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    IPCS INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME ON CHEMICAL SAFETY
    Health and Safety Guide No. 4

    2-BUTANOL
    HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE






    UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME

    INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION

    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION




    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, GENEVA 1987

    This is a companion volume to Environmental Health Criteria 65:
    Butanols -- Four Isomers: 1-Butanol, 2-Butanol,  tert-Butanol,
    Isobutanol

    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

    ISBN 92 4 154465 1
    ISSN 0259-7268

    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 1987

    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 2-BUTANOL

    INTRODUCTION

    HOW TO USE THE GUIDE

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

    2. SUMMARY AND EVALUATION
         2.1. Exposure to 2-butanol
         2.2. Uptake, metabolism, and excretion
         2.3. Effects on organisms in the environment
         2.4. Effects on animals
         2.5. 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
         4.3. Health surveillance advice

         4.4. Explosion and fire hazards
               4.4.1. Explosion hazards
               4.4.2. Fire hazards
               4.4.3. Fire-extinguishing agents
         4.5. Storage
         4.6. Transport
         4.7. Spillage and disposal
               4.7.1. Spillage
                       4.7.1.1   Small spillage
                       4.7.1.2   Large spillage
               4.7.2. Disposal

    5. INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL SAFETY CARD

    6. HAZARDS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND THEIR PREVENTION

    7. CURRENT REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND STANDARDS
         7.1. Exposure limit values
         7.2. Labelling, packaging, and transport
    

    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 THE 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.

    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:          C4H10O

    Chemical structure:        CH3-CHOH-CH2-CH3

    Primary constituent:       2-butanol

    Common synonyms:           sec-butyl alcohol, secondary butyl
                               alcohol, butylene hydrate, 2-hydroxy
                               butane, methyl ethyl carbinol,
                               butan-2-ol, sec-butanol, SBA

    CAS registry number:       78-92-2

     Conversion factors

    1 mg/m3 = 0.325 ppm
    1 ppm = 3.078 mg/m3

    1.2  Physical and Chemical Properties

    2-Butanol is a flammable, colourless liquid with a characteristic
    sweet odour. Some physical and chemical properties of 2-butanol are
    given in the Sample International Chemical Safety Card.

    1.3  Uses

    2-Butanol occurs naturally as a product of fermentation of
    carbohydrates. It is used for the extraction of fish meal to produce
    fish protein concentrate. It is also used for the production of fruit
    essences, as a flavouring in food, and as a solvent.

    2.  SUMMARY AND EVALUATION

    2.1  Exposure to 2-Butanol

    Human exposure to 2-butanol is mainly occupational. Exposure of the
    general population will be through its natural occurrence in foods and
    beverages, and its use as a flavouring agent. Exposure may also result
    from industrial emissions. Data are not available on the above
    exposure levels.

    2.2  Uptake, Metabolism, and Excretion

    In animals, 2-butanol is absorbed through the lungs and
    gastrointestinal tract. No information is available regarding dermal
    absorption. In animals, approximately 97% of the dose of 2-butanol is
    converted by alcohol dehydrogenase to the corresponding ketone, which
    is either excreted in the breath and urine or further metabolized.

    2.3  Effects on Organisms in the Environment

    No quantitative data on the levels in the general environment are
    available, but, because 2-butanol is readily biodegradable,
    substantial concentrations are only likely to occur locally in cases
    of major spillage. It does not bioaccumulate.

    At background concentrations likely to occur in the environment,
    2-butanol is not toxic for aquatic animals, algae, protozoa, or
    bacteria. However, it poses an indirect hazard for the aquatic
    environment, because of its ready biodegradability, which may lead to
    oxygen depletion. It should be managed in the environment as a
    slightly toxic compound.

    2.4  Effects on Animals

    The acute oral LD50 for 2-butanol in the rat is 6.5 g/kg body
    weight; therefore, it is practically non-toxic, according the scale of
    Hodge & Sterner. The toxic effects from acute exposure are ataxia and
    narcosis. The potency of 2-butanol for intoxication is approximately 4
    times that of ethanol. 2-Butanol is irritating to the eyes and
    non-irritating to the skin. It is not possible to determined a
    no-observed-adverse-effect level on the basis of available animal
    studies. No adequate data are available on mutagenicity,
    carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, or effects on reproduction.

    2.5  Effects on Human Beings

    In man, the most likely acute effect of 2-butanol is alcoholic
    intoxication. No published data are available concerning other effects
    on man.

    3.  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    1. On the available data, the Task Group was unable to make an
    assessment of the health risks of 2-butanol for the general
    population; however, it was considered unlikely to pose a serious
    hazard under normal exposure conditions.

    2. The Task Group was of the opinion that sufficient data were not
    available to establish guidelines for setting occupational exposure
    limits. In line with good manufacturing practice, exposure to
    2-butanol should be minimized.

    3. The available ecotoxicological data indicate that the impact of
    background concentrations of 2-butanol on the aquatic environment can
    be expected to be minimal.

    From: Environmental Health Criteria 65: Butanols - Four Isomers:
    1-Butanol, 2-Butanol,  tert-Butanol, Isobutanol

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

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

    The vapour of 2-butanol can irritate the respiratory system, the skin,
    and the eyes. The liquid is irritating to the eyes and the skin.
    Narcosis may follow the ingestion of 2-butanol or inhalation of high
    concentrations of its vapours.

    The human health hazards associated with certain types of exposure to
    2-butanol, together with preventive and protective measures are listed
    in the following table.

    GOLDEN RULES

     1. Do not smoke, drink, or eat in the work-place.

     2. In case of overexposure, the victim should leave, or be removed
     from, the contaminated area to fresh air as rapidly as possible.

     3. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes and wash with plenty of
     water and soap.

     4. Flush affected eye(s) with water for at least 15 minutes.

    4.2  Advice to Physicians

    Absorption of 2-butanol may be confirmed by identification of the
    alcohol or its metabolites in the blood. Because of its toxicity,
    emptying of the stomach should be considered in cases of ingestion. If
    this is not performed within 4 h, it is unlikely to be of benefit.

    4.3  Health Surveillance Advice

    No specific measures are indicated.

    4.4  Explosion and Fire Hazards

    4.4.1  Explosion hazards

    Above 23C, explosive vapour-air mixtures may be formed.

    4.4.2  Fire hazards

    2-Butanol reacts with strong oxidizing agents and alkali metals to
    form a combustible gas (hydrogen). It is classified as flammable.

    Keep stored drums cool by spraying with water.


        ROUTE                HEALTH HAZARDS                           PREVENTION AND PROTECTION            FIRST AID
                                                                                                                                                

    SINGLE EXPOSURE

    SKIN                 Moderately irritating                    Wear protective clothing             Remove contaminated clothing;
                                                                                                       flush immediately and
                                                                                                       thoroughly with water; seek
                                                                                                       medical attention
                                                                                                                                                

    EYES                 Moderately irritating as liquid          Wear goggles or face shield          Flush eyes immediately with
                         or vapour                                                                     water for at least 15 min; seek
                                                                                                       medical attention
                                                                                                                                                

    INHALATION           Potentially irritating; at high          Minimize exposure by ensuring        Fresh air; if breathing has
                         concentrations, symptoms of alcohol      adequate ventilation or using        stopped, apply artificial
                         intoxication and narcosis may            suitable respiratory protection      respiration; seek medical
                         occur                                                                         attention immediately
                                                                                                                                                

    INGESTION            Unlikely occupational hazard; it         Use normal hygienic practices        Do not induce vomiting; seek
                         may be absorbed and cause                                                     medical attention immediately
                         systemic effects such as alcohol
                         poisoning and narcosis
                                                                                                                                                

    REPEATED EXPOSURE

    INHALATION
                         As for single exposure; no               Use normal hygienic practices
                         long-term adverse health effects
    INGESTION            have been reported in man
                                                                                                                                                
    
    4.4.3  Fire-extinguishing agents

    For a small fire, use carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder,
    alcohol-resistant foam, sand, earth, or water fog. For a large fire,
    use alcohol-resistant foam or water fog.

    4.5 Storage

    Store away from direct sunlight and other sources of heat.

    4.6  Transport

    Treat as for flammable liquids; otherwise, no special measures
    indicated.

    4.7  Spillage and Disposal

    4.7.1  Spillage

    Extinguish naked flames. Do not smoke. Avoid sparks. Avoid contact
    with the skin, eyes, and clothing. Wear rubber gloves, goggles or face
    shield, and boots. Avoid breathing the vapour. If necessary, wear a
    respiratora containing a canister, such as BSI Type CC (colour black
    with a grey stripe) or DIN Type A (colour brown), or self-contained
    breathing apparatus.

    4.7.1.1  Small spillage

    Absorb the liquid with sand, earth, sawdust, or other suitable
    absorbant material. Shovel up and remove all material to safe place
    for subsequent disposal by burning. Flush the contaminated area with
    plenty of water.

    4.7.1.2  Large spillage

    Prevent the spilt liquid from spreading by the use of sand or earth.
    Transfer the liquid to a salvage tank, if possible. Otherwise, treat
    as for a small spillage. Inform the local authorities (particularly
    the fire service) at once, if the spilt liquid enters the surface
    water drains, since a potential explosive and toxic hazard will be
    created.

    4.7.2  Disposal

    Recommended disposal practices include incineration as the major
    disposal method. The waste 2-butanol should be sprayed into the
    firebox of an incinerator. Combustion can be improved by mixing with a
    more flammable solvent.

                 

    a   A respirator is not sufficient protection in air containing a
        high concentration of vapour or in enclosed spaces (e.g., storage
        tanks) where the air is deficient in oxygen.

    5.  INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL SAFETY CARD

     This card should be easily available to all health workers concerned
     with, and users of, 2-butanol. It should be displayed at, or near,
     entrances to areas where there is potential exposure to 2-butanol, and
     on processing equipment and containers. The card 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
                                                                                                                                                

    2-BUTANOL
    (sec-butanol, sec-butyl alcohol) (CH3CH2CHOHCH3)
                                                                                                                                                

    PHYSICAL PROPERTIES                                                             OTHER CHARACTERISTICS
                                                                                                                                                

    Boiling point (C)                              99                              Colourless liquid with
    Melting point (C)                              -89                            characteristic odour; reacts with
    Flash point (C)                                24                              strong oxidizing agents and alkali
    Autoignition temperature (C)                   390                             metals to form combustible gas
    Relative density (water = 1)                    0.8                             (hydrogen); attacks many plastics
    Relative vapour density (air = 1)               2.6
    Vapour pressure in mbar (20C)                  17.3
    Solubility in water (g/litre at 20C)           125
    Explosive limits (vol. % in air)                1.7-9.8
    Relative molecular mass                         74.1
                                                                                                                                                

    HAZARDS/SYMPTOMS                         PREVENTION                             FIRST AID
                                                                                                                                                

    INHALATION: Sore throat,                 Minimize exposure by ensuring          Fresh air; rest in half upright position;
    coughing, shortness of breath,           ventilation, local exhaust, or         seek medical help, if necessary
    dullness                                 using breathing protection

    SKIN: May be absorbed; redness           Wear protective gloves                 Remove contaminated clothing; rinse skin
                                                                                    with plenty of water or shower
    EYES: Redness, pain, blurred vision      Wear safety goggles                    First rinse with plenty of water; then seek
                                                                                    medical help
                                                                                                                                                

    SAMPLE INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL SAFETY CARD (cont'd).
                                                                                                                                                

    HAZARDS/SYMPTOMS                         PREVENTION                             FIRST AID
                                                                                                                                                

    INGESTION: Abdominal pain,                                                      Rinse mouth; give plenty of water to
    vomiting, diarrhoea                                                             drink; seek medical help or transport to
                                                                                    hospital
    GENERAL: Alcoholic beverages
    may enhance toxic effects
                                                                                                                                                

    SPILLAGE                                 STORAGE                                FIRE AND EXPLOSION
                                                                                                                                                

    Collect leaking liquid in sealable       Fireproof                              Flammable; above 24C, explosive
    containers, absorb spilled liquid in                                            vapour-air mixtures may be formed; no
    sand or inert absorbent and                                                     open flames, no sparks, and no smoking;
    remove to safe place                                                            use closed systems, ventilation, and
                                                                                    explosion-proof electrical equipment; in
                                                                                    case of fire, keep tanks or drums cool by
                                                                                    spraying with water; extinguish fire with
                                                                                    powder, AFFF, foam, halons, or carbon
                                                                                    dioxide
                                                                                                                                                

    SAMPLE INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL SAFETY CARD (cont'd).
                                                                                                                                                

    WASTE DISPOSAL
                                                                                                                                                

                                             National Occupational                  UN: 1121
                                             Exposure Limit:

                                             National Poison
                                             Control Centre:
    FIGURE 1

                                                                                                                                                

    Adapted from:  Handling Chemicals Safely (1980). Published by the Dutch Association of Safety Experts, the Dutch Chemical Industry
    Association, and the Dutch Safety Institute, The Hague.
    
    6.  HAZARDS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND THEIR PREVENTION

    2-Butanol should be managed in the environment as a compound that is
    practically non-toxic but poses an indirect hazard for the aquatic
    environment, because ready biodegradation may lead to oxygen
    depletion. Thus, in the case of spillage into surface water, consider
    dilution or (artificial) reaeration.

    Avoid gross contamination of soil. Spilled material should be
    contained and removed, as far as possible. Final traces can be
    dispersed with water.

    Methods of disposal should meet the requirements of operative
    legislation. In the absence of such legislation, handle responsibly;
    if deemed necessary, consult local authorities.

    7.  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.a 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).

    7.1  Exposure Limit Values

    For some exposure limit values, see the following table.

    7.2  Labelling, Packaging, and Transport

    2-Butanol is classified as a flammable liquid (Hazard Class 3) by the
    United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous
    Goods, and as a flammable liquid by the International Maritime
    Organization (Hazard Class 3.2). The following symbol should be used:

    FIGURE 2

    a  International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals, Palais des
       Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland (Telephone No. 988400-985850).

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

    FIGURE 3

    The label must read: flammable - harmful by inhalation; keep away from
    sources of ignition - no smoking.

    The European Community legislation on labelling of solvant
    preparations classifies 2-butanol in Class  II d for the purpose of
    determining the label for preparations containing 2-butanol and other
    active ingredients (1980).


        SOME EXPOSURE LIMIT VALUES
                                                                                                                                                

    Medium      Specification      Country/             Exposure limit description                         Value              Effective
                                   organization                                                                               date
                                                                                                                                                

    AIR         Occupational       Argentina            Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)                               1979
                                                        -- Time-weighted average                           450 mg/m3
                                                        -- Short-term exposure limit (STEL)                450 mg/m3

                                   Australia            Threshold limit value (TLV)                                           1983 (r)
                                                        -- Time-weighted average                           450 mg/m3

                                   Belgium              Threshold limit value (TLV)                        450 mg/m3

                                   Germany, Federal     Maximum work-site concentration (MAK)                                 1985 (r)
                                   Republic of          -- 8-h time-weighted average                       300 mg/m3
                                                        -- Short-term exposure limit (STEL) (30 min,       600 mg/m3
                                                        4  per shift) (average value)

                                   Italy                Threshold limit value (TLV)                        250 mg/m3

                                   Netherlands          Maximum limit                                                         1985 (r)
                                                        -- Time-weighted average                           450 mg/m3

                                   Sweden               Hygienic limit value (HLV)                                            1985
                                                        -- One-day time-weighted average                   150 mg/m3a
                                                        -- Short-term exposure limit (STEL)                250 mg/m3
                                                        (15-min time-weighted average)

                                   Switzerland          Maximum work-site concentration (MAK)                                 1984 (r)
                                                        -- Time-weighted average                           300 mg/m3
                                                                                                                                                

    SOME EXPOSURE LIMIT VALUES (cont'd).
                                                                                                                                                

    Medium      Specification      Country/             Exposure limit description                         Value              Effective
                                   organization                                                                               date
                                                                                                                                                

                                   United               Recommended limit                                                     1985 (r)
                                   Kingdom              -- 8-h time-weighted average                       450 mg/m3
                                                        -- Intended 8-h time weighted average              300 mg/m3
                                                        -- Short-term exposure limit (STEL)                450 mg/m3
                                                        (10 min time-weighted average)

                                   USA (ACGIH)          Threshold limit value (TLV)                                           1984 (r)
                                                        -- Time-weighted average                           305 mg/m3
                                                        Short-term exposure limit (STEL)                   455 mg/m3

                                   USA (OSHA)           Permissible exposure limit (PEL)                                      1981 (r)
                                                        -- Time-weighted average                           450 mg/m3

    WATER       Surface            USSR                 Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)              0.2 mg/litre       1983 (r)
                                                                                                                                                

    a  Absorption through the skin is indicated as a potentially hazardous route in the regulatory documents of Sweden.
        


    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations