CAS No. 107-13-1

Acrylonitrile (CH=CHCN) is a toxic, colorless to pale-yellow liquid, harmful to the eyes, skin, lungs, and nervous system. It may cause cancer. Workers may be harmed from exposure to acrylonitrile. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done.

Acrylonitrile is used in many industries. It is used to make certain plastics, rubbers, and chemicals, and in the past, as a pesticide. Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to acrylonitrile include the following:

  • Workers involved in the manufacturing of acrylic fibers and plastics
  • Employees who work in the coatings and adhesive industries
  • Workers in the manufacture of other chemicals like adiponitrile
  • Factory workers producing nitrile rubber products

NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries. If you work in an industry that uses acrylonitrile, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheets for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.

The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to acrylonitrile. Useful search terms for acrylonitrile include “acrylonitrile monomer,” “AN,” “cyanoethylene,” “propenenitrile,” “2-propenenitrile,” “VCN,” and “vinyl cyanide.”

NIOSH Chemical Resources

Logo of NIOSH Pocket Guide

The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) helps workers, employers, and occupational health professionals recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.

Logo of Manual of Analytical Methods.

The NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.

Logo of Health Hazard Evaluations consisting of three letters: HHE

The Health Hazard Evaluation Program (HHE) conducts onsite investigations of possible worker exposure to chemicals. Search the HHE database for more information on acrylonitrile.

Related NIOSH Resources

Selected Publications

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International Resources

Page last reviewed: November 2, 2018