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Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 79061
CASRN 79-06-1
SynonymsAcrylamide
2-Propenamide
Analytical Method EPA Method 8032
Molecular FormulaC3H5NO

Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details on this compound.

Use REACTIVE MONOMER & INTERMEDIATE IN PRODN OF ORGANIC CHEMICALS; POLYMER OR COPOLYMER SYNTHESIS OF DYES; CROSS-LINKING AGENT; ADHESIVES, PAPER & TEXTILE SIZES; IN SOIL CONDITIONING AGENTS; FLOCCULANTS; SEWAGE & WASTE TREATMENT; IN ORE PROCESSING, PERMANENT PRESS FABRICS Used in the construction of dam foundations and tunnels. Used in electrophoresis, molecular biology, genetic engineering.
Consumption Patterns 40% FOR POLYACRYLAMIDES USED IN THE WATER TREATMENT INDUSTRY; 20% FOR POLYACRYLAMIDES USED IN THE PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY; 40% FOR POLYACRYLAMIDES USED IN MISC APPLICATIONS INCL DRILLING MUD ADDITIVES, TEXTILE TREATMENT, SURFACE COATINGS (1973) 45% FOR WATER TREATMENT, 20% FOR OIL DRILLING, 20% FOR PULP AND PAPER, 10% FOR MINERAL PROCESSING, 5% OTHER (1984) Water treatment, 45%; oil drilling, 20%; pulp and paper, 20%; mineral processing, 10%; other, 5%. Demand: 1987: 110 million lb; 1988 projected/: 100 million lb; 1992 projected/: 120 million lb (Includes imports of 15 to 20 million lb in 1987; exports are negligible).
Apparent Color FLAKE-LIKE CRYSTALS FROM BENZENE MONOMER ; WHITE CRYSTALLINE SOLID ; LEAF CRYSTALS FROM BENZENE
Odor ODORLESS
Boiling Point 125 DEG C AT 25 MM HG
Melting Point 84.5 DEG C
Molecular Weight 71.08
Density 1.122 @ 30 DEG C/4 DEG C
Sensitivity Data In man acrylamide causes local irritation on contact with the skin.
Environmental Impact Acrylamide may be released into the environment primarily in wastewater during its production and use in the manufacture of polyacrylamides and other polymers. Other releases may result from the disposal of the solid monomer on land or from leaching of residual monomer from polyacrylamides. If released on land, acrylamide would be expected to leach readily into the ground and biodegrade within a few weeks based on experimental data. If released into water, it should biodegrade in approximately 8 to 12 days. Bioconcentration in fish and adsorption to sediment should not be significant. In the atmosphere, the vapor phase chemical should react with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals (half-life 6.6 hr) and be washed out by rain. Human exposure will be primarily occupational via dermal contact and inhalation, although exposure to the general public has resulted from the leaching of the acrylamide monomer from polyacyrlamide flocculants used in water treatment.
Environmental Fate AQUATIC & TERRESTRIAL FATE: Acrylamide and its monomeric analogs have a high mobility in an aqueous environment, and are readily leachable in soil. Acrylamide may travel great distances in the ground water of deep rock aquifers. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Acrylamide is unlikely to enter and be distributed in the atmosphere to any significant extent, because of its low vapor pressure. TERRESTRIAL FATE: When released on soil, acrylamide would be expected to leach readily into the ground and biodegrade within a few weeks based upon experimental data. AQUATIC FATE: Since acrylamide has been found to degrade in distilled water over a period of 1-2 months and river water in 8-12 days, it is unlikely that acrylamide would have a long residence time in natural waters. Acclimation of microorganisms has been shown to be important(1,SRC). In systems in which the residence time is relatively short, such as in sewage works and water treatment facilities, acrylamide may not be completely degraded and acrylamide has been detected in the effluent from a sewage treatment plant . Adsorption to sediment and volatilization will not be appreciable. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: If released into the atmosphere, acrylamide in the vapor phase should react with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals (estimated half-life 6.6 hr ). However, due to its low Henry's Law constant, acrylamide in the atmosphere should exist mostly adsorbed to particulate matter. Due to its high solubility in water, it should also be scavenged by rain.
Drinking Water Impact Acrylamide was detected at levels of <5 ug/l in both river and tap water in an area where polyacrylamides were used in the treatment of potable water. DRINKING WATER: Cases of human poisoning from well water contaminated with acrylamide have been documented . The source of the poisoning was sewer grouting . No acrylamide was found in either the output of the Kansas City water treatment plant or tap water at the Midwest Research Institute . Tap water in Plymounth, England contained 0.75 ppb of acrylamide, however no acrylamide was found in Devon tapwater from areas not using polyacrylamides for water treatment . SURFACE WATER: In a monitoring study of acrylamide around 5 industrial sites including 2 acrylamide producers, 4 polyacrylamide producers and one polyacrylamide user, acrylamide was found in only one water sample, 1.5 ppm, downstream from the outfall of a polyacrylamide producer . 0.03 ppb of acrylamide was found in an unspecified British river downstream from a clay pit . Acrylamide was not detected in the River Erme of Culm in Devon, England, but 3.4 ppb was found in the River Tavy, the source of which was unknown . No acrylamide was detected in seawater from Plymouth sound or estuarine water from a creek in Devon, England . EFFL: From: sewage works (UK), 2.3-17.4 ug/l; clay pit (UK), 16 ug/l; acrylamide manufacture (UK), 1100 ug/l (untreated), 280 ug/l (treated); pulp mill (UK), 0.47-1.2; coal washing (UK), 1.8 ug/l; tailings lagoon (UK), 39-42 ug/l From table In paper mill treated effluent: 0.47-1.2 ug/l; in colliery coal washing effluent: 1.8 ug/l; in colliery tailings lagoon: 39-42 ug/l; in sewage effluents: 0.280 mg/l 17.4 ppb of acrylamide was detected in sewage effluent in Devon, England .

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