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.