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Picric acid

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

CAS number: 88–89–1

NIOSH REL: 0.1 mg/m3 TWA, 0.3 mg/m3 STEL [skin]

Current OSHA PEL: 0.1 mg/m3 TWA [skin]

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 0.1 mg/m3 TWA

Description of substance: Yellow, odorless solid.

LEL :. . Unknown

Original (SCP) IDLH: 100 mg/m3

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: Because no data on acute inhalation toxicity are available on which to base an IDLH for picric acid, the chosen IDLH has been estimated from data concerning the oral toxicity. According to ACGIH [1971], the ingestion of 1 or 2 grams of picric acid in man causes severe poisoning.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed

ACUTE TOXICITY DATA:

Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50 (mg/kg) LDLo (mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derived value
G. pig Flury & Zernik 1935 oral —– 100 700 mg/m3 70 mg/m3
Cat Flury & Zernik 1935 oral —– 250 1,750 mg/m3 175 mg/m3
Rabbit von Ottingen 1941 oral —– 120 940 mg/m3 84 mg/m3

Human data: The ingestion of 1 to 2 grams of picric acid has been reported to cause severe poisoning [ACGIH 1991]. [Note: An oral dose of 1 to 2 grams is equivalent to a worker being exposed to 660 to 1,330 mg/m3 for 30 minutes, assuming a breathing rate of 50 liters per minute and 100% absorption.]

Revised IDLH: 75 mg/m3Basis for revised IDLH: No inhalation toxicity data are available on which to base an IDLH for picric acid. Therefore, the revised IDLH for picric acid is 75 mg/m3 based on acute oral toxicity data in humans [ACGIH 1991] and animals [Flury and Zernik 1935; von Ottingen 1941].

REFERENCES:

1. ACGIH [1971]. Picric acid. In: Documentation of the threshold limit values for substances in workroom air. 3rd ed. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, pp. 212-213.

2. ACGIH [1991]. Picric acid. In: Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological exposure indices. 6th ed. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, pp. 1271-1273.

3. Flury F, Zernik F [1935]. Zusammenstellung der toxischen und letalen dosen für die gebräuchlichsten gifte und versuchstiere. Abder Hand Biol Arbeitsmethod 4:1289-1422 (in German).

4. von Ottingen WF [1941]. The aromatic amino and nitro compounds, their toxicity and potential dangers. A review of the literature. Public Health Bulletin 271:151.

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