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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: 1,2-Epoxy propane; Propene oxide; Methyloxidrane

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2215

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 75-56-9

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: TZ2975000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1280 127P

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Propylene Oxide: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 100 ppm, 240 mg/m3 TWA

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 100 ppm, 240 mg/m3 TWA

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 100 ppm, 240 mg/m3 TWA
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 2 ppm, 4.75 mg/m3 TWA; Sensitizer; Appendix A3 - Confirmed Animal Carcinogen with Unknown Relevance to Humans

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): Appendix A - NIOSH Potential Occupational Carcinogens

Health Factors

Carcinogenic Classification:
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 2B, possibly carcinogenic to humans [2 MB PDF, 33 pages]

National Toxicology Program (NTP): Group 2, reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogen [165 KB PDF, 2 pages]
NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 400 ppm

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin respiratory system; cough, sore throat; skin blisters, burns; skin sensitization; blindness on contact with liquid; (potential occupational carcinogen)

Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15); CNS depression (HE7); Cumulative liver damage (HE3); mutagen---OSHA Select Carcinogen (HE2).

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system

  1. Vapor/air mixtures are explosive. Odor warning is insufficient when toxic concentrations are present.
  2. Can form adducts with DNA and proteins (e.g., hemoglobin).
  3. Metabolized in several tissues by glutathione-S-transferase and epoxide hydrolase.
Date Last Revised: 03/08/2004

Literature Basis:
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Propylene Oxide.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Propylene Oxide.
  • Czene, K., et al.: Analysis of DNA and hemoglobin adducts and sister chromatid exchanges in a human population occupationally exposed to propylene oxide: a pilot study. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 11(3): 315-318, 2002.
  • Faller, T.H., Csanady, G.A., Kreuzer, P.E., Bauer, C.M. and Filser, J.G.: Kinetics of propylene oxide metabolism in microsomes and cytosol of different organs from mouse, rat, and humans. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 172(1): 62-74, 2001.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Propylene Oxide. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1978-1980.
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • sampling media: Anasorb 747 Tube (140/70 mg sections)
    analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
    maximum volume: 5 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.1 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 88)
    method classification: Fully Validated
On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:
  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Gastec
    model/type: 163
    sampling information: 1 stroke
    upper measurement limit: 3.9%
    detection limit: approximately 0.03%
    overall uncertainty: 25% for 0.06 to 1.3%, 16% for 1.3 to 3.9%
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Gastec
    model/type: 163L
    sampling information: 1 stroke
    upper measurement limit: 100 ppm
    detection limit: approximately 0.5 ppm
    overall uncertainty: 16%
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Matheson-Kitagawa
    model/type: 8014-163SA
    sampling information: 0.5 or 1 stroke
    upper measurement limit: 5%
    detection limit: approximately 0.05%
    overall uncertainty: unknown
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
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Page last updated: 01/31/2006

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