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Methyl Alcohol Material Safety Data Sheet
 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 eye 
 contact 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 or VITON as good to excellent 
      protective materials. 
 
 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.