Skip directly to local search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home
May 1994
 

Documentation for Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentrations (IDLHs)


Acetonitrile

CAS number: 75-05-8

NIOSH REL: 20 ppm (34 mg/m3) TWA

Current OSHA PEL: 40 ppm (70 mg/m3) TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: 40 ppm (70 mg/m3 TWA), 60 ppm (105 mg/m3) STEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 40 ppm (67 mg/m3) TWA, 60 ppm (101 mg/m3) STEL

Description of substance: Colorless liquid with an aromatic odor.

LEL: 3.0% (10% LEL, 3,000 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 4,000 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the UCC [1965] report that a 4-hour exposure to 4,000 ppm killed 3 of 30 rats, 8,000 ppm killed 10 of 30 rats, and 16,000 ppm killed 17 of 30 rats. It is also based on the statement by AIHA [1960] that some deaths occurred in rats, dogs, and guinea pigs at 4,000 ppm, but no deaths occurred at 1,000 ppm. Pozzani et al. [1959] reported that a 53,000 ppm exposure was lethal to 3 of 6 rats in 30 minutes.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed

ACUTE TOXICITY DATA

Lethal concentration data:

SpeciesReferenceLC50(ppm)LCLo(ppm)TimeAdjusted 0.5-hr LC (CF) Derived Value
G. pigPozzani et al. 19595,655-----4 hr11,310 ppm (2.0)1,131 ppm
DogPozzani et al. 1959-----16,0004 hr32,000 ppm (2.0)3,200 ppm
RabbitPozzani et al. 19592,828----- 4 hr5,656 ppm (2.0)566 ppm
RatPozzani et al. 195953,000-----30 min53,000 ppm (1.0)5,300 ppm
RatPozzani et al. 19597,500-----8 hr18,750 ppm (2.5)1,875 ppm
MouseWillhite 19812,693-----1 hr3,366 ppm (1.25)337 ppm

Human data: Exposures to 160 ppm for 4 hours has caused flushing of the face and a feeling of constriction in the chest; exposures to 500 ppm for brief (undefined) time periods has resulted in only irritation to the nose and throat [Deichmann and Gerarde 1969].

Revised IDLH: 500 ppm

Basis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for acetonitrile is 500 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Deichmann and Gerarde 1969]. This may be a conservative value due to the lack of relevant acute toxicity data for workers exposed to concentrations above 500 ppm.

REFERENCES:

  1. AIHA [1960]. Acetonitrile. In: Hygienic guide series. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 21:265-266.
  2. Deichmann WB, Gerarde HW [1969]. Acetonitrile (methyl cyanide; ethanenitrile). In: Toxicology of drugs and chemicals. New York, NY: Academic Press, Inc., p. 65.
  3. Pozzani UC, Carpenter CP, Palm PE, Weil CS, Nair JH III [1959]. An investigation of the mammalian toxicity of acetonitrile. J Occup Med 1:634-642.
  4. UCC [1965]. Toxicology studies: acetonitrile. New York, NY: Union Carbide Corporation.
  5. Willhite CC [1981]. Inhalation toxicology of acute exposure to aliphatic nitriles. Clin Toxicol 18(8):991-1003.
 
Contact Us:
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO