Agent Name

Nitroglycerin

CAS Number

55-63-0

Formula

C3-H5-N3-O9

Major Category

Other Uses

Synonyms

Glyceryl trinitrate; NG; 1,2,3-Propanetriol trinitrate; Trinitroglycerin; [NIOSH]

Category

Explosives

Description

Colorless to pale-yellow, viscous liquid or solid (below 56 degrees F). [Note: An explosive ingredient in dynamite (20-40%) with ethylene glycol dinitrate (80-60%).]; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used in the production of dynamite and other explosives, rocket fuel and pharmaceuticals; [HSDB]

Comments

Allergic contact dermatitis reported in workers manufacturing explosives and pharmaceuticals; [Kanerva, p. 1820] Listed by ACGIH in a table of agents that may cause methemoglobinemia in the nonoccupational setting;

Restricted

An OSHA Class A explosive (1910.109).

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Yes

TLV (ACGIH)

0.05 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

Ceiling(OSHA) = 0.2 ppm

MAK

0.01 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

8 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Human data: Headaches have developed in workers exposed to 0.4 to 0.67 mg/m3 for 25 minutes; all had decreases in blood pressure [Trainor and Jones 1966]. Ethylene glycol dinitrate and nitroglycerine are vasodilators and initial exposures result in headache, dizziness, nausea, or decreases in blood pressure; however, workers become tolerant of the vasodilatory activity after 2 to 4 days of exposure [NIOSH 1978]. It has been estimated that the lethal oral dose in humans is 200 mg although others have survived doses of 1,200 mg with no apparent ill effects [Rabinowitch 1944]. [Note: An oral dose of 200 mg is equivalent to a worker being exposed to about 150 mg/m3 for 30 minutes, assuming a breathing rate of 50 liters per minute and 100% absorption.]

Vapor Pressure

0.0003 mm Hg

Explanatory Notes

The Guide from to the Emergency Response Guidebook is for "Nitroglycerin, solution in alcohol, with not more than 5% Nitroglycerin."

Flammability (NFPA)

3: May ignite at ambient temperature

Adverse Effects
Skin Sensitizer

Yes

Methemoglobinemia

Methemoglobinemia, Secondary

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Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: