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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Methylacetaldehyde; Propanal; Propionic aldehyde; Propyl aldehyde

OSHA IMIS Code Number: P129

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 123-38-6

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: UE0350000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1275 129

Chemical Description and Physical Properties:

colorless liquid with pungent odor
molecular weight: 58.1
vapor pressure: 31.3 kPa @ 20°C
molecular formula: C3H6O
boiling point: 49°C
melting point: -81°C
flash point: -30°C closed cup

Exposure Limits

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 20 ppm, 47.5 mg/m3 TWA

Health Factors

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat; cough, sore throat; eye and skin pain, redness; INGES. ACUTE: Burning sensation.

Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15); Pulmonary edema (HE4)

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system

Notes:

  1. OSHA does not have a PEL for propionaldehyde.
  2. Vapor/air mixtures of propionaldehyde may be explosive.
  3. Propionaldehyde is listed by the FDA as a synthetic flavoring substance that is permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption (21 CFR 172.515).
  4. Like acetaldehyde, the metabolism of propionaldehyde (to propionic acid) is substantially decreased in liver preparations from individuals who are genetically heterozygous for the mutant form of aldehyde dehydrogenase-2.
  5. In a study of inhalation toxicity in rats exposed intermittently to 23 mg/m3 (~10 ppm) for 3 weeks, propionaldehyde was reported to cause emphysema.
  6. In contrast, the RD50 (concentration of sensory irritant necessary to decrease respiratory rate by 50%) in rats acutely exposed to propionaldehyde for 10 minutes was estimated to be 6,789 ppm, indicating that this reflex does not protect rats from propionaldehyde-induced lung damage.

Literature Basis:

  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Propionaldehyde.
  • US DHHS Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances: Proprionaldehyde (RTECS # UE0350000).
  • Babiuk, C., Steinhagen, W.H. and Barrow, C.S.: Sensory irritation to inhaled aldehydes after formaldehyde pretreatment. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 79(1): 143-149, 1985.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Propionaldehyde. In, Sittigs Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1954-1955.
  • Wang, R.-S., Nakajima, T., Kawamoto, T. and Honma, T.: Effects of aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 genetic polymorphisms on metabolism of structurally different aldehydes in human liver. Drug Metab. Dispos. 30(1): 69-73, 2002.

Date Last Revised: 01/30/2007

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: Coated XAD-2 Tube (150/75 mg sections, 20/60 mesh); coating is 10% (w/w) 2-(Hydroxymethyl)piperidine
    analytical solvent: Toluene
    maximum volume: 5 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/NPD with GC/MS identification
    method reference: (NIOSH 2539 [255 KB PDF, 10 pages])
    method classification: Partially Validated
    note: OSHA modification is use of GC/NPD in place of GC/FID. This is a screening method and is not quantitative.

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