Sample Health Fact Sheet: Methyl Alcohol (Methanol)
Common Name: Methyl Alcohol CAS Number: 67-56-1 DOT Number: UN 1230 Date: October 30, 1986 _________________________________________ HAZARD SUMMARY * Methyl Alcohol can affect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin. * Exposure can cause blindness. * It may damage the liver. * Exposure to high concentrations can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. It can cause death. * Repeated or prolonged contact can cause dryness and cracking of the skin. * Methyl Alcohol is a FLAMMABLE LIQUID and a FIRE HAZARD. IDENTIFICATION Methyl Alcohol is a colorless liquid with a strong odor. It is used as a solvent and cleaner. REASON FOR CITATION * Methyl Alcohol is on the RTK Hazardous Substance List because it is regulated by OSHA and cited by ACGIH, DOT, NIOSH and NFPA. * This chemical is on the Special Health Hazard Substance List because it is FLAMMABLE. * Definitions are attached. HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE BEING EXPOSED * Exposure to hazardous substances should be routinely evaluated. This may include collecting personal and area air samples. You can obtain copies of sampling results from your employer. You have a legal right to this information under OSHA 1910.20. * If you think you are experiencing any work related health problems, see a doctor trained to recognize occupational diseases. Take this Fact Sheet with you. * ODOR THRESHOLD = 100 ppm. * The odor threshold only serves as a warning of exposure. Not smelling it does not mean you are not being exposed. WORKPLACE EXPOSURE LIMITS OSHA: The legal airborne permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 200 ppm averaged over an 8 hour workshift. NIOSH: The recommended airborne exposure limit is 200 ppm averaged over an 10 hour workshift and 800 ppm, not to be exceeded during any 15 minute work period. ACGIH: The recommended airborne exposure limit is 200 ppm averaged over an 8 hour workshift and 250 ppm as a STEL (short term exposure limit). * The above exposure limits are for air levels only. When skin contact also occurs, you may be overexposed, even though air levels are less than the limits listed above. WAYS OF REDUCING EXPOSURE * Where possible, enclose operations and use local exhaust ventilation at the site of chemical release. If local exhaust ventilation or enclosure is not used, respirators should be worn. * Wear protective work clothing. * Wash thoroughly immediately after exposure to Methyl Alcohol and at the end of the workshift. * Post hazard and warning information in the work area. In addition, as part of an ongoing education and training effort, communicate all information on the health and safety hazards of Methyl Alcohol to potentially exposed workers. This Fact Sheet is a summary source of information of all potential and most severe health hazards that may result from exposure. Duration of exposure, concentration of the substance and other factors will affect your susceptibility to any of the potential effects described below. __________________________________________ HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION Acute Health Effects The following acute (short term) health effects may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to Methyl Alcohol: * Contact may irritate the eyes, and exposure to high concentrations can irritate the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat. * Breathing the vapor or absorbing the liquid through the skin can cause permanent blindness. * Exposure to high concentrations can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. It can cause death. Chronic Health Effects The following chronic (long term) health effects can occur at some time after exposure to Methyl Alcohol and can last for months or years: Cancer Hazard * According to the information presently available to the New Jersey Department of Health, Methyl Alcohol has not been tested for its ability to cause cancer in animals. Reproductive Hazard * According to the information presently available to the New Jersey Department of Health, Methyl Alcohol has not been tested for its ability to adversely affect reproduction. Other Long Term Effects * It may damage the liver. * Repeated or prolonged contact can cause dryness and cracking of the skin. MEDICAL Medical Testing If symptoms develop or overexposure is suspected, the following are recommended: * Liver function tests. * Exam of the eyes and vision. Any evaluation should include a careful history of past and present symptoms with an exam. Medical tests that look for damage already done are not a substitute for controlling exposure. Request copies of your medical testing. You have a legal right to this information under OSHA 1910.20. WORKPLACE CONTROLS AND PRACTICES Unless a less toxic chemical can be substituted for a hazardous substance, ENGINEERING CONTROLS are the most effective way of reducing exposure. The best protection is to enclose operations and/or provide local exhaust ventilation at the site of chemical release. Isolating operations can also reduce exposure. Using respirators or protective equipment is less effective than the controls mentioned above, but is sometimes necessary. In evaluating the controls present in your workplace, consider: (1) how hazardous the substance is, (2) how much of the substance is released into the workplace and (3) whether harmful skin or eyecontact could occur. Special controls should be in place for highly toxic chemicals or when significant skin, eye, or breathing exposures are possible. In addition, the following controls are recommended: * Where possible, automatically pump liquid Methyl Alcohol from drums or other storage containers to process containers. * Specific engineering controls are recommended for this chemical by NIOSH. Refer to the NIOSH criteria document on Methyl Alcohol # 76 148. Good WORK PRACTICES can help to reduce hazardous exposures. The following work practices are recommended: * Workers whose clothing has been contaminated by Methyl Alcohol should change into clean clothing promptly. * Contaminated work clothes should be laundered by individuals who have been informed of the hazards of exposure to Methyl Alcohol. * If there is the possibility of skin exposure, emergency shower facilities should be provided. * Wash any areas of the body that may have contacted Methyl Alcohol at the end of each work day, whether or not known skin contact has occurred. * Do not eat, smoke, or drink where Methyl Alcohol is handled, processed, or stored, since the chemical can be swallowed. Wash hands carefully before eating or smoking. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT WORKPLACE CONTROLS ARE BETTER THAN PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. However, for some jobs (such as outside work, confined space entry, jobs done only once in a while, or jobs done while workplace controls are being installed), personal protective equipment may be appropriate. The following recommendations are only guidelines and may not apply to every situation. Clothing * Avoid skin contact with Methyl Alcohol. Wear solvent resistant gloves and clothing. Safety equipment suppliers/ manufacturers can provide recommendations on the most protective glove/ clothing material for your operation. * All protective clothing (suits, gloves, footwear, headgear) should be clean, available each day, and put on before work. * ACGIH recommends Nitrile Rubber as a good to excellent protective material. Eye Protection * Wear splash proof chemical goggles and face shield when working with liquid, unless full facepiece respiratory protection is worn. Respiratory Protection IMPROPER USE OF RESPIRATORS IS DANGEROUS. Such equipment should only be used if the employer has a written program that takes into account workplace conditions, requirements for worker training, respirator fit testing and medical exams, as described in OSHA 1910.134. * Where the potential exists for exposures over 200 ppm, use an MSHA/NIOSH approved supplied air respirator with a full facepiece operated in the positive pressure mode or with a full facepiece, hood, or helmet in the continuous flow mode, or use an MSHA/NIOSH approved self contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece operated in pressure demand or other positive pressure mode. * Exposure to 25,000 ppm is immediately dangerous to life and health. If the possibility of exposures above 25,000 ppm exists, use a MSHA/NIOSH approved self contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece operated in continuous flow or other positive pressure mode. HANDLING AND STORAGE * Prior to working with Methyl Alcohol you should be trained on its proper handling and storage. * Methyl Alcohol must be stored to avoid contact with STRONG OXIDIZERS (such as CHLORINE, BROMINE, and FLUORINE). * Store in tightly closed containers in a cool well ventilated area away from HEAT. * Sources of ignition such as smoking and open flames are prohibited where Methyl Alcohol is handled, used, or stored. * Metal containers involving the transfer of 5 gallons or more should be grounded and bonded. Drums must be equipped with self closing valves, pressure vacuum bungs, and flame arresters. * Use only non sparking tools and equipment, especially when opening and closing containers of Methyl Alcohol. Common Name: Methyl Alcohol DOT Number: UN 1230 DOT Emergency Guide code: 28 CAS Number: 67-56-1 ________________________________________ NJ DOH Hazard rating FLAMMABILITY 3 REACTIVITY 0 ________________________________________ FLAMMABLE LIQUID POISONOUS GASES ARE PRODUCED IN FIRE ________________________________________ Hazard Rating Key: 0=minimal; 1=slight; 2=moderate; 3=serious; 4=severe FIRE HAZARDS * Methyl Alcohol is a FLAMMABLE LIQUID. * Use dry chemical, CO2, or alcohol foam extinguishers and water to keep fire exposed containers cool. * POISONOUS GASES ARE PRODUCED IN FIRE, including Formaldehyde. * If employees are expected to fight fires, they must be trained and equipped as stated in OSHA 1910.156. SPILLS AND EMERGENCIES If Methyl Alcohol is spilled or leaked, take the following steps: * Restrict persons not wearing protective equipment from area of spill or leak until cleanup is complete. * Remove all ignition sources. * Ventilate area of spill or leak. * Absorb liquids in vermiculite, dry sand, earth, or a similar material and deposit in sealed containers. * Keep Methyl Alcohol out of a confined space, such as a sewer, because of the possibility of an explosion, unless the sewer is designed to prevent the buildup of explosive concentrations. * It may be necessary to contain and dispose of Methyl Alcohol as a HAZARDOUS WASTE. Contact your state Environmental Program for specific recommendations. ========================================== FOR LARGE SPILLS AND FIRES immediately call your fire department. ========================================== FIRST AID POISON INFORMATION Eye Contact * Immediately flush with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting upper and lower lids. Seek medical attention immediately. Skin Contact * Quickly remove contaminated clothing. Immediately wash area with large amounts of water. Seek medical attention. Breathing * Remove the person from exposure. * Begin rescue breathing if breathing has stopped and CPR if heart action has stopped. * Transfer promptly to a medical facility. PHYSICAL DATA Vapor Pressure: 97 mm Hg at 68oF Flash Point: 52oF Water Solubility: Miscible OTHER COMMONLY USED NAMES Chemical Name: Methanol Other Names and Formulations: Wood Alcohol; Carbinol; Methylol. __________________________________________ Not intended to be copied and sold for commercial purposes. __________________________________________ NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH Right to Know Program CN 368, Trenton, NJ 08625 0368 __________________________________________ _________________________________________ ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION Methyl Alcohol is a clear, colorless liquid with a mild odor and is one of the largest commodity chemicals in the world. It is used mainly as a feedstock to make other chemicals, but also has potential markets as a fuel and to make animal feed additives. It may enter the environment from industrial discharges or from spills. ACUTE (SHORT-TERM) ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS Acute toxic effects may include the death of animals, birds, or fish, and death or low growth rate in plants. Acute effects are seen two to four days after animals or plants come in contact with a toxic chemical substance. Methyl Alcohol has slight acute toxicity to aquatic life. It has caused germination and size decrease and other injury to agricultural and ornamental crops. Insufficient data are available to evaluate or predict the short-term effects of methanol to birds ^^^^^^^^ or land animals. CHRONIC (LONG-TERM) ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS Chronic toxic effects may include shortened lifespan, reproductive problems, lower fertility, and changes in appearance or behavior. Chronic effects can be seen long after first exposure(s) to a toxic chemical. Methyl Alcohol has slight chronic toxicity to aquatic life. Insufficient data are available to evaluate or predict the long- term effects of methanol to plants, birds, or land animals. ^^^^^^^^ WATER SOLUBILITY Methyl Alcohol is highly soluble in water. Concentrations of 1,000 milligrams and more will mix with a liter of water. DISTRIBUTION AND PERSISTENCE IN THE ENVIRONMENT Methyl Alcohol is slightly persistent in water, with a half-life of between 2 to 20 days. The half-life of a pollutant is the amount of time it takes for one-half of the chemical to be degraded. About 86.5% of Methyl Alcohol will eventually end up in water; the rest will end up in the air. BIOACCUMULATION IN AQUATIC ORGANISMS Some substances increase in concentration, or bioaccumulate, in living organisms as they breathe contaminated air, drink contaminated water, or eat contaminated food. These chemicals can become concentrated in the tissues and internal organs of animals and humans. The concentration of Methyl Alcohol found in fish tissues is expected to be about the same as the average concentration of Methyl Alcohol in the water from which the fish was taken. SUPPORT DOCUMENT: AQUIRE Database, ERL-Duluth, U.S. EPA., Phytotox.