Agent Name

Diazomethane

CAS Number

334-88-3

Formula

C-H2-N2

Major Category

Nitrogen Compounds

Synonyms

Acomethylene; Azimethylene; Diazirine; Diazomethane; Diazonium methylide; [ChemIDplus]

Category

Other Nitrogen Compounds

Description

Yellow gas with a musty odor; Note: Shipped as a liquefied compressed gas; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Diazomethane is used as a methylating agent for acidic compounds. An explosive, it is not manufactured for distribution. [ACGIH] "Because of its toxicity and its explosive nature, diazomethane is freshly prepared in situ and used in solution of ether or dioxane." [ICSC]

Comments

Toxicity in experimental animals resembles that of phosgene. [ACGIH] Possible frostbite from contact with liquid; [NIOSH] A corrosive substance that can cause pulmonary edema; May cause asthma after repeated or prolonged exposures; [ICSC]

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TLV (ACGIH)

0.2 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

0.2 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

2 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

The only available acute inhalation toxicity data concerning diazomethane is the statement by Patty [1963] that a 10minute exposure to 175 ppm was lethal for cats [Flury and Zernik 1931]. This concentration is obviously too high for an IDLH. ACGIH [1971] reported that the toxicity of diazomethane seems comparable to that of phosgene. Therefore, the chosen IDLH is based on an analogy with phosgene, which has an IDLH of 2 ppm.

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (cats) = 175 ppm/10M

Reference Link

ICSC: Diazomethane

Adverse Effects
Asthma

Yes

Toxic Pneumonitis

Yes

Dermatotoxin

Skin Burns

IARC Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

ACGIH Carcinogen

Suspected Human

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: