Acrylonitrile

CAS RN:107-13-1

Toxicity Summary

IDENTIFICATION AND USE: Acrylonitrile is a clear, colorless liquid at room temperature. Acrylonitrile is used as a monomer for acrylic and modacrylic fibers and whiskers, in copolymers with styrene and butadiene (ABS resins), in the manufacture of adiponitrile, and in nitrile rubbers. Acrylonitrile is no longer used as a fumigant and nitrile resins made with acrylonitrile are no longer used to make beverage bottles. HUMAN STUDIES: Dermal exposure to acrylonitrile causes irritation, burns, and blisters. Additionally, dermal exposure to acrylonitrile can lead to systemic toxicity and lethality. Chronic effects can also occur after exposure to acrylonitrile vapors or liquid. 576 Japanese workers exposed to 5-20 ppm acrylonitrile over 10 yr showed headache, fatigue, nausea, and weakness with symptoms of anemia, jaundice, conjunctivitis, and abnormal whole blood and serum specific gravity, cholinesterase, urobilinogen, bilirubin, urinary protein, and sugar values, indicative of liver injury and a general toxic effect. In cultured human bronchial epithelial cells acrylonitrile induced cytotoxicity, sister chromatid exchanges and DNA single strand breaks. Acrylonitrile affected semen quality among exposed workers. Acrylonitrile or its metabolites could induce reproductive defects as an in vivo multipotent genotoxic agent by inducing DNA strand breakage and sex chromosome non-disjunction in spermatogenesis. Exposure to acrylonitrile in pregnant workers caused increasing risk of preterm delivery and birth defects. ANIMAL STUDIES: After a single oral dose of 46.5 mg/kg bw acrylonitrile, moderate to marked hyperplasia of the Clara cells lining the bronchioles was observed in male rats. A 10% aqueous solution administered to the eyes of a rabbit caused a trace of pain and slight conjunctival irritation immediately following contact. There was no corneal injury at any time. The conjunctiva was completely normal within 24 hours. Intraperitoneal injection of 50 mg/kg bw acrylonitrile daily for three weeks to adult rats resulted in loss of body weight, leukocytosis, functional disturbances in the liver and kidneys, slight damage to the neuronal cells of the brain stem and cortex and parenchymal degeneration of the liver and kidneys. A single intravenous dose of 150 mg/kg bw (15 mg/animal) acrylonitrile administered to rats produced bilateral adrenocortical hemorrhage and necrosis. Acrylonitrile was administered in the drinking water to rats for 2 yr at dose levels of 35, 100, and 300 ppm. A statistically significant incidence of tumors was observed in the brain (astrocytomas), ear canal (Zymbal gland), stomach (nonglandular portion), mammary gland (females only), tongue, pituitary gland, pancreas (males only), and uterus. Rats exposed by inhalation to 40 or 80 ppm of acrylonitrile had no statistically significant changes in reproductive success or fetal development. Only the pups of rats administered acrylonitrile per os (65 mg/kg) for days 6 to 15 of gestation had an increase in malformations. At the high dose level there was a significant increase in acaudate or short-tailed fetuses. The majority of other abnormalities including short trunk, anteriorly displaced ovaries, missing ribs, and imperforate anus were observed in the acaudate and short-tailed fetuses whether these animals were from the control or experimental group. The only anomaly that occurred solely in treated animals was a right-sided aortic arch, which appeared in one fetus from the 25 mg/kg/day group and one fetus from the 65 mg/kg/day group. Acrylonitrile, in aqueous or gas phases, induced reverse mutations in Salmonella typhimurium TA1530, TA1535, TA1950, TA100, TA1538, TA98 and TA1978 in the presence of metabolic activation.
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