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Vinyl chloride

General Description

  • Synonyms: Chloroethene; Chloroethylene; Ethylene monochloride; Monochloroethene; Monochloroethylene; VC; Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM)
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2580
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 75-01-4
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: KU9625000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1086 116P
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Vinyl chloride: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 1 ppm TWA; Appendix A1 - Confirmed Human Carcinogen
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): Appendix A - NIOSH Potential Occupational Carcinogens

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • Potential Symptoms: Weakness, dizziness, drowsiness; headache, weight loss; abdominal pain, GI bleeding; liver enlargement, fibrosis, cirrhosis; spleen enlargement; pallor or cyanosis of extremities; eye redness, pain; frostbite (on contact with liquid); (carcinogenic)
  • Health Effects: Liver cancer-Angiosarcoma (HE1); Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin-Mild (HE16); Explosive, Flammable (HE18)
  • Affected Organs: Liver, CNS, blood, respiratory system, lymphatic system
  • Notes:
    1. At low exposure levels, vinyl chloride is metabolized via alcohol dehydrogenase to monochloroacetic acid (excreted in urine).
    2. At higher levels, it is metabolized by CYP2E1 to intermediate reactive metabolites, chloroethylene oxide and chloroacetaldehyde, which can form adducts with DNA.
    3. Susceptibility to liver damage may be related to genetic differences in metabolizing enzymes.
  • Literature Basis:
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCC/ILO): Vinyl chloride.
    • Lewis, R.: Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride. Occup. Med. 14(4): 719-741, 1999.
    • Huang, C.Y., Huang, K.L., Cheng, T.J., Wang, J.D. and Hsieh, L.L.: The GST T1 and CYP2E1 genotypes are possible factors causing vinyl chloride induced abnormal liver function. Arch. Toxicol. 71(8): 482-488, 1997.
    • Li, Y., Marion, M.J., Ho, R., Cheng, T.J., Coulibaly, D., Rosal, R. and Brandt-Rauf, P.W.: Polymorphisms for vinyl chloride metabolism in French vinyl chloride workers. Int. J. Occup. Med. Environ. Health 16(1): 55-59, 2003.
  • Date Last Revised: 08/05/2003

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Carbosieve S-III (130/65 mg sections, 60/80 mesh)
  • maximum volume: 3 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (TWA & STEL)
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • analytical solvent: 99:1 (v/v) Carbon Disulfide/Dimethylformamide
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 75)
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • note: Submit as a separate sample. Refrigerate samples and analyze as soon as possible.
On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:
  • Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: Gastec
  • model/type: 131La
  • sampling information: 0.5 to 4 strokes
  • upper measurement limit: 54 ppm
  • detection limit: 0.05 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: 6% for 1 to 6 ppm, 8% for 6 to 20 ppm
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (SEI Certified)
  • Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: Matheson-Kitagawa
  • model/type: 8014-132SA
  • sampling information: follow manufacturer's instructions
  • upper measurement limit: 1%
  • detection limit: approximately 0.05%
  • overall uncertainty: unknown
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (SEI Certified)

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