685-14-7

Other Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Numbers: 2074-50-2 (Paraquat dimethyl sulfate); 1910-42-5 (Paraquat dichloride)

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: DW2275000

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Paraquat (Paraquat dichloride): chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 -- 0.5 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 0.5 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 0.5 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 0.5 mg/m3 TWA; 0.1 mg/m3 TWA - Respirable fraction

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.1 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Health Factors

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 1 mg/m3

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat, respiratory system; headache; cough; epistaxis (nosebleeds); lung edema; shortness of breath, labored breathing (lung fibrosis, may be delayed several days); dermatitis; fingernail damage; GI tract irritation; heart, liver, kidney damage; opacification of the cornea (upon direct eye contact); INGES ACUTE: Sore throat; ulceration of mouth and esophagus; abdominal pain; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

Health Effects: Cumulative lung damage (HE10); Suspect dopaminergic neurotoxin---parkinsonism (HE7); Suspect teratogen (HE5); Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15)

Affected Organs: Eyes, respiratory system, heart, liver, kidneys, GI tract, CNS (nigrostriatal tract)

Notes:

  1. The major cause of death is respiratory failure due to oxidative damage to lung alveolar epithelium with subsequent obliterating fibrosis.
  2. Chemically similar to MPP+ (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium) which was marketed as the herbicide cyperquat and found to cause Parkinson's disease.
  3. Epidemiological and animal studies with paraquat indicate a specific dopaminergic neurotoxicity that could potentially lead to parkinsonism.

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Paraquat (Paraquat dichloride).
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Paraquat dichloride.
  • Hertzman, C., Wiens, M., Bowering, D., Snow, B. and Caine D.: Parkinson's disease: a case-control study of occupational and environmental risk factors. Am. J. Ind. Med. 17(3): 349-355, 1990.
  • McCormack, A.L., et al.: Environmental risk factors and Parkinson's disease: selective degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons caused by the herbicide paraquat. Neurobiol. Dis. 10(2): 119-127, 2002.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Paraquat. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1784-1787.
  • Ranjbar, A., Pasalar, P., Sedighi, A. and Abdollahi, M.: Induction of oxidative stress in paraquat formulating workers. Toxicol. Lett. 131(3): 191-194, 2002.
  • Suntres, Z.E.: Role of antioxidants in paraquat toxicity. Toxicology 180(1): 65-77, 2002.

Date Last Revised: 07/09/2004

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: Polytetrafluoroethylene (FA) Filter, 1.0 micron
    maximum volume: 1000 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 4.0 L/min
    current analytical method: High Performance Liquid Chromatography; HPLC/UV
    method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 5003 [17 KB PDF, 3 pages])
    method classification: Fully Validated

Bulk Method:

  • Limit the amount of bulk submitted to one gram or one mL.

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