Agent Name

Acrylonitrile

Alternative Name

Vinyl cyanide

CAS Number

107-13-1

Formula

C3-H3-N

Major Category

Nitrogen Compounds

Synonyms

Acrylonitrile monomer; AN; Cyanoethylene; Propenenitrile; 2-Propenenitrile; VCN; Vinyl cyanide; [NIOSH]

Category

Nitriles

Description

Colorless to pale-yellow liquid with an unpleasant odor. [Note: Odor can only be detected above the PEL.]; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used as a monomer in the production of acrylic fibers and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene resins; Also used to produce adiponitrile; Was used in the past as a fumigant and to make nitrile resins for beverage bottles; [ACGIH] Used in the plastics, coatings, and adhesive industries; [Merck Index]

Comments

It is readily absorbed through GI, pulmonary, and skin routes; it's acute toxicity is due to the release of the cyanide ion in the body; Caused occupational fatalities in the past when it was used as a fumigant; [ACGIH] May cause redness and blisters when spilled on the skin. [ICSC] If left on clothes, can cause reddening of skin; [CHRIS] Allergic contact dermatitis reported in workers producing synthetic fibers; [Kanerva, p. 1746] In reproductive studies of experimental animals, acrylonitrile causes testicular damage and fetal skeletal abnormalities. [Frazier, p. 349-50] ". . . when acrylonitrile exposures were less than those causing overt maternal toxicity, no developmental toxicity was observed." Decreased sperm counts were observed in 30 exposed workers, but the exposures were not quantified. [ACGIH] A lachrymator; [CHEMINFO] "In summary, no mortality outcome of a priori interest, principally respiratory system cancer, is associated with increased AN exposure among fiber production workers over five decades of follow-up." [PMID 18469624] Acrylonitrile, stabilized (UN1093) has warning of explosive polymerization; [ERG 2016]

Restricted

No longer used as a fumigant in the U.S. [EPA Pesticides]

Reference Link

ATSDR - Medical Management - Acrylonitrile

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Yes

TLV (ACGIH)

2 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

2 ppm, Ceiling(OSHA) = 10 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

60 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH. . The chosen IDLH is based on the statement by Spector [1956] about a rat 4-hour LC50 of 500 ppm [Carpenter et al. 1949]. . . . Basis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for acrylonitrile is 85 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Schwanecke 1966].

Vapor Pressure

109 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

21.6 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 333 ppm/4 hr

Explosive Polymerization

Yes

Explanatory Notes

The odor threshold was based on results from a panel of human subjects. [ACGIH]

Half Life

Blood: 8 hours; [TDR, p. 50]

Reference Link

ATSDR - ToxFAQs - Acrylonitrile

Adverse Effects
Skin Sensitizer

Yes

Lacrimator

Yes

Reproductive Toxin

Yes

Other Poison

Chemical Asphyxiant

Dermatotoxin

Skin Burns

IARC Carcinogen

Possible Carcinogen

NTP Carcinogen

Anticipated Human Carcinogen

ACGIH Carcinogen

Confirmed Animal

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Search TOXNET

Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

Search PubMed

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: