Furfural

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

CAS number: 98–01–1

NIOSH REL: The 1989 OSHA PEL may not be protective to workers.

Current OSHA PEL: 5 ppm (20 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

1989 OSHA PEL: 2 ppm (8 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 2 ppm (7.9 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

Description of Substance: Colorless to amber liquid with an almond-like odor.

LEL: . . 2.1% (10% LEL, 2,100 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 250 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the statement that 260 ppm was the lethal concentration for rats, but caused no deaths in mice or rabbits [Quaker Oats cited by AIHA 1965].

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed

ACUTE TOXICITY DATA

Lethal concentration data:

Species Reference LC50(ppm) LCLo(ppm) Time Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF) Derivedvalue
DogMouse

Rat

Rat

Rat

Deichmann and Gerarde 1969Deichmann and Gerarde 1969

Quaker Oats

Terrill et al. 1989

Terrill et al. 1989

370—–

—–

175

1,037

—–370

260

—–

—–

6 hr6 hr

?

6 hr

1 hr

851 ppm (2.3)851 ppm (2.3)

?

403 ppm (2.3)

1,296 ppm (1.25)

85 ppm85 ppm

?

40 ppm

130 ppm

 

Other animal data: It has been stated that 260 ppm (duration of exposure undefined) caused no deaths in mice or rabbits [Quaker].

Human data: Widespread eye and respiratory tract irritation has been noted in workers exposed to concentrations ranging from 5 to 16 ppm [Apol and Lucas 1975]. Headaches, itching of the throat, and red and weeping eyes have occurred at concentrations ranging from 1.9 to 14 ppm [Korenman and Resnik 1930].

 

REFERENCES:

1. AIHA [1965]. Furfural. In: Hygienic guide series. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 26:196-199.

2. Apol AG, Lucas JB [1975]. Health hazard evaluation, Pacific Grinding Wheel Co., Maysville, WA. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Center for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Report No. HHE 73-18-171, NTIS No. 246-444.

3. Deichmann WB, Gerarde HW [1969]. Furfural (2-furaldehyde; pyromucic aldehyde; artificial oil of ants). In: Toxicology of drugs and chemicals. New York, NY: Academic Press, Inc., pp. 279-280.

4. Korenman IM, Resnik IB [1930]. Furfural as an industrial poison and its determination in the air. Arch Hyg 104:344-357 (in German). [From ACGIH [1991]. Furfural. In: Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological exposure indices. 6th ed. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, pp. 694-695.]

5. Quaker Oats [?]. Physiological data on QO furfural. Chicago, IL: Quaker Oats Company, Chemicals Division. [From AIHA [1965]. Furfural. In: Hygienic guide series. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 26:196-199.]

6. Terrill JB, Van Horn WE, Robinson D, Thomas DL [1989]. Acute inhalation toxicity of furan, 2-methyl furan, furfuryl alcohol, and furfural in the rat. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 50:A359-A361.

Page last reviewed: December 4, 2014