Agent Name

n-Butane

Alternative Name

Butane

CAS Number

106-97-8

Formula

C4-H10

Major Category

Solvents

Synonyms

normal-Butane; Butyl hydride; Diethyl; Methylethylmethane; Butane; Note: Also see specific listing for Isobutane; [NIOSH] UN1011

Category

Aliphatics, Saturated (<C12)

Description

Colorless gas with a gasoline-like or natural gas odor; Note: Shipped as a liquefied compressed gas. A liquid below 31 degrees F; [NIOSH] Vapor density = 2.07 (heavier than air); [HSDB]

Sources/Uses

Used as an aerosol propellant, fuel, and chemical intermediate; present in natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); [ACGIH]

Comments

Possible frostbite from contact with liquid; [NIOSH] "TLV Basis" is CNS impairment; Caused drowsiness in 6 men and 6 women after exposure to 1% (10,000 ppm) for 10 minutes; "The median effective concentration (EC50) for producing cardiac sensitization in anesthetized dogs was 7% (70,000 ppm)." No symptoms in 53 refinery workers exposed to 1 to 8 ppm for 11 years; Deaths in butane gas abusers were attributed to hypoxia and cardiac failure. [ACGIH: Butane, isomers] A chemical abused by inhaling (lighter fluid); may be abused by teenagers because it is cheap and available; Butane is in the list of "Some volatile substances which may be abused by inhalation" published on the web site of the U.N. International Drug Control Programme, indicating its potential to cause narcosis in workers. [Reference #1] In confined space spill, may displace air and act as simple asphyxiant; Inhalation of high concentrations may cause CNS effects; [ICSC]

Reference Link

Volatile Substance Abuse

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

STEL (ACGIH)

1000 ppm

MAK

1000 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

1600 ppm

Odor Threshold Low

1.2 ppm

Odor Threshold High

6.5 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 658,000 mg/m3

Explanatory Notes

Odor threshold from ACGIH; Flash point = -60 deg C; "Explosion Hazard." [TLVs and BEIs]

Reference Link

ICSC: Butane

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

CNS Solvent Syndrome

Other Poison

Simple Asphyxiant

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: