Health and Safety Guide No. 45






    This is a companion volume to Environmental Health Criteria 49:

    Published by the World Health Organization for the International
    Programme on Chemical Safety (a collaborative programme of the United
    Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation,
    and the World Health Organization)

    This report contains the collective views of an international group of
    experts and does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated
    policy of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International
    Labour Organisation, or the World Health Organization

    WHO Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    Acrylamide : health and safety guide.

   (Health and safety guide ; no. 45)

   1.Acrylamides - standards  I.Series

   ISBN 92 4 151045 5          (LC Classification: QD 305.A7)
   ISSN 0259-7268

    (c) World Health Organization 1991

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    the part of the Secretariat of the World Health Organization
    concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or
    of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or

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    World Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature
    that are not mentioned.  Errors and omissions excepted, the names of
    proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.



         1.1. Identity
         1.2. Physical and chemical properties
         1.3. Analytical methods
              1.3.1. Classical
              1.3.2. Colorimetry
              1.3.3. Gas chromatography
              1.3.4. Ultraviolet detection
              1.3.5. High-pressure liquid chromatography 
              1.3.6. Polarography
         1.4. Production and uses

         2.1. Human exposure to acrylamide
         2.2. Uptake, metabolism, and excretion
         2.3. Effects on organisms in the environment
         2.4. Effects on animals
         2.5. Effects on human beings


         4.1. Main human health hazards, prevention and protection,
              first aid
         4.2. Advice to physicians
         4.3. Health surveillance advice
         4.4. Explosion and fire hazards
              4.4.1. Explosion hazards
              4.4.2. Fire hazards
              4.4.3. Prevention
              4.4.4. Fire-extinguishing agents
         4.5. Storage
         4.6. Transport
         4.7. Spillage and disposal
              4.7.1. Spillage
              4.7.2. Disposal



         7.1. Exposure limit values
         7.2. Specific restrictions
         7.3. Labelling, packaging, and transport



    The Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) documents produced by the
    International Programme on Chemical Safety include an assessment of
    the effects on the environment and on human health of exposure to a
    chemical or combination of chemicals, or physical or biological
    agents.  They also provide guidelines for setting exposure limits.

    The purpose of a Health and Safety Guide is to facilitate the
    application of these guidelines in national chemical safety
    programmes. The first three sections of a Health and Safety Guide
    highlight the relevant technical information in the corresponding EHC. 
    Section 4 includes advice on preventive and protective measures and
    emergency action; health workers should be thoroughly  familiar with
    the medical information to ensure that they can act efficiently in an
    emergency.  Within the Guide is a Summary of Chemical Safety
    Information which should be readily available, and should be clearly
    explained, to all who could come into contact with the chemical.  The
    section on regulatory information has been extracted from the legal
    file of the International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals
    (IRPTC) and from other United Nations sources.

    The target readership includes occupational health services, those in
    ministries, governmental agencies, industry, and trade unions who are
    involved in the safe use of chemicals and the avoidance of
    environmental health hazards, and those wanting more information on
    this topic.  An attempt has been made to use only terms that will be
    familiar to the intended user.  However, sections 1 and 2 inevitably
    contain some technical terms.  A bibliography has been included for
    readers who require further background information.

    Revision of the information in this Guide will take place in due
    course, and the eventual aim is to use standardized terminology. 
    Comments on any difficulties encountered in using the Guide would be
    very helpful and should be addressed to:

    The Manager
    International Programme on Chemical Safety
    Division of Environmental Health
    World Health Organization
    1211 Geneva 27



    1.1  Identity

    Common name:                  acrylamide

    Chemical formula:             C3H5N0

    Chemical Structure:
                                  H   H   0   H
                                  '   '   "   '
                                  C = C - C - N
                                  '           '
                                  H           H

    Relative molecular mass:      71.08

    Common synonyms:              2-propenamide, acrylamide monomer,
                                  acrylic acid amide, acrylic amide,
                                  ethylene carboxamide, propenamide,
                                  propeneamide, propenoic acid amide.

    Abbreviations:                None

    CAS Registry number:          79-06-1

    RTECS number:                 AS3325000

    United Nations number:        UN 2074; Class 6.1

    Conversion factors:           1 ppm = 2.91 mg/m3 air, or
                                  1 mg/m3 = 0.34 ppm
                                  at 25C and 101.4 kPa (760 mm Hg)

    1.2  Physical and Chemical Properties

    Acrylamide is a colourless to white odourless solid that are melts at
    84-85C.  On crystallization from benzene, leaf- or flake-like
    crystals are formed.  Heating results in polymerisation, which may be
    violent.  Polymerisation prevents the determination of a boiling point
    at ambient pressures, but at 3.34 kPa (25 mm Hg) acrylamide boils at
    125C.  Polymerisation also occurs with ultraviolet irradiation, and
    commercial solutions are stabilised with cuprous salts,  tert-
    butylpyrocatechol or other antioxidants.  The solid is stable if
    stored in a cool dry place.

    Dehydration of acrylamide by phosphorus pentoxide (P205) produces

          CH2CHC(O)NH2 - H20 --> CH2CHCN

    The solubility (g/100 ml solvent at 30C) of acrylamide is as follows:
    water (215.5), methanol (155), ethanol (86.2), acetone (63.1), ethyl
    acetate (12.6).  It is sparingly soluble in benzene (0.35) and heptane

    Commercially, acrylamide is available as a crystalline solid or as a
    50% or 30% solution in water.  The solid is typically 98% pure
    containing up to 0.8% water and 0.2% water-insoluble compounds.  The
    nominal 50% solution contains 48%-52% acrylamide and an inhibitor
    (eg., 25 mg Cu++/kg).  Trace components in either will depend on the
    method of synthesis and may include sulphates, acrylic acid and
    1-100 mg acrylonitrile/kg.

    1.3  Analytical Methods

    1.3.1  Classical

    In the presence of sodium nitrite and acid (yielding nitrous acid  in
     situ), acrylamide reacts to yield acrylic acid and nitrogen. This is
    the basis of a quantitative analytical method.

    1.3.2  Colorimetry

    Acrylamide reacts with diazomethane in methanol-ether solution to form
    a pyrazoline derivative that reacts with 4-dimethylcinnamaldehyde to
    form a bright purple Schiff base complex.  However, this reaction is
    not specific for acrylamide, and there can be interference by many
    other organic compounds.

    1.3.3  Gas chromatography

    Acrylamide is brominated to give its 2,3-dibromopropionamide
    derivative which is measured by gas chromatography using an electron
    capture detector (ECD).  It can also be measured by a flame ionization
    detector (FID) but this is less sensitive.

    1.3.4  Ultraviolet detection

    Acrylamide or 2,3-dibromopropionamide are separated by means of high
    pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and measured by UV detection. 
    This is a rapid and sensitive method.

    1.3.5  High pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)

    Reverse phase HPLC can be used to determine the concentration of
    acrylamide or 2,3-dibromopropionamide.

    1.3.6  Polarography

    Direct current and differential pulse polarography methods can be used
    to determine acrylamide levels in plastics, and in dust and airborne
    samples (collected in a water impinger).  Differential pulse
    polarography is the more sensitive method.

    1.4  Production and uses

    Acrylamide is produced commercially by the catalytic hydration of
    acrylonitrile. The most common catalysts are copper-based;  other
    inorganic catalysts include manganese, rhodium and cobalt compounds
    and, recently, biocatalytic systems have been used for large-scale
    production.  Prior to 1970, sulphuric acid was used for the hydration,
    and the acrylamide separated by neutralisation with ammonia.  Other
    methods include the reaction of acryl chloride with ammonia in
    benzene, followed by filtration to remove ammonium chloride.

    The principal use of acrylamide is in the production of high relative
    molecular mass polyacrylamides or of copolymers, particularly with
    unsaturated quaternary ammonium compounds (cationic copolymers) or
    carboxylic or sulphonic acids (anionic copolymers).  Polymers and
    copolymers are widely used: in effluent and sludge treatment as
    flocculants and coagulants, in crude oil recovery processes as
    viscosity modifiers, and in the paper industry as binders and for
    several other purposes.  They are used as thickeners and binders in
    paints and coatings, in toiletries and cosmetics, as
    moisture-retaining additives to concrete, and as binding agents in
    foundry sand.  They play various roles in textile processing and in
    the production of adhesives, tapes and gels, including gels used for


    2.1  Human Exposure to Acrylamide

    Acrylamide is not known to occur naturally.  When released into the
    air, acrylamide will be precipitated in solution, because of its high
    solubility, and will enter the surface water compartment.  It is
    readily biodegraded in water.  Persistence and accumulation of the
    monomer in the environment will not occur.

    The general public may be exposed to small amounts of monomer
    acrylamide, derived from polymeric acrylamide used in water treatment
    and in the treatment of effluents, prior to their discharge to surface
    waters.  Concentrations of acrylamide in tap-water and river water, in
    areas where acrylamide polymers were used for these purposes, were
    less than 5 g/litre. Polyacrylamides containing small amounts of
    monomer are used in food preparation, the washing or peeling of fruit
    and vegetables, the printing of gelatin capsules for pharmaceutical
    use, and in food packaging.  These uses result in negligible exposure
    of the general population.

    Occupational exposure by inhalation is generally low.  Acrylamide is
    readily absorbed through the skin and exposure by this route has
    probably accounted for the most severe cases of occupational

    2.2  Uptake, Metabolism and Excretion

    Acrylamide is readily absorbed by all routes, but toxicologically
    significant quantities are most likely to be absorbed unintentionally
    through the skin after splashing of the skin or clothing. 
    Radiolabelled acrylamide, administered orally to rats at 10 mg/kg body
    weight, resulted in rapid uniform distribution of the radioactivity,
    which diminished biphasically with half-times of approximately 5 h and
    8 days respectively.  Some 70% of the label was recovered in the
    urine, but none from the expired air.  The amount of the label
    detected in the faeces (6%), was less than that in the biliary
    excretion, indicating some enterohepatic circulation.  Acrylamide
    binds to haemoglobin and reacts with nucleophilic groups.  It reacts
    with glutathione to form the  S--propionamide glutathione conjugate,
    which is the degraded by normal routes to give cysteine and
     N-acetylcysteine derivatives of this conjugate. The urine also
    contains metabolites that do not contain sulphur.  Radiolabelled
    acrylamide administered to Porton Strain rats had a shorter
    elimination half time of 1.9 h.

    2.3  Effects on Organisms in the Environment

    Acrylamide is biodegradeable.  The biological oxygen demand (BOD) is
    54-75% of the theoretical value based on conversion to nitrogen and

    LC50 values in fingerling rainbow trout  (Salmo gairdneri) at 24,
    48, 72 & 96 h were 300, 210, 170 and 162 mg acrylamide/litre,
    respectively.  There were no clinical effects on swimming behaviour in
    goldfish  (Carassius auratus) exposed to 50 mg acrylamide/litre for
    30 days, but this concentration caused death in rainbow trout exposed
    for 15 days and there were other generalised toxic effects which
    impaired swimming behaviour.  Though there were no behavioural effects
    at 25 mg/litre, enzyme studies revealed adverse hepatic effects in
    rainbow trout at this, and higher, concentrations.  Metabolism studies
    indicate that acrylamide is rapidly absorbed and distributed within
    the bodies of trout, but that little biological concentration occurs
    (overall less than 1.65 on exposure to 0.71 mg/litre, although kidneys
    concentrated acrylamide four-fold).  Excretion was biphasic and fairly
    rapid (half-time of the slow phase was 7.7 days, after a 72-h exposure
    to 0.71 mg/litre).

    Some LC50 values in aquatic organisms are:  (i) water flea  (Daphnia
     magna) (48-h exposure) 160 mg/litre;  (ii) rainbow trout  (Salmo
     gairdneri) (96-h exposure) 110 mg/litre; (iii) fathead minnow
     (Pimephales promelas) (96-h exposure) 120 mg/litre; and (iv)
    bluegill  (Lepomis macrochirua) (96-h exposure) 100 mg/l.

    2.4  Effects on Animals

    Single doses of 100-200 mg acrylamide/kg body weight are lethal by
    most routes, in most species. A dermal LD50 in rats was 400 mg/kg
    body weight.  Acute lethal doses in the monkey resulted in
    pathological changes in the lungs (congestion), liver (congestion,
    fatty degeneration and necrosis), and kidneys (congestion and both
    glomerular and tubular degeneration).  Acrylamide is neurotoxic in a
    number of animal species.  Central nervous system effects predominate
    in acute poisoning, whereas peripheral neuropathy occurs with repeated
    exposures.  Sensation is usually affected before motor function.

    Repeated doses of 10-50 mg/kg body weight per day, by any route, in
    most experimental species, causes a neuropathy affecting principally
    the peripheral axons (both motor and sensory) and the visual system. 
    In some cases, early effects may be reversible on cessation of dosing. 
    In mice and rats, repeated doses cause testicular atrophy with
    degeneration of the germinal epithelium, but preservation of
    interstitial (Leydig) cells.  In experimental animal studies, it has
    been reported that acrylamide crosses the placenta.

    Negative findings have been reported in studies investigating the
    ability of acrylamide to produce gene mutations in bacteria
     (Salmonella) and in insects ( Drosophila: sex-linked recessive
    lethal assay).

    Acrylamide consistently produced chromosome damage in a range of cell
    types  in vitro,  and there was evidence of gene mutation in
    mammalian cells (mouse lymphoma cell assay).  The ability of
    acrylamide to produce chromosomal damage was also shown in bone marrow
    cells  in vivo: there were positive findings in metaphase analysis
    for chromosome damage and for the presence of micronuclei.

    Evidence for  in vivo effects on the chromosomes of male germ cells
    has also been obtained.  There were positive results in cytogenetic
    studies on sperm cells and in dominant lethal assays.  These effects
    appear to be heritable, since positive results were obtained in a
    heritable translocation assay, with effects (translocations) seen in
    the germ cells of offspring.

    These data indicate that acrylamide is an  in vivo mutagen, capable
    of producing heritable effects in germ cells.

    In tests for potential as an initiator of carcinogenesis, acrylamide
    was administered orally three times a week for two weeks, to mice in
    amounts equivalent to cumulative doses of 75, 150 and 300 mg/kg body
    weight.  It was also given to other groups by intreperitoneal
    injection, or by painting of the dorsal skin.  Following these
    treatments, animals were treated by thrice-weekly skin applications of
    the promoter 12- o-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (1 g in 0.2 ml
    acetone), for 20 weeks.  Treatment-related increases in squamous-cell
    carcinomas were found with all routes of acrylamide administration,
    indicating that acrylamide is a potential initiator.

    Thrice-weekly administration to mice of acrylamide at 6.25, 12.5 or
    25 mg/kg body weight (orally) and 1, 3, 10, 30 or 60 mg/kg body weight
    (intraperitoneally) from the age of 8 weeks to 16 weeks, resulted in
    dose-dependent increases in the frequency of adenomas of the lung.

    In a 2-year study in which acrylamide was administered in the
    drinking-water at 0, 0.01, 0.1, 0.5 or 2 mg/kg body weight per day,
    male rats developed adrenal phaeochromocytomas, mesotheliomas of the
    tunica of the testis, and follicular adenomas of the thyroid. Female
    rats had increased incidences of pituitary adenomas, thyroid
    follicular tumours, mammary tumours, oral papillomas, uterine
    adenocarcinomas, and clitoral gland tumours.

    There is sufficient evidence to classify acrylamide as an animal

    2.5  Effects on Human Beings

    Acrylamide is moderately irritant on prolonged contact with the skin
    and is irritant to the eyes.  An exfoliative, erythematous rash,
    particularly on the hands, can occur with chronic dermal exposure.

    Polyneuropathy (characterised particularly by distal weakness and
    paraesthesia, ataxia, impaired fine movements and, later, reduced
    muscle power) is the best-recognised toxic effect.  Repeated dermal
    exposure has been the usual route of absorption.  Control of exposure
    in the early stages results in remission of the symptoms:  advanced
    symptoms may persist.  Early signs of polyneuropathy may be erythema,
    sweating, and coldness and cyanosis of the hands and feet.  Changes
    may occur in sensory nerve action potentials, vibration perception
    threshold, peripheral nerve conduction velocity, or in the
    electromyogram, before there are obvious symptomatic changes.  Skin
    examinations and neurophysiological studies have been recommended for
    monitoring health effects.  Neurotoxic effects can also follow
    ingestion.  With toxic doses, these may include hallucinations and
    seizures and subsequent peripheral neuropathy.  Ingestion can also
    result in gastrointestinal tract irritation and haemorrhage,
    hepatotoxicity, respiratory distress, and hypotension.  These effects
    may be delayed.

    Acrylamide forms haemoglobin adducts and the determination of
     S-(2-carboxyethyl) cysteine in hydrolysed haemoglobin by gas
    chromatograph-mass spectrometry has been used, as a measurement of
    absorbed dose, in monitoring exposure.

    No epidemiological data are available to evaluate the carcinogenicity
    of acrylamide for human beings.  On the basis of experimental animal
    data, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
    classifies acrylamide as "possibly carcinogenic to humans".


    Exposure of the general population to acrylamide is limited by: (a)
    the low monomer levels permitted in polyacrylamides and acrylamide
    co-polymers used for purposes where there may be direct or indirect
    human contact, and (b) the low levels in drinking water. Occupational
    exposure may occur in the manufacture and use of acrylamide and its
    polymers and repeated skin contact presents the greatest risk of
    poisoning.  Proper working practices and hygiene measures, such as
    frequent laundering of work clothing and decontamination of surfaces
    with which body contact is possible, are important in preventing
    excessive exposure.  Skin and eye irritation occur with acute

    Neurotoxicity is well described.  Presymptomatic changes may be
    detectable in the electromyelogram (EMG) and nerve conduction
    velocity.  The earliest clinical signs are trophic changes in the
    skin.  Early local symptoms appear distally and include impaired fine
    movements and ataxia and there may be generalised tiredness.  Sensory
    and power loss occur later.  Early changes reverse rapidly on
    cessation of exposure.

    On the basis of experimental animal data, acrylamide is considered to
    be possibly carcinogenic for human beings.


    4.1  Main Human Health Hazards, Prevention and Protection, First Aid

    Acrylamide vapour and solutions are irritating to the skin and eyes. 
    Acrylamide is well absorbed through the skin, and can damage the liver
    and kidneys (see Summary of Chemical Safety Information, section 6).

    While neurotoxic symptoms are unlikely after single exposures,
    previous exposures to clinically subtoxic doses could result in
    symptoms, apparently related to a single major exposure.  The onset of
    symptoms may be significantly delayed following exposure.

    4.2  Advice to physicians

    Thorough and vigorous washing of the skin with water will minimize
    systemic absorption following skin contact.  The absence of
    progressive changes in the EMG or nerve conduction velocity signifies
    that neuropathy is unlikely.

    Following ingestion, effects maybe delayed and it is important to keep
    the patient under observation.  Gastric lavage, followed by supportive
    treatment should be applied.  Supportive treatment may involve
    ventilatory support for respiratory distress, anticonvulsants, and
    pressor agents for hypotension.

    There is no specific antidote.

    4.3  Health surveillance and advice

    Control of exposure by containment and good working and hygiene
    practices is most important.  When monitoring the health of workers,
    skin inspection for trophic changes is inappropriate for exposure
    control, because it depends on the detection of an early disease
    state.  Neurological examinations are inappropriate for the same

    Skin inspection, neurophysiological studies, and clinical examinations
    are only indicated where: the best achievable engineering controls
    cannot comply with prescribed atmospheric exposure limits; exposure
    control is dependent on personal protective equipment; or these
    examinations are required by law or for other reasons unrelated to
    occupational health care.

    4.4  Explosion and fire hazards

    4.4.1  Explosion hazards

    Acrylamide vapour does not form explosive mixtures with air.  Milled
    solid acrylamide could possibly form an explosive dust cloud.

    4.4.2  Fire hazards

    Acrylamide is combustible in the solid form, but does not represent a
    fire hazard. However, acrylamide gives off toxic and irritant fumes
    when heated in a fire.  Solutions heated in a fire may undergo
    spontaneous exothermic polymerisation, leading to vapourisation of
    water, and possible rupture of containers.  Acrylamide decomposition
    products include ammonia, hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

    4.4.3  Prevention

    Solid acrylamide should be handled in such a way that particles do not
    become airborne.  Ensure that solutions are stabilized and properly
    stored.  In a fire, keep drums and tanks cool using a water spray.

    4.4.4  Fire extinguishing agents

    There is no special requirement.  The type of fire-extinguishing agent
    will be dictated by other materials involved.

    4.5  Storage

    Solid acrylamide should be stored in a cool, dry place in light-proof
    containers, or in the dark.  Solutions are normally stablized (see
    section 1.2).

    Loss of dissolved oxygen, as by blanketing or purging with an inert
    gas, may impair stabilization by copper sulphate.  Prevent contact
    with bases, oxidizing materials, initiators and reducing agents.

    4.6  Transport

    In case of accident, stop engine.  Remove all sources of ignition. 
    Keep bystanders at a distance and divert other traffic.  In case of
    spillage or fire, use methods advised in sections 4.4 and 4.7.  Notify
    the police and fire brigade immediately.  In case of symptoms, follow
    the advice in the Summary of Chemical Information (section 6).

    4.7  Spillage and disposal

    4.7.1  Spillage

    Wear rubber boots, an apron, chemical gauntlets and a combined
    dust/organic vapour respirator.  If eye protection is not provided by
    a full-face mask, chemical goggles should be worn.

    (a)  Solid acrylamide. Shovel spilled material into sealable

    (b)  Acrylamide solution. Minimize spread, dilute with an equal
    quantity of water to reduce reactivity, and absorb in earth, sand or
    other absorptive medium.  Shovel the absorbent into sealable
    containers.  Do not allow spilled material to dry out.

    Flush the area with copious amounts of water;  prevent direct access
    of run-off to water courses.

    4.7.2  Disposal

    Acrylamide should be handled with care, because of its toxicity.

    The advice given by the International Register of Toxic Chemicals is:

     "Treatment and disposal methods

         Incineration (with provision for scrubbing of nitrogen oxides
              from flue gases)
         Discharge to sewer

     "Peer review

    Handle with care: highly toxic through cyanide effect.  Potentially
    polymerized and then landfill.  Dissolve or suspend in much water, and
    wash down sewer.  Hydrolyse with hot sodium or calcium hydroxide
    solution (care ammonia released) and wash down sewer with copious
    amounts of water.  (Peer review conclusions from an IRPTC Expert
    Consultation - May 1985)."


    The emission of significant quantities of acrylamide into surface
    water could lead to oxygen depletion, because of biodegradation
    processes.  The compound will not pose a significant hazard for
    aquatic or terrestrial life, except in the vicinity of sites of
    accidents or inappropriate disposal.  Contamination of soil, water,
    and the atmosphere can be avoided by proper methods of storage,
    handling, transport, and waste disposal.


     This summary should be easily available to all health workers
     concerned with, and users of, acrylamide. It should be displayed at,
     or near, entrances to areas where there is potential exposure to
     acrylamide, and on processing equipment and containers.  The summary
     should be translated into the appropriate language(s).  All persons
     potentially exposed to the chemicals should also have the
     instructions in the summary clearly explained.

     Space is available for insertion of the National Occupational
     Exposure Limit, the address and telephone number of the National
     Poison Control Centre, and for local trade names.


    2-propen(e)amide;  acrylic (acid) amide;  ethylene carboxamide;  propenoic acid amide


    CAS registry no. 79-06-1


    PHYSICAL PROPERTIES                                                   OTHER CHARACTERISTICS

    Relative molecular mass            71.08                              Colourless, odourless solid with flake- or leaf-like
    Melting point (C)                 84.5                               crystals on recrystallization from benzene or a 50%
    Boiling point (C)                                                    aqueous solution;  on heating or exposure to UV
       3.33 kPa (25 mmHg)              125                                radiation, polymerization occurs;  solutions are 
       at ambient pressure             polymerizes                        stabilized with antioxidant, and acrylamide should be
    Water solubility at 30C                                              stored in a cool dark place in a light-proof container
      (g/litre)                        215.5
    Relative density (d 30/4)          1.122
    Relative vapour density            2.47
    Vapour pressure
      (Pa at 84.5C)                   213 (solid)
      (kPa at 125C)                   3.33 (solid)
      (kPa at 20C)
        (50 & 30% solutions)           2
    Flash-point                        None


    HAZARDS/SYMPTOMS                        PREVENTION AND PROTECTION                    FIRST AID

    SKIN: Vapour and solutions are          Handle mechanically, where possible,         Remove contaminated clothing immediately;
    irritant;  acrylamide is readily        in proper enclosures or cabinets             wash contaminated skin thoroughly with
    absorbed through unbroken skin          with exhaust ventilation;  where             clean running water while rubbing with
                                            appropriate, wear clean, impervious          a clean cloth;  continue for at
                                            gloves and apron to deflect                  least 10 minutes
                                            splashes;  wear freshly laundered
                                            clothes;  remove and wash them
                                            thoroughly after contamination

    EYES:  Irritant and lacrimatory         Ensure vapour concentrations are             Irrigate eyes with potable water or
                                            below occupational exposure limits;          sterile eye-wash solution for at 
                                            wear chemical goggles, or face visor,        least 15 minutes
                                            when handling solutions

    INGESTION AND SYSTEMIC                  Do not eat, drink, or smoke while            Do not induce vomiting; obtain medical advice
    ABSORPTION BY OTHER                     handling chemicals, and use good
    ROUTES:  Possibility of delayed         work and personal hygiene practices
    peripheral neuropathy, liver, and 
    kidney damage;  acrylamide is 
    considered to be a possible
    human carcinogen


    SPILLAGE                                STORAGE:                                     FIRE AND EXPLOSION:

    SOLID:  Wear rubber gloves and          Store solids and stabilized                  Solid acrylamide is combustible
    boots;  shovel material into a          liquids in a cool, dark place,               and dust explosions are possible;
    sealable container;  wash               in light-proof containers                    exothermic polymerization may occur
    contaminated area with copious                                                       on heating;  in fires, keep containers
    amounts of water                                                                     cool with water spray;  fire-fighting
                                                                                         media are dictated by the other materials


    SPILLAGE                                STORAGE:                                     FIRE AND EXPLOSION:

    SOLUTIONS:  Wear rubber gloves                                                       involved
    and boots;  absorb spillage in earth
    or sand, and shovel into a sealable
    container;  wash contaminated
    area with copious amounts of water;
    dispose of drummed material as
    hazardous chemical waste;  notify 
    authorities if acrylamide enters


    WASTE DISPOSAL                                                                       LABELLING

    Incinerate or bury in an approved                                                    United Nations:  2074 
    landfill, or hydrolyse                                                               Class 6.1 A



    The information given in this section has been extracted from the
    International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC) legal
    file. A full reference to the original national document from which
    the information was extracted can be obtained from IRPTC.  When no
    effective date appears in the IRPTC legal file, the year of the
    reference from which the data are taken is indicated by (r).

    The reader should be aware that regulatory decisions about chemicals,
    taken in a certain country, can only be fully understood in the
    framework of the legislation of that country.  Furthermore, the
    regulations and guidelines of all countries are subject to change and
    should always be verified with appropriate regulatory authorities
    before application.

    7.1  Exposure Limit Values

    Some exposure limit values are given in the table on pages 28-31.

    7.2  Specific Restrictions

    Maximum permitted acrylamide monomer content in polymers used for
    various purposes are specified in national regulations.  Some of these
    are listed in the table of Exposure Limit Values on pages 28-31.

    7.3  Labelling, Packaging and Transport

    For transport purposes, acrylamide is classified in United Nations
    Hazard Class 6.1 (poisonous substance) and Packing Group 111
    (substance presenting minor danger).



    Medium              Specification      Country/         Exposure limit description                      Value             Effective
                                           organization                                                     (mg/m3)           date

    AIR                 Occupational       Argentina        Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)                           1979
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            Short-term exposure limit (STEL)                0.6
                                                            (skin absorption)

                                           Australia        Threshold limit value (TLV)                                       1983
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            (skin absorption)

                                           Belgium          Tolerable limit value (TLV)                                       1988
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            (skin absorption)

                                           Canada           Threshold limit value (TLV)
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3               1980
                                                            Short-term exposure limit (STEL)                0.6

                                           Finland          Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)                           1988
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            Short-term exposure limit (STEL)                0.6

                                           Germany,         Maximum worksite concentration (MAK)                              1989
                                           Federal          (Carcinogenic material Group III AZ;            no value 
                                           Republic of      proven in animal experiments:                   assigned
                                                            skin absorption)

                                           Hungary          Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                             1978
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            Short-term exposure limit (STEL)                1.5
                                                            (30 min)


    Medium              Specification      Country/         Exposure limit description                      Value             Effective
                                           organization                                                     (mg/m3)           date

    AIR                 Occupational       Italy            Threshold limit value (TLV)                     0.3               1985
                                                            (skin absorption)

                                           Japan            Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                             1987
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            (skin absorption)

                                           Netherlands      Maximum limit (MXL)                                               1989
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            (skin absorption)

                                           Romania          Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)                           1983
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            Ceiling value                                   0.5

                                           Sweden           Hygienic limit value (HLV)                                        1988
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            Short-term exposure limit (STEL)                0.9
                                                            (STEL = 15-min TWA)
                                                            (skin absorption)

                                           Switzerland      Maximum worksite concentration (MAK)                              1987
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            (Carcinogen:  skin absorption)

                                           United           Guidance limit                                                    1989
                                           Kingdom          Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            Short-term exposure limit (STEL)                0.6
                                                            (STEL = 10-min TWA)
                                                            (skin absorption)
                                                            Proposed change to Maximum Exposure
                                                            Limit (MEL) of 0.3 mg/m3 (8-h TWA) in 1990


    Medium              Specification      Country/         Exposure limit description                      Value             Effective
                                           organization                                                     (mg/m3)           date

    AIR                 Occupational       USA              Permitted exposure limit (PEL)                  0.3               1987
                                           (NIOSH/          Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3

                                           USA              Threshold limit value (TLV)
                                           (ACGIH)          Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3               1989
                                                            (skin absorption)
                                                            (suspected human carcinogen)

                                           USSR             Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                             1985
                                                            Ceiling value (vapour)                          0.2

                                           Yugoslavia       Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                             1971
                                                            Time-weighted average (TWA)                     0.3
                                                            (skin absorption)

    SURFACE             Environmental      USSR             Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)           10                1983
      WATER                                                                                                 (0.01 mg/litre)

    STEAM               Food contact       USA              Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)         0.05%             1981
    (acrylamide                                             of acrylamide-sodium acrylate resin used
    sodium acrylate                                         as a boiler-water additive in the preparation
    resin)                                                  of steam that will contact food

    POLY-               Food contact       USA              Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)         0.2%              1983
    ACRYLAMIDE                                              in polyacrylamide used to wash, or in lye -
    SOLUTIONS                                               peeling of, fruits and vegetables

    POLY-               Food additive      USA              Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)         0.05%-0.2%        1983
    ACRYLAMIDE          (various



    ACGIH (1986)   Documentation of the threshold limit values and
     biological exposure indices, Cincinnati, American Conference of
    Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

    CLAYTON, G.D. & CLAYTON, F.E.  (1981)   Patty's Industrial Hygiene and
     Toxicology, Vol. 2A, New York, Wiley - Interscience, John Wiley &

    GOSSELIN, R.E., HODGE H.C., SMITH, R.P. & GLEASON, M.N. (1976)
     Clinical toxicology of commercial products, 5th ed., Baltimore,
    Maryland, Williams and Wilkins Company.

    HANDLING CHEMICALS SAFELY (1980)  Handling chemicals safely. 2 ed.,
    Dutch Association of Safety Experts, Dutch Chemical Industry
    Association, Dutch Safety Institute.

    IRPTC  Data profile (legal file, waste disposal file, treatment of
    poisoning file), Geneva, International Register for Potentially Toxic
    Chemicals, United Nations Environment Programme.

    New York, Genium Publishing Corporation.

    SAX, N.I.  (1984)   Dangerous properties of industrial materials, New
    York, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, Inc.

    US NIOSH (1976)   A guide to industrial respiratory protection,
    Cincinnati, Ohio, US National Institute for Occupational Safety and

    US NIOSH/OSHA (1981)   Occupational health guidelines for chemical
     hazards, Washington DC, US National Institute for Occupational
    Safety and Health Association 3 Vols (Publication No. 01-123).

    US NIOSH/OSHA (1985)   Pocket guide to chemical hazards, Washington
    DC, US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
    Occupational Safety and Health Association (Publication No.  85.114).

    WHO  (1985)   Environmental Health Criteria No. 49:  Acrylamide,
    Geneva, World Health Organization.


    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Acrylamide (EHC 49, 1985)
       Acrylamide (ICSC)
       Acrylamide (WHO Food Additives Series 55)
       ACRYLAMIDE (JECFA Evaluation)
       Acrylamide (PIM 652)
       Acrylamide (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 60, 1994)