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May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

CAS number: 79-06-1

NIOSH REL: 0.03 mg/m3 TWA [skin]; NIOSH considers acrylamide to be a potential occupational carcinogen as defined by the OSHA carcinogen policy [29 CFR 1990].

Current OSHA PEL 0.3 mg/m3 TWA [skin]

1989 OSHA PEL: 0.03 mg/m3 TWA [skin]

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV 0.03 mg/m3 TWA [skin], A2

Description of substance: White crystalline, odorless solid.

LEL: Unknown

Original (SCP) IDLH*: Unknown [*Note: "Effective" IDLH = 600 mg/m3 -- see discussion below.]

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: Very little data are available on which to base an IDLH for acrylamide. For this draft technical standard, therefore, respirators have been selected on the basis of the assigned protection factor afforded by each device up to 2,000 x the OSHA PEL of 0.3 mg/m3 (i.e., 600 mg/m3); only the "most protective" respirators are permitted for use in concentrations exceeding 600 mg/m3). Calculations based on an oral LD50 of 150 to 180 mg/kg for guinea pigs, rabbits, and rats [McCollister et al. 1964] indicate that a worker should be able to escape within 30 minutes without injury or irreversible health effects from 600 mg/m3.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50(mg/kg) LDLo(mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derived Value
Mammal Hashimoto 1979 oral 100-200 ----- 700-1,400 mg/m3 70-140 mg/m3
Mouse Hashimoto et al. 1981 oral 107 ----- 749 mg/m3 75 mg/m3
Rabbit McCollister et al. 1964 oral 150 ----- 1,050 mg/m3 105 mg/m3
G. pig McCollister et al. 1964 oral 150 ----- 1,050 mg/m3 105 mg/m3
Rat Paulet and Vidal 1975 oral 124 ----- 868 mg/m3 87 mg/m3

Human data: None relevant for use in determining the revised IDLH.

Revised IDLH: 60 mg/m3

Basis for revised IDLH: No inhalation toxicity data are available on which to base an IDLH for acrylamide. Based on acute oral toxicity data in animals [Hashimoto 1979], a value of about 70 mg/m3 would have been appropriate. However, the revised IDLH for acrylamide is 60 mg/m3 based on being 2,000 times the OSHA PEL of 0.03 mg/m3 that was promulgated in 1989 (2,000 is an assigned protection factor for respirators; only the most reliable respirators are recommended above 2,000 times the OSHA PEL). [Note: NIOSH recommends as part of its carcinogen policy that the "most protective" respirators be worn for acrylamide at concentrations above 0.03 mg/m3.]


  1. Hashimoto K [1979]. Safety of acrylamide monomer. Satisfactory understanding of the toxicity. Kagaku to Seibutsu 17:495-498 (in Japanese).
  2. Hashimoto K, Sakamoto J, Tanii H [1981]. Neurotoxicity of acrylamide and related compounds and their effects on male gonads in mice. Arch Toxicol 47:179-189.
  3. McCollister DD, Oyen F, Rowe VK [1964]. Toxicology of acrylamide. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 6(2):172-181.
  4. Paulet G, Vidal [1975]. De la toxicite de quelques esters acryliques et methacryliques de l'acrylamide et des polyacrylamides. Arch Mal Prof 36:58-60 (in French).