Agent Name

Nitromethane

CAS Number

75-52-5

Formula

C-H3-N-O2

Major Category

Nitrogen Compounds

Synonyms

Nitrocarbol; [NIOSH]

Category

Nitros, Aliphatic

Description

Colorless, oily liquid with a disagreeable odor; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used as a stabilizer of halogenated organic solvents, a rocket and racing fuel, an explosive, and a chemical intermediate; [ACGIH] Also used as a solvent for cyanoacrylate adhesives, polymers, and waxes; [CHEMINFO]

Comments

The lethal oral dose in humans is between 0.5 and 5 g/kg. Nitromethane can cause respiratory irritation, narcosis, and possibly liver injury. Animals in subchronic inhalation studies suffer thyroid injury. [ACGIH] Not irritating to the skin; Can detonate under conditions of normal temperature and pressure; [CHEMINFO] A skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant; May cause CNS depression; May cause effects on the liver, kidneys, and peripheral nervous system after repeated exposures; "Will turn shock-sensitive if contaminated with acids, bases, metal oxides, hydrocarbons and other combustible materials." [ICSC]

Reference Link

Peripheral neuropathy in workers exposed to nitromethane.

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TLV (ACGIH)

20 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

100 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

750 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the statement by Browning [1965] that with concentrations above 1,000 ppm, if the product of this and the time of exposure was greater than 1000 (e.g., 1,000 ppm for 3 hours) some of the animals, including 1 monkey, died. Also, AIHA [1961] reported severe eye irritation at 500 ppm [Machle et al. 1940]. . . . Human data: None relevant for use in determining the revised IDLH.

Vapor Pressure

28 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

3.5 ppm

Odor Threshold High

100 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LCLo (rat) = 12,750 mg/m3/1H

Explanatory Notes

Odor threshold from CHEMINFO; Flash point = 95-96 deg F; [CHEMINFO]

Flammability (NFPA)

3: May ignite at ambient temperature

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

Other CNS Neurotoxin

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

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: