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    IPCS INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME ON CHEMICAL SAFETY
    Health and Safety Guide No. 1

    ACRYLONITRILE
    HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE






    UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME

    INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION

    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION




    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, GENEVA 1986

    This is a companion volume to Environmental Health Criteria 28:
    Acrylonitrile

    Published by the World Health Organization for the International
    Programme on Chemical Safety (a collaborative programme of the United
    Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation,
    and the World Health Organization)

    This report contains the collective views of an international group of
    experts and does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated
    policy of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International
    Labour Organisation, or the World Health Organization

    WHO Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    Health and safety guide for Acrylonitrile.

         ISBN 92 4 154 328 0

    The World Health Organization welcomes requests for permission to
    reproduce or translate its publications, in part or in full. 
    Applications and enquiries should be addressed to the Office of
    Publications, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, which
    will be glad to provide the latest information on any changes made to
    the text, plans for new editions, and reprints and translations
    already available.

    (c) World Health Organization 1986

    Publications of the World Health Organization enjoy copyright
    protection in accordance with the provisions of Protocol 2 of the
    Universal Copyright Convention.  All rights reserved.

    The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this
    publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on
    the part of the Secretariat of the World Health Organization
    concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or
    of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or
    boundaries.

    The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers'
    products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the
    World Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature
    that are not mentioned.  Errors and omissions excepted, the names of
    proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.

    CONTENTS

    IPCS

    HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE FOR ACRYLONITRILE

    INTRODUCTION

    HOW TO USE THE GUIDE

    1. PRODUCT IDENTITY AND USES
        1.1. Identity
        1.2. Physical and chemical properties
        1.3. Composition
        1.4. Uses

    2. SUMMARY AND EVALUATION
        2.1. Exposure to acrylonitrile
        2.2. Uptake, metabolism, and excretion
        2.3. Effects on animals
        2.4. Effects on human beings

    3. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    4. HEALTH HAZARDS FOR MAN, PREVENTION AND PROTECTION, EMERGENCY
        ACTION
        4.1. Main hazards for man, prevention and protection, first aid
        4.2. Advice to physicians
             4.2.1. Acute poisoning by inhalation
             4.2.2. Oral poisoning
        4.3. Health surveillance advice

        4.4. Explosion and fire hazards
             4.4.1. Explosion hazards
             4.4.2. Fire hazards
             4.4.3. Prevention
             4.4.4. Fire extinguishing agents

        4.5. Storage
        4.6. Transport
        4.7. Spillage and disposal
             4.7.1. Spillage
             4.7.2. Disposal (based on the IRPTC waste disposal file)
        4.8. International chemical safety card

    5. HAZARDS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND THEIR PREVENTION

    6. CURRENT REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND STANDARDS
        6.1. Exposure limit values
        6.2. Specific restrictions
        6.3. Labelling, packaging, and transport
        6.4. Waste disposal
    

    INTRODUCTION

    The International Programme on Chemical Safety is responsible for the
    publication of a series of Environmental Health Criteria documents,
    each of which assesses the existing information on the relationship
    between exposure to a specific chemical, mixture of chemicals, or
    combination of chemicals and physical and biological agents, and man's
    health and the integrity of the environment. The documents provide
    guidelines for setting exposure limits consistent with the protection
    of human health and the environment.

    To facilitate the application of these guidelines in national chemical
    safety programmes, "Health and Safety Guides" are being prepared,
    highlighting the information contained in the documents for those who
    need to know the health and environmental issues involved, but not the
    scientific details. The Guides include advice on preventive and
    protective measures and emergency action.

    Review and revision of the information in this Health and Safety Guide
    will take place in due course, and the eventual aim is to use
    standardized terminology. We should be grateful if you would help by
    telling us of any difficulties encountered in using the information in
    this guide.

    Comments please, addressed to:

    The Manager
    International Programme on Chemical Safety
    Division of Environmental Health
    World Health Organization
    1211 Geneva 27
    Switzerland

    HOW TO USE GUIDE

    All people in the work-place environment should be given the relevant
    written information in this book, supplemented by a clear, personal
    explanation to ensure that they are fully aware of the dangers and the
    current courses of protective and emergency action.

    The International Chemical Safety Card should be displayed as directed
    and its contents clearly explained to all working personnel.

    Medical staff should be fully conversant with the medical information
    to ensure they can act rapidly and efficiently in an emergency.

    Posters should be used to give impact to basic safety measures.

                                     * * *

    Further copies of the Health and Safety Guide and, for those requiring
    more detailed scientific information, the relevant Environmental
    Health Criteria publication, are available to order (see order
    form p. 35).

    THE INFORMATION IN THIS GUIDE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS A STARTING
    POINT TO A COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMME

    1.  PRODUCT IDENTITY AND USES

    1.1  Identity

    Chemical formula:             C3H3N

    Chemical structure:

    FIGURE 1

    Common trade names:           Acrylon; Carbacryl; ENT 54;
                                  Fumigrain; Miller's fumigrain;
                                  TL 314; Ventox

    CAS registry number:          107-13-1

    Common synonyms:              acrylonitrile monomer;
                                  AN; cyanoethylene; 2-propenenitrile;
                                  VCN; vinyl cyanide

     Conversion factor

        1 mg/m3 - 0.4605 ppm
        1 ppm acrylonitrile = 2.17 mg/m3 at 25C

    and 101.3 kPa (760 mm Hg).

    1.2  Physical and Chemical Properties

    Acrylonitrile is a colourless liquid with a faintly sweet, pungent
    odour, which dissolves readily in water. It is explosive and
    flammable. Some physical and chemical properties of acrylonitrile are
    given in the Sample International Chemical Safety Card (p. 26).

    1.3  Composition

    Technical acrylonitrile is more than 99% pure. It is stabilized
    against self-polymerization and yellow colour formation by the
    addition of hydroquinone monomethyl ether (35-50 mg/kg) and water
    (0.25-0.45%). Impurities may include acetone, acetonitrile, aldehydes,
    iron, hydrogen cyanide, and peroxides.

    1.4  Uses

    Acrylonitrile does not occur as a natural product. However, it is
    produced industrially on a large scale. The compound is mainly used in
    the production of synthetic fibres, resins, and rubbers, and as a
    chemical intermediate. It is also used in fumigants.

    2.  SUMMARY AND EVALUATION

    2.1  Exposure to Acrylonitrile

    Acrylonitrile is emitted in significant amounts from factories, both
    in the air and in waste waters, and people living nearby may be
    exposed to the chemical. Drinking-water and food may be contaminated
    with acrylonitrile, but levels will be low, unless the soil or water
    supplies have been contaminated through accidental spillage during
    production, storage, transport, or use. Contamination of food from
    packaging materials containing free acrylonitrile is possible.

    Experience has shown that workers in factories using acrylonitrile to
    make other products run a higher risk of exposure than those in
    factories producing the chemical, where it is more easily contained.
    Exposure in the work-place is through inhalation and contamination of
    the skin.

    2.2  Uptake, Metabolism, and Excretion

    In animals, acrylonitrile is readily absorbed through the skin and by
    ingestion and inhalation. Absorbed acrylonitrile is distributed fairly
    uniformly within the animal body but there are no indications that it
    accumulates in animal tissues following prolonged exposure.
    Mercapturic acids are the major metabolites of acrylonitrile  in vivo.
    Urinary excretion of acrylonitrile-derived mercapturic acid is
    proportional to the level of acrylonitrile in the body. Biological
    monitoring of acrylonitrile-derived mercapturic acids in human urine
    is a promising, but insufficiently validated, method for the
    estimation of the total uptake of acrylonitrile.

    2.3  Effects on Animals

    The compound is regarded as highly toxic for animals when inhaled
    (LC50 between 150 and 1250 mg/m3 for a 4-h exposure) and highly
    toxic when ingested (LD50 between 25 and 200 mg/kg body weight).

    Absorption of acrylonitrile vapour mainly affects the gastrointestinal
    and respiratory tracts, the liver, kidneys and the central nervous
    system. Similar effects are seen when liquid acrylonitrile is absorbed
    through the skin; skin injury may occur a few hours after exposure.
    Exposure to some organic solvents in addition to acrylonitrile may
    significantly increase its toxic effects on animals.

    Acrylonitrile exposure of animals causes damage to the embryo and
    malformation of the fetus only at levels approaching those that are
    toxic for the mothers.

    Although acrylonitrile has given positive results in a number of  in
     vitro mutagenicity tests, it has not been found to be mutagenic in
    whole animals, so far.

    Long-term administration of acrylonitrile to rats, orally or by
    inhalation, has resulted in the induction of malignant tumours at
    several sites, the incidence being dose related.

    Acrylonitrile has been shown to be toxic for aquatic organisms,
    concentrations between 12 and 70 mg/litre water being lethal for half
    the number of exposed fish (LC50) within 2-4 days.

    2.4  Effects on Human Beings

    In man, symptoms of overexposure to acrylonitrile include headache,
    sleeplessness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue, mild jaundice,
    and irritation and inflammation of the eyes and respiratory tract
    including the nose and throat. In more severe cases, unconsciousness
    and convulsions may occur. Fatalities have been reported following the
    use of fumigant mixtures containing acrylonitrile combined with carbon
    tetrachloride and methylene chloride, but exact exposure conditions
    were not known. Complaints of ill health in workers, exposed for a
    number of years to acrylonitrile at concentrations of less than
    45 mg/m3, have been reported in several studies; the complaints were
    variable in nature, and were not consistently related to the length of
    exposure. These studies do not provide evidence of a specific disease
    arising from long-term, low-level exposure to acrylonitrile. At higher
    concentrations (up to 220 mg/m3), exposure for 20-40 min resulted in
    complaints of headache, irritation of the upper respiratory tract and
    the eyes, nervous irritability, and itching of the skin.

    Exposure of the skin to liquid acrylonitrile may cause irritation with
    reddening and blisters. Skin inflammation is much more common than
    allergic skin reactions.

    Although there is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of
    acrylonitrile in animals, the epidemiological studies carried out so
    far have not provided sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in man.

    3.  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    It was not possible to establish a level at which no observed adverse
    effects occurred on the basis of the experimental and epidemiological
    data presented to the Task Group. Therefore, exposure to acrylonitrile
    should be kept as low as possible in both the work-place and the
    general environment, and skin contact with the liquid should be
    avoided.

    From: Environmental Health Criteria 28: Acrylonitrile

    4.  HEALTH HAZARDS FOR MAN, PREVENTION AND PROTECTION, EMERGENCY
        ACTION

    4.1  Main Hazards for Man, Prevention and Protection, First Aid

    The human health hazards associated with certain types of exposure to
    acrylonitrile, together with preventive and protective measures and
    first aid recommendations are listed in the table on pp. 20-21.

    4.2  Advice to Physicians

    Pay attention to respiration, effects on skin and eyes, liver, and
    central nervous system.

    4.2.1  Acute poisoning by inhalation

    Oxygen should be administered in combination with the following
    treatment:

    (a)  Victim should inhale amyl nitrite for 15 - 30 seconds of every
         minute to induce the formation of methaemoglobin, while a sodium
         nitrite solution is being prepared. Be alert for a decrease in
         respiratory rate and the onset of headache.

    (b)  Discontinue amyl nitrite and immediately inject intravenously
         10 ml of 3% solution of sodium nitrite in water in the course
         of 2-4 min. CAUTION: THIS DOSE APPLIES TO ADULTS AND MAY BE
         LETHAL FOR CHILDREN. The dose of sodium nitrite for children
         without anaemia (haemoglobin content 12 g/litre) is 10 mg/kg
         body weight. If available, an intravenous injection of 3.25 mg
         4-dimethylaminophenol (DMPA) per kg body weight is preferable to
         treatment with sodium nitrite. Do not remove the needle.

    (c)  Through the same needle, inject intravenously 1-2 ml/kg body
         weight of a 25% solution of sodium thiosulfate in water for about
         10 minutes.

    (d)  Intensive care is advised for 24-48 h because, after a period of
         recovery, symptoms of poisoning may recur. In this case,
         injections (b) and (c) can be repeated at half the above doses.

    4.2.2  Oral poisoning

    Make victim drink a 1% solution of sodium thiosulfate in water and
    induce vomiting. Further treatment as described above.

                                     * * *

    First aid kits and physicians' treatment kits should always be
    immediately available in locations where acrylonitrile is handled or
    stored. The number of kits depends on the hazard of the operation.
    Both kinds of kit should contain 12 ampoules of amyl nitrite (0.3 ml
    per ampoule) and should be kept in a cool place. Replace the ampoules
    before the expiration date. The physicians' treatment kit should also
    contain 2 ampoules of a 3% sterile sodium nitrite solution in water
    (10 ml each), 2 ampoules of a 25%, sterile thiosulfate solution in
    water (50 ml each), the appropriate syringes and needles, and a
    1-litre bottle with 10 g of sodium thiosulfate with a gastric tube.

                                                                                                                                             

    ROUTE                HEALTH HAZARDS                         PREVENTION AND PROTECTION          FIRST AID
                                                                                                                                         

    SINGLE EXPOSURE

    SKIN                 Irritation by liquid (blisters,        Avoid exposure; wear clean         Remove contaminated
                         burns); compound may enter             protective impervious              clothing and shoes; wash with
                         body through the skin                  clothing, gloves, and boots;       plenty of water; discard
                                                                do not wear leatherware            contaminated leatherware

    EYES                 Irritation by both liquid and          Avoid exposure; wear safety        Rinse with plenty of water for
                         vapour                                 goggles                            at least 15 minutes

    INHALATION           Irritation of respiratory tract;       Avoid exposure by use of           Remove victim to fresh air and
                         effects on the central nervous         exhaust ventilation or protect     keep quiet; if breathing has
                         system, such as headache,              breathing by use of a suitable     stopped, apply artificial
                         sleeplessness, nausea, fatigue;        respirator; do not depend on       respiration; make victim inhale
                         effects on gastrointestinal tract,     odour to warn against over         amyl nitrite for 15 - 30 seconds
                         such as vomiting and diarrhoea;        exposure                           of every minute until doctor
                         effects on the liver; respiratory                                         arrives
                         problems; unconsciousness;
                         convulsions, death

    INGESTION            Irritation of mouth, throat, and       Do not eat, drink, chew, or        Rinse mouth; give plenty of water
                         gastrointestinal tract; effects on     smoke when working with            to drink; induce vomiting in
                         the central nervous system;            acrylonitrile; do not keep         conscious patients; make victim
                         respiratory problems;                  food in areas with potential       inhale amyl nitrite for 15 - 30
                         unconsciousness; convulsions;          exposure                           seconds of every minute until
                         death                                                                     doctor arrives

    GENERAL              Potential human carcinogen             Avoid exposure
                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                         

    ROUTE                HEALTH HAZARDS                         PREVENTION AND PROTECTION          FIRST AID
                                                                                                                                         

    REPEATED EXPOSURE

    INHALATION           As for single exposure                 Use exhaust ventilation

    SKIN                 Irritation and inflammation            Wear clean protective impervious
                         (dermatitis); sensitization            clothing, gloves, and boots;
                                                                do not wear leatherware
                                                                                                                                         
    
    4.3  Health Surveillance Advice

    Human beings, potentially exposed to acrylonitrile, should undergo
    periodic medical examination with emphasis on effects on the skin, the
    respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, liver function, and the
    central nervous system. They should also be checked on their ability
    to use respirators. The physican should be aware of the possible
    carcinogenic effects of the compound.

    4.4  Explosion and Fire Hazards

    4.4.1  Explosion hazards

    Above 0C, explosive vapour-air mixtures may be formed that can be
    ignited by open fires, sparks, or glowing surfaces. Because of low
    electroconductivity, the compound can generate electrostatic charges
    as a result of flow and agitation. The vapours are heavier than air,
    may travel along the ground, and can be ignited from a distance.
    Acrylonitrile will polymerize when hot, and this reaction may
    cause containers to explode. Pure uninhibited acrylonitrile may
    self-polymerize at room temperature, resulting in an explosion hazard.
    Contact with strong oxidizers, especially bromine, strong acids and
    bases, and silver nitrate can cause fire and explosions. Contact with
    copper, copper alloys, ammonia, and amines may start polymerization.

    4.4.2  Fire hazards

    Acrylonitrile is a flammable liquid. Toxic gases and vapours such as
    hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide may be released
    in a fire involving acrylonitrile or certain of its polymers.

    4.4.3  Prevention

    Use closed systems, ventilation, nonsparking tools, explosion-
    protected electrical equipment and lighting, and make connections to
    earth. Do not use the compound near sources of ignition. Do not use
    compressed air for filling, discharging, or handling. In case of fire,
    keep drums cool by spraying with water. Fire fighters should use self-
    contained breathing apparatus.

    4.4.4  Fire extinguishing agents

    Alcohol foam, carbon dioxide, powder, aqueous film-forming foam,
    halons.

    Do not use a solid stream of water, since the stream will scatter and
    spread the fire.

    4.5  Storage

    Never store uninhibited acrylonitrile, and determine the inhibitor
    content of the technical product weekly. Acrylonitrile should be
    stored in the dark, and separated from food, oxidants, acids and
    bases, silver nitrate, copper, copper alloys, ammonia, and amines, in
    tightly dosed, fire-proofed, well-labelled, steel containers, which
    should be connected to earth.

    4.6  Transport

    In case of an accident, stop the engine. Remove all sources of
    ignition. Do not smoke. Keep bystanders at a distance and mark the
    roads. Keep upwind. In case of spillage or fire, use the methods
    advised in sections 4.7 and 4.4, respectively. Notify the police and
    the fire brigade immediately. In case of poisoning, follow the advice
    in sections 4.1 and 4.2. A first aid kit containing ampoules of amyl
    nitrite should always be at hand.

    4.7  Spillage and Disposal

    4.7.1  Spillage

    Remove all ignition sources and evacuate the danger area. Collect
    leaking liquid in sealable containers. Absorb spilled liquid in dry
    sand, earth, paper, vermiculite, or similar material, and remove to a
    safe place. Do not allow run-off into sewers or ditches. Neutralize
    the remainder with chlorine bleaching liquor. Take care of personal
    protection. Use a self-contained breathing apparatus for extra
    protection.

    4.7.2  Disposal (based on the IRPTC waste disposal file)

    Aqueous wastes with low concentrations of acrylonitrile may be
    biologically treated in sewage-treatment plants, unless other
    constituents are present that interfere with degradation. Remaining
    undegraded wastes can be removed by filtration through activated
    charcoal. Recovery of acrylonitrile from acrylonitrile process
    effluent is an alternative to disposal. Concentrated wastes should be
    incinerated with provision for the removal of harmful gases by
    scrubbers or after-burners. A recommended chemical treatment is the
    addition, by stirring, of excessive amounts of alcoholic sodium
    hydroxide, followed after 1 h by evaporation of the alcohol and
    addition of sufficient calcium hypochlorite. After 24 h, the solution
    can be drained into the sewer with abundant water.

    INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL SAFETY CARD

    This card should be easily available to all health workers concerned
    with, and users of, acrylonitrile. It should be displayed at, or near,
    entrances to areas where there is potential exposure to acrylonitrile,
    and on processing equipment and containers. The sheet should be
    translated into the appropriate language(s).

    All persons potentially exposed to the chemical should also have the
    instructions on the chemical safety card clearly explained.

        SAMPLE INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL SAFETY CARD

    ACRYLONITRILE
    (AN, cyanoethylene, VCN, vinyl cyanide)
    (CH2 = CHCN)

                                                                                                                                         

    PHYSICAL PROPERTIES                                                   OTHER CHARACTERISTICS
                                                                                                                                         

    Melting point (C)                            -83.55                  Colourless liquid with a sweet pungent odour;
    Boiling point (C)                            77.3                    vapours may be ignited from a distance; the
    Solubility in water (g/litre) (20C)          73.5                    compound can generate electrostatic charges through
    Specific density (20C)                       0.8060                  flow or agitation; acrylonitrile polymerizes when
    Relative vapour density                       1.8                     hot, which may cause containers to explode;
    Vapour pressure (kPa) (23.6C)                13.3                    uninhibited acrylonitrile is explosive at room
    Flash point (open cup)                        0C                     temperature; the compound reacts violently with
    Flash point (closed cup)                      -4.4C                  strong oxidizers, strong acids and bases, and silver
    Octanol/water partition coefficient           0.12                    nitrate; the compound decomposes in a fire, releasing
    Flammability (explosive) limits               3 - 17 %                harmful gases; vapour is heavier than air and
    Relative molecular mass                       53.06                   may travel along the ground and assemble at lowest
                                                                          place; can have adverse effects well below the odour
                                                                          threshold
                                                                                                                                         

    HAZARDS/SYMPTOMS                   PREVENTION AND PROTECTION          FIRST AID
                                                                                                                                         

    SKIN: irritation; redness;         Wear clean impervious              Remove contaminated clothing and shoes;
    blisters; burns; may enter body    clothing and gloves; do not        wash the skin with plenty of water;
    through skin                       wear leatherware                   discard contaminated leatherware
                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                         

    HAZARDS/SYMPTOMS                   PREVENTION AND PROTECTION          FIRST AID
                                                                                                                                         

    EYES: irritation and redness by    Wear safety goggles                Rinse eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 min
    both liquid and vapour

    INHALATION: irritation of          Use exhaust ventilation or         Fresh air, rest; victim should inhale amyl nitrite;
    respiratory tract; effects on      breathing protection               if breathing has stopped, apply artificial respiration;
    the central nervous system,                                           in case of overexposure, obtain medical attention
    gastrointestinal tract, and                                           immediately; transport to hospital
    liver; breathing difficulties;
    in severe cases: unconsciousness,
    convulsions, death

    INGESTION: irritation of mouth,    Do not eat, drink, or smoke        Rinse mouth; give plenty of water to drink; induce
    throat, gastrointestinal tract;    when working with the              vomiting in conscious patients; make victim inhale
    effects on the nervous system;     compound                           amyl nitrite; in case of overexposure, obtain medical
    breathing difficulties                                                attention immediately; transport to hospital

    Potential human carcinogen

                                                                                                                                         

    SPILLAGE                           STORAGE                            FIRE AND EXPLOSION
                                                                                                                                         

    Remove ignition sources; evacuate  Store in the dark in fire-proof,   Highly flammable, no open fires; no sparks, no
    area; collect leaking liquid in    labelled, tightly-closed steel     smoking, extinguish fire with foam, carbon dioxide,
    sealable containers; absorb        container, separated from food,    powder, halons; vapour-air mixtures are explosive
    spills in sand or inert            oxidizers, strong acids and        above 0C; use closed systems; ventilation; non-
    material, and remove to a safe     bases; silver nitrate, copper      sparking tools; explosion-proof equipment and
    place; do not allow run-off        (alloys), ammonia, amines;         lighting; connect drums to earth; in case of fire,
    into sewer; take care of           never store uninhibited            keep drums cool by spraying with water
    personal protection (use a         acrylonitrile
    self-contained breathing
    apparatus)
                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                         

    WASTE DISPOSAL
                                                                                                                                         

    Incineration with provision for removal of harmful gases;             National occupational exposure limit: UN: 1093
    chemical treatment using calcium hypochlorite                         National Poison Control Centre:

    FIGURE 2
                                                                                                                                         
    
    5.  HAZARDS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND THEIR PREVENTION

    Acrylonitrile is probably fairly persistent in groundwater. Small
    quantities of the compound are readily degraded by microorganisms in
    soil and in surface waters. When present at high concentrations, such
    as may occur with accidental spillage, acrylonitrile is toxic for
    microorganisms and may then be persistent.

    Contamination of soil, water, and the atmosphere can be avoided by
    proper methods of storage, transport, handling, and waste disposal. In
    case of spillage, apply methods recommended in section 4.7.1.

    6.  CURRENT REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS

    The information given in this paragraph has been extracted from the
    International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC) legal
    file.

    The reader should be aware that regulatory decisions about chemicals
    taken in a certain country can only be fully understood in the
    framework of the legislation of that country. A full reference to the
    original national document from which the information was extracted
    can be obtained from the IRPTC. When no effective date appears in the
    IRPTC legal file, the year of the reference from which the data are
    taken is shown, indicated by (r).

    6.1  Exposure Limit Values

    See table on pp. 32-33.

    6.2  Specific Restrictions

    The European Community Legislation on major accident hazards of
    certain industrial activities foresees that the manufacturer is
    obliged to take all the measures necessary to prevent major accidents
    and to limit their consequences for man and the environment, when
    manufacturing acrylonitrile or when storing it in quantities equal to
    or over 350 tonnes (effective date: 1984).

    Furthermore, when acrylonitrile is manufactured in quantities
    exceeding 200 tonnes or is stored in quantities exceeding 5000 tonnes,
    notification has to be made to the competent authorities including
    information on the substance, on the installation, information on
    possible major accident situations and emergency plans.

    In the Federal Republic of Germany, handling of acrylonitrile is
    prohibited or restricted for adolescents and pregnant and nursing
    women (effective date: 1980).

    In the USA, certain pesticide products containing the substance as an
    active ingredient are classified for restricted use (effective date:
    1975).

    6.3  Labelling, Packaging, and Transport

    The European Community legislation requires labelling as a dangerous
    substance using the symbols:

    FIGURE 3

    The label must read: may cause cancer; highly flammable - keep away
    from sources of ignition; no smoking; also highly toxic by inhalation,
    in contact with skin, and if swallowed - irritating to skin - avoid
    exposure; obtain special instructions before use take off immediately
    all contaminated clothing; if unwell, seek medical advice (and show
    label where possible).

    The European Community Legislation on preparations, paints, varnishes,
    inks, glues and similar products containing acrylonitrile requires
    that they are to be classified and labelled as toxic, when the
    concentration of acrylonitrile exceeds 10 g/kg (1%) and harmful, when
    it is in the range of 2 - 10 g/kg (0.2 - 1%) (effective date: 1983).

    The United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transportation of
    Dangerous Goods classifies stabilized acrylonitrile as a flammable
    liquid (Class 3) and a poisonous substance (Subsidiary Risk 6.1) and a
    very dangerous substance for packing purposes (Packing Group I).
    Packing methods and labels are recommended (1982 (r)).

        EXPOSURE LIMIT VALUES

                                                                                                                                         

    MEDIUM    SPECIFICATION    COUNTRY/ORGANIZATION             EXPOSURE LIMIT DESCRIPTIONa                VALUE              EFF. DATE

                                                                                                                                         

    AIR       Occupational     Australia                        Threshold limit value (TWA)                45 mg/m3           1983 (r)
                               Brazil                           Acceptable limit (48 h/week)               35 mg/m3           1980 (r)
                               German Democratic Republic       Maximum allowable concentration (TWA)      20 mg/m3           1983 (r)
                               German Democratic Republic       Short-term exposure limit                  50 mg/m3           1983 (r)
                               Germany, Federal Republic of     Maximum work-site concentration            Withdrawn          1984 (r)
                                                                                                           (carcinogenicity)

                               Germany, Federal Republic of     Technical reference concentration          13 mg/m3           1984 (r)
                               Hungary                          Maximum allowable concentration (TWA)      0.5 mg/m3          1978 (r)
                               Hungary                          Short-term exposure limit (30 min)         0.5 mg/m3          1978 (r)
                               Japan                            Maximum allowable concentration (TWA)      45 mg/m3           1985 (r)
                               Sweden                           Threshold limit value (TWA)                4 mg/m3            1985
                               Sweden                           Short-term exposure limit (15 min)         13 mg/m3           1985
                               United Kingdom                   Control limit (TWA)                        4.0 mg/m3          1985 (r)
                               USA (ACGIH)                      Threshold limit value (TWA)                4.5 mg/m3          1984 (r)
                               USA (OSHA)                       Permissible exposure limit (TWA)           4.3 mg/m3          1981 (r)
                               USA (OSHA)                       Ceiling value (15 min)                     22 mg/m3           1981 (r)
                               USSR                             Ceiling value                              0.5 mg/m3          1977

    AIR       Ambient          USSR                             Maximum allowable concentration            0.03 mg/m3         1984
                                                                (average per day)

    WATER     Surface          USSR                             Maximum allowable concentration            2.0 mg/litre       1983
                                                                                                                                         

    a  TWA = time-weighted average over one working day (usually 8 h).
    
    The International Maritime Organization classifies the compound
    similarly (Class 3.1; Subsidiary Risk: Poison; Packing Group 1)
    (1977 (r)).

    The labels recommended by both organizations are:

    FIGURE 4

    In the USA, acrylonitrile, when carried in bulk, is classified as a
    "cargo of particular hazard" for purposes of regulations governing
    handling dangerous cargoes in or adjacent to waterfront facilities. A
    permit is required for handling such cargo (1981 (r)).

    6.4  Waste Disposal

    In the USA, any solid waste (except domestic), that contains
    acrylonitrile, must be listed as a hazardous waste (subject to
    handling, transport, treatment, storage, and disposal regulations and
    permit and notification requirements), unless it is found that the
    waste cannot pose a threat to human health or the environment when
    improperly managed (effective date: 1980). An owner or operator of
    hazardous waste incineration must achieve 99.99% destruction and
    removal efficiency for this substance, if it is designated as a
    principal organic hazardous constituent in its EPA permit (effective
    date: 1981). Permits are required for discharge of acrylonitrile
    from any point source into USA waters (effective date: 1980). EPA
    is required to set or has set standards for 21 major industries
    (1981 (r)).
    


    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Acrylonitrile (EHC 28, 1983)
       Acrylonitrile (ICSC)
       Acrylonitrile (WHO Food Additives Series 19)
       ACRYLONITRILE (JECFA Evaluation)
       Acrylonitrile (FAO Meeting Report PL/1965/10/2)
       Acrylonitrile (CICADS 39, 2002)
       Acrylonitrile (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 71, 1999)