skin contact with acrylamide

Peter pxpst2 at
Mon Jul 20 17:24:15 EST 1998

In article <35B38CAD.D8B at>, fordb at wrote:

> > The rest
> > does not penetrate the skin that fast - a brief wash should suffice. 
> This is erroneous advice. Acrylamide monomer is a small, amphipathic,
> molecule with considerable ability to dissolve in polar and non-polar
> substances (that is in plasma and to pass cell membranes. Acrylamide
> monomer has high mobility through normal latex lab gloves as well.
> Immediate and extended washing with water should be strongly advised.
> Immediate further treatment might have been beneficial but any delays
> increase the likelihood of permanent and progressive damage.

Acrylamde can only travel through the skin if you have it dissolved in a
carrier capable of passing through the skin.  I have always seen the
monomer disolved in aqueous solutions therefore it will not travel through
the skin.  The danger with acrylamide in the Lab is the weighing out
stage.  It can be breathed in and thus cause great damage.  In solution on
your skin, it is not capable of causing great harm.  It is reactive enough
that it will not travel far in the plasma.  The primary target of aqueous
contact with acrilamide is the corss-linking of sensory neurons.  They
will regenerate over time.
> > Next, to
> > get long-term effects of acrylamide poisoning, one must have really strong
> > short-term effects, which isn't something you describe.
> This is almost diametrically contrary to fact. Long-term effects of
> acrylamide neurotoxicity from moderate occupational exposures are very
> frequently not accompanied by any short-term effects. However, short
> term effects are reported and have severe prognostic indications. 

looking at is the long term effects of Breathing of the monomer powder. 
It is very very nasty.  When I weigh out the powder I Have a mask(.2um
pores) and no one enters the lab til I am finished(no air currents).  If
you are going to read the MSDS, then read them completely.
> > I don't doubt that acrylamide is toxic, 
> And you would not have any doubt if you bothered to familiarize yourself
> with the literature before expounding from what appears to be almost
> complete ignorance.

You nead to learn to read.

Generally speaking, if you have contact with aqueous acrylamide then wash
your hand promptly with lots of water.  If you have contact with the
powder then you F*CKED UP and should have been more attentive to the
reagents you are using.  BTW, there are lots of chemicals that will kill
you in the lab, It is the responsibility of the users to make sure that
they adheare to all safety protocols.  Weighing out acrylamide is probably
the most dangerous thing that biologist do and I am always amazed at how
lightly they take it.


"Don't you eat that yellow snow
            watch out where the Huskies go"    FZ


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