|Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #)||
||EPA Method 524.2||EPA Method 603
||EPA Method 8030
||EPA Method 8031
||EPA Method 8260
Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details
on this compound.
|Use|| IN THE PLASTICS, SURFACE COATINGS, & ADHESIVES INDUSTRIES. AS
CHEM INT IN SYNTHESIS OF ANTIOXIDANTS, PHARMACEUTICALS, DYES,
SURFACE-ACTIVE AGENTS, EXTRA. IN ORG SYNTH TO INTRODUCE CYANOETHYL
GROUP. AS MODIFIER FOR NATURAL POLYMERS; AS A PESTICIDE FUMIGANT FOR
STORED GRAIN SRP: FORMER USE
IN CO-POLYMERS WITH STYRENE & BUTADIENE; SYNTHETIC SOIL BLOCKS;
CYANOETHYLATION OF COTTON; BOTTLES FOR SOFT DRINKS SRP:
DISCONTINUED BY FDA
COMONOMER FOR BARRIER RESINS
COMONOMER WITH STYRENE FOR URETHANE POLYETHER POLYOLS
COMONOMER FOR ALKYD/ACRYLONITRILE COPOLYMERS
Monomer for acrylic and modacrylic fibers and high-strength whiskers; acrylonitrile butadiene
styrene copolymer and acrylonitrile styrene copolymers; nitrile rubber; cyanoethylation of cotton;
synthetic soil blocks (acrylonitrile polymerized in wood pulp); organic synthesis; adiponitrile;
grain fumigant; monomer for a semiconductive polymer that can be used like inorganic oxide
catalysts in dehydrogenation of tert-butanol to isobutylene and water.
|Consumption Patterns|| COMONOMER FOR ACRYLIC & MODACRYLIC FIBERS, 51%; COMONOMER
FOR ACRYLONITRILE-BUTADIENE-STYRENE RESINS, 18%; CHEM INT FOR
ADIPONITRILE, 13%; CHEM INT FOR ACRYLAMIDE, 6%; COMONOMER FOR
NITRILE ELASTOMERS, 3%; COMONOMER FOR STYRENE-ACRYLONITRILE
RESINS, 2%; OTHER USES, 7% (1983)
In 1976, 282 million kg were used to make acrylic and modacrylic fibers.
Acrylic & modacrylic fibers, 45%; acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer resins, 20%; styrene
acrylonitrile polymer resins, 9%; adiponitrile, 13%; acrylamide, 6%; miscellaneous, 7% (1984)
CHEMICAL PROFILE: Acrylonitrile. Exports, 43%; acrylic and modacrylic fibers, 28%;
acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene and styrene-acrylonitrile resins, 15%; adiponitrile, 7%; acrylamide,
4%; miscellaneous, including nitrile rubber and barrier resins, 3%.
CHEMICAL PROFILE: Acrylonitrile. Demand: 1988: 2.580 million lb; 1989: 2.660 million lb;
1993 projected/: 3.025 million lb. (Includes exports but not imports, which are negligible.)
|Apparent Color|| CLEAR, COLORLESS LIQUID (SOME TECHNICAL GRADES SLIGHTLY
|Odor|| PRACTICALLY ODORLESS, OR WITH A VERY SLIGHT ODOR OF PEACH
KERNELS ; Sweet odor ; Irritating odor
|Boiling Point|| 77.3 DEG C @ 760 MM HG
|Melting Point|| -82 DEG C
|Molecular Weight|| 53.06
|Density|| 0.8004 @ 25 DEG C/4 DEG C
|Odor Threshold Concentration|| 21.4 PPM
Detection of acrylonitrile in water is 1.86x10 1 ppm; chemically pure
Low= 8.1000 mg/cu m; High= 78.7500 mg/cu m
|Sensitivity Data|| Immediately irritating to the eye.
ACRYLONITRILE SPILLED ON HUMAN SKIN RESULTS IN ERYTHEMA & BLISTERS.
|Environmental Impact|| Acrylonitrile is an important industrial chemical used in the production of acrylic and
modacrylic fibers and other important chemicals and resins and is released as fugitive emissions
and in wastewater during its production and use. More general sources such as auto exhaust,
cigarette smoke and release from fibers and plastics have been identified but their importance has
not been evaluated. When released to the atmosphere, it will degrade primarily by reacting with
photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals. The half-life for this process will be 3.5 sunlit days
under relatively clean atmospheric conditions to somewhat over a day with smog. Therefore there
would be opportunity for dispersal from source areas. If released in wastewater, acrylonitrile will
slowly evaporate (half-life 1-6 days) and also biodegrade (complete degradation in approx 1 week
in receiving water in which microorganisms would be acclimated). If spilled on land, it will
volatilize fairly rapidly due to its relatively high Henry's Law constant and low adsorption to soil.
Some acrylonitrile would leach into the ground where its fate is unknown. Humans are exposed to
acrylonitrile primarily in the workplace via inhalation and possibly dermal contact. There is a
potential for the general public to be exposed to acrylonitrile in the air from its dispersal from
source areas, outgassing from acrylic fibers, auto exhaust and cigarette smoke as well as via
ingestion from food which is in contact with plastic containers where acrylonitrile monomer has
|Environmental Fate|| AQUATIC FATE: THERE IS RELATIVELY LITTLE INFORMATION ON THE
MOVEMENT, FATE, & PERSISTENCE OF ACRYLONITRILE IN WATER.
/INVESTIGATORS REPORTED THAT AT AN INITIAL CONCN OF 10 MG/L, ONLY
46% REMAINED AFTER 24 HR, 19% AFTER 48 HR, & 5% AFTER 96 HR.
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Acrylonitrile contains a carbon-carbon double bond which should
enhance its reactivity toward atmospheric photo-oxidation by hydroxyl radicals or other oxidants.
Expected products include hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and formic acid.
AQUATIC FATE: In aquatic environments, water would react with acrylonitrile to produce
3-hydroxypropionitrile and bis(2-cyanoethyl)ether in the presence of a catalyst, ie clay surfaces.
TERRESTRIAL FATE: In view of its high vapor pressure , relatively high Henry's Law
constant , and poor adsorption to soil acrylonitrile will evaporate fairly rapidly if spilled on land.
Because it is so poorly adsorbed to soil, it may also leach.
AQUATIC FATE: If released into water, acrylonitrile will probably slowly biodegrade. In two
river die-away studies, biodegradation was complete in 6 and 20 days(1-2). Volatilization would
also occur with expected half-lives of 1-6 days in environmental waters. In water with high
organic content, photooxidation by radicals may occur but data in natural systems are not
available. Adsorption to sediment or particulate matter and bioconcentrations in aquatic
organisms will be insignificant.
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: If released to the atmosphere, acrylonitrile will degrade by reaction with
hydroxyl radicals with a reaction half-life of 3.5 12-hr sunlit days . This would be reduced
considerably under smog conditions . Since it is relatively long-lived in the atmosphere,
considerable dispersion would be expected to occur. Reaction with ozone is probably not a
significant reaction in relation to hydroxyl radicals.
|Drinking Water Impact|| DRINKING WATER: Detected, not quantified in one or more water supplies in a 5 city
survey of US drinking water with known sources of contamination .
SURFACE WATER: US-914 STORET (EPA's Water Quality Data Base) stations - 5% of
samples had detectable quantities of acrylonitrile .
GROUNDWATER: Screening of 1174 community wells and 617 private wells in Wisconsin
during the early 1980's did not detect any acrylonitrile .
EFFL: Acrylonitrile was present in effluent discharged from chemical, latex manufacturing, and
was detected at 0.1 g/l in effluent discharged from an acrylic fiber-manufacturing plants in the
1278 STORET (EPA Water quality data base) stations 1.6% of samples had detectable quantities
of acrylonitrile . Detected in the treated wastewater from the following industries (mean concn):
iron and steel manufacturing (1600 ppb), foundries (23 ppb), organic chemicals/plastics
manufacture (93 ppb), and rubber processing (10 ppb) . Rio Blanco-CO-Oil shale retort outgas
0.5-2 ppm . US acrylic fiber mfg plant 0.1 g/l . Louisville, KY - chemical and latex
manufacturing plant - detected, not quantified .