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    IPCS INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME ON CHEMICAL SAFETY
    Health and Safety Guide No. 7

     tert-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 154565 8
    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
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    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
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    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  tert-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  tert-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
                                   '
                             CH3 - C - CH3
                                   '
                                   OH

    Primary constituent:      tert-butanol

    Common synonyms:         2-methyl-2-propanol,  tert-butyl alcohol
                             (or tertiary butanol or t-butanol),
                             trimethyl carbinol, TBA, TMA

    CAS registry number:     75-65-0

    Conversion factors:      1 mg/m3 = 0.324 ppm
                             1 ppm = 3.082 mg/m3

    1.2  Physical and Chemical Properties

    Some physical and chemical properties of  tert-butanol are given in
    the sample International Chemical Safety Card.

    1.3  Uses

     tert-Butanol is mainly important for its solvent power. It is used
    for the removal of water from substances, in the extraction of drugs,
    in the manufacture of perfumes (particularly as an important raw
    material for the preparation of artificial musk), in the
    recrystallization of chemicals, and as a chemical intermediate (e.g.,
    in the manufacture of  tert-butyl chloride and of  tert-butyl
    phenol). It is an authorized denaturant for ethyl alcohol and for
    several specially denatured alcohols.

    Catalytic rehydration of  tert-butanol is carried out to obtain
    isobutylene, and it has been patented for use as a gasoline antiknock
    agent. Moreover, it is used in the purification of polyolefins, for
    the separation of solids from coal liquids, and as blowing agent for
    the manufacture of imide group-containing foams from copolymers of
    methacrylonitrile and methacrylic acid.

    2.  SUMMARY AND EVALUATION

    2.1  Exposure to tert-Butanol

    Human exposure to  tert-butanol is mainly occupational. Exposure of
    the general population may result from industrial emissions. However,
    no data are available on the above levels of exposure.

    2.2  Uptake, Metabolism, and Excretion

    In animals,  tert-butanol is absorbed through the lungs and
    gastrointestinal tract. No information is available on dermal
    absorption.  tert-Butanol is not a substrate for alcohol
    dehydrogenase and is slowly metabolized by mammals. Up to 24% of the
    dose is eliminated in the urine as the glucuronide, and up to 10% of
    the dose can be excreted in the breath and urine as acetone or carbon
    dioxide.

    2.3  Effects on Organisms in the Environment

    Quantitative data relating to levels in the general environment are
    not available, but, because  tert-butanol is biodegradable,
    substantial concentrations are only likely to occur locally when major
    spillages occur.  tert-Butanol does not bioaccumulate. It is not
    toxic for fish, amphibia, crustacea, algae, or bacteria.

    2.4  Effects on Animals

    The oral LD50 of  tert-butanol for the rat is 3.5 g/kg body weight;
    therefore, it is slightly toxic according to the classification of
    Hodge & Sterner. The primary acute effects observed in animals are
    signs of alcoholic intoxication. Its potency for intoxication is
    approximately 1.5 times that of ethanol. Animal data regarding skin
    and eye irritation are not available.  tert-Butanol produces physical
    dependence in animals and post-natal effects in offspring exposed  in
     utero. Pathological effects of repeated exposure of animals are not
    available. From the available animal studies, it is not possible to
    determine a no-observed-adverse-effect level.  tert-Butanol has been
    found to be non-mutagenic. No adequate data are available on
    carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, or effects on reproduction.

    2.5  Effects on Human Beings

    In man,  tert-butanol is mildly irritating to the skin. No other
    effects in man have been reported, and there have been no reports of
    poisoning.

    3.  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    1.   The Task Group was unable to make an assessment of the health
         risks of  tert-butanol for the general population on the basis
         of available data; 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 the determination of
         occupational exposure limits. In line with good manufacturing
         practice, exposure to  tert-butanol should be minimized.

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

    4.   The Task Group noted that there were inadequate animal data to
         determine a no-observed-adverse-effect level. Relevant studies
         should be conducted so that this can be achieved.

    5.  Information on residue and emission levels is desirable.

    6.   Epidemiological studies, including precise exposure data, would
         assist in a better assessment of the occupational hazard of
          tert-butanol.

    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

     tert-Butanol should be considered as a potential skin and eye
    irritant. At high concentrations, the vapour can cause narcosis.

    The human health hazards associated with certain types of exposure to
     tert-butanol, together with preventive and protective measures and
    first aid recommendations are listed in the following tables.

    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

    Treat by observation and supportive measures as indicated by the
    patient's condition. Diagnostic tests should include the
    identification of the alcohol in blood.

    4.3  Health Surveillance Advice

    No specific measures are indicated.

    4.4  Explosion and Fire Hazards

    4.4.1  Explosion hazards

    The substance forms explosive mixtures with air.

    4.4.2  Fire hazards

     tert-Butanol is highly flammable. The vapour is heavier than air and
    may travel along the ground; distant ignition is possible.  tert-
    Butanol reacts strongly with strong oxidizing agents, alkali metals,
    and strong mineral acids and may then give rise to a combustible gas
    (hydrogen). Keep drums cool by spraying with water.


        ROUTE                HEALTH HAZARDS                         PREVENTION AND PROTECTION          FIRST AID
                                                                                                                                   

    SINGLE EXPOSURE

    SKIN                 Slightly irritating                    Wear protective clothing           Remove contaminated clothing;
                                                                                                   flush skin with water; if skin
                                                                                                   irritation persists, seek
                                                                                                   medical attention
                                                                                                                                   

    EYES                 Potentially moderately irritating      Wear goggles or face shield        Flush eyes immediately with
                                                                                                   water for at least 15 minutes;
                                                                                                   seek medical attention
                                                                                                                                   

    INHALATION           Potentially irritating; high vapour    Ensure adequate ventilation        Fresh air; if breathing has
                         concentrations may cause narcosis      or suitable respiratory            stopped, apply artificial
                                                                protection                         respiration; seek medical
                                                                                                   attention immediately
                                                                                                                                   

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

    REPEATED EXPOSURE

    INHALATION           As for single exposure                 Apply normal hygienic practices

    INGESTION            No long-term adverse health effects
                         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. Wear self-contained breathing
    apparatus.

    4.5  Storage

    Store away from direct sunlight and other sources of heat.

    4.6  Transport

    Treat as for flammable substances; otherwise, no special measures are
    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, apron, and boots. Avoid breathing the vapour.

    4.7.1.1  Small spillage

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

    4.7.1.2  Large spillage

    Transfer the liquid to a salvage tank if possible. Otherwise, treat as
    for a small spillage. Inform local authorities (particularly the fire
    service), at once, if the spilt liquid enters the surface water
    drains, since a potential explosive hazard will be created.

    4.7.2  Disposal

    According to recommended disposal practices, wastes, in the form of an
    atomized spray, should be introduced into a suitable combustion
    chamber and incinerated. Absorbed waste should be buried in an
    approved landfill.

    5.  INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL SAFETY CARD

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


         tert-BUTANOL
    (2-methyl-2-propanol, trimethyl carbinol,  tert-butyl alcohol) [(CH3)3COH]
                                                                                                                                              
    PHYSICAL PROPERTIES                                                                  OTHER CHARACTERISTICS
                                                                                                                                              

    Boiling point (C)                              83                                   Colourless liquid or white crystals; the vapour is
    Melting point (C)                              25                                   heavier than air and may travel along the ground;
    Flash point (C)                                10                                   distant ignition possible; do not use compressed air
    Autoignition temperature (C)                   470                                  for filling, discharging, or handling reacts
    Relative density (water = 1)                    0.8                                  violently with strong oxidizing agents and alkali
    Relative vapour density (air = 1)               2.6                                  metals forming flammable gas (hydrogen); attacks many
    Vapour pressure in mbar (20C)                  40                                   plastics
    Solubility in water (g/100 ml at 20C)          
    Explosive limits (vol. % in air)                2.3-8.0
    Relative molecular mass                         74.1
                                                                                                                                              
    HAZARDS/SYMPTOMS                                PREVENTION                           FIRST AID
                                                                                                                                              

    INHALATION: Sore throat, coughing,              Ensure ventilation, local            Fresh air; rest in half upright position; seek
    shortness of breath, dullness                   exhaust, or breathing protection     medical attention

    SKIN: May be absorbed; redness                  Wear protective gloves               Remove contaminated clothing; rinse skin with plenty
                                                                                         of water or shower, seek medical attention, if
                                                                                         necessary

    EYES: Redness, pain, blurred vision             Wear safety goggles                  First rinse with plenty of water; then seek medical
                                                                                         attention

    INGESTION: Abdominal pain, vomiting,                                                 Rinse mouth; give plenty of water to drink; seek
    diarrhoea                                                                            medical attention or transport to hospital

    GENERAL: Alcoholic beverages may
    enhance toxic effects
                                                                                                                                              

     tert-BUTANOL (cont'd)
                                                                                                                                              
    SPILLAGE                                        STORAGE                              FIRE AND EXPLOSION
                                                                                                                                              

    Collect leaking liquid in sealable              Fireproof, separated from            Highly flammable; vapour-air mixtures are explosive;
    containers; wash away remainder with            oxidizing agents and alkali          no open flames, no sparks, and no smoking; use
    large amount of water (extra personal           metals                               closed systems, ventilation, explosion-proof
    protection: self-contained breathing                                                 electrical equipment, and lighting; in case of fire,
    apparatus)                                                                           keep drums cool by spraying with water; extinguish
                                                                                         fire with powder, alcohol-resistant foam, large
                                                                                         amounts of water halons, or carbon dioxide
                                                                                                                                              
    WASTE DISPOSAL
                                                                                                                                              

                                                    National Occupational Exposure       UN: 1122
                                                    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

     tert-Butanol should be managed in the environment as a slightly
    toxic compound.

    Avoid gross contamination of water and soil.

    7.  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 IRPTCa.

    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

     tert-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).


        SOME EXPOSURE LIMIT VALUES
                                                                                                                                  
    MEDIUM   SPECIFICATION    COUNTRY/                         EXPOSURE LIMIT DESCRIPTION                  VALUE        EFFECTIVE
                              ORGANIZATION                                                                                DATE
                                                                                                                                  

    AIR      Occupational     Australia                        Threshold limit value (TLV)                                1983 (r)
                                                               - Time-weighted average                     300 mg/m3
                              Belgium                          Threshold limit value (TLV)                 300 mg/m3
                              German Democratic Republic       Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                      1983 (r)
                                                               - Time-weighted average                     200 mg/m3
                                                               - Short-term exposure limit (STEL)          400 mg/m3
                              Germany, Federal Republic of     Maximum work-site concentration (MAK)                      1985 (r)
                                                               - 8-h time-weighted average                 300 mg/m3
                                                               - Short-term exposure limit (STEL)          600 mg/m3
                                                                 (30 min, 4 x per shift) (average value)
                              Italy                            Threshold limit value (TLV)                 250 mg/m3
                              Netherlands                      Maximum limit                                              1985 (r)
                                                               - Time-weighted average                     300 mg/m3
                              Sweden                           Hygienic limit value (HLV)                                 1985
                                                               - One-day time-weighted average HLV         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
                              United Kingdom                   Recommended limit                                          1985 (r)
                                                               - 8-h time-weighted average                 300 mg/m3
                                                               - Short-term exposure limit (STEL)          450 mg/m3
                                                                 (10-min time-weighted average)
                              USA (ACGIH)b                     Threshold limit value (TLV)                                1984 (r)
                                                               - Time-weighted average                     300 mg/m3
                                                               - Short-term exposure limit (STEL)          450 mg/m3
                              USA (OSHA)                       Permissible exposure limit (PEL)                           1981 (r)
                                                               - Time-weighted average                     300 mg/m3
                              Yugoslavia                       Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                      1971 (r)
                                                               - Time-weighted average                     200 mg/m3
                                                                                                                                  

    SOME EXPOSURE LIMIT VALUES (cont'd)
                                                                                                                                  
    MEDIUM   SPECIFICATION    COUNTRY/                         EXPOSURE LIMIT DESCRIPTION                  VALUE        EFFECTIVE
                              ORGANIZATION                                                                                DATE
                                                                                                                                  

    AIR      Ambient          USSR                             Preliminary safety limit (PSL)                             1983
                                                               - One time per day                          0.3 mg/m3
    WATER    Surface          USSR                             Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)       1.0 mg/litre   1983
                                                                                                                                  

    a  Absorption through the skin is indicated as a potentially hazardous route in the regulatory documents of Sweden.
    a  Values recommended by the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists.
        


    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations