butyl acrylate toxicity

Oliver Flint flinto at bms.com
Thu Nov 5 15:14:14 EST 1998

Note: Butyl acrylate vapor is irritating and damages the nasal epithelial
lining. In chronic studies in rats the vapor also damaged the corneal
epithelium. It is possible that the Highway Deparetment reacted
stronglybecause its workers were exposed to large quantities of an
irritating vapor. All the published reports suggest that BA is neither
mutagenic, clastogenic or carcinogenic. Nevertheless, chronic exposure to an
irritant that induces epithelial damage might be expected to lead to
hyperplasia and the distinct possibility of non-genotoxic carcinogenesis.
Presumably, however, this liquid was spilled in the open and has mostly
evaporated by now.

Oliver Flint

Tom McCloud wrote:

>     There was a terrible, fiery traffic accident on US Rt. 50 near
> Clarksburg, W.Va. two weeks ago.   A tanker truck carrying butyl
> acrylate overturned and burned, killing the driver.   This post is about
> the response of the state highway department, which declared that since
> the extremely hazardous chemical, butyl acrylate, had soaked into the
> asphalt and bed of the roadway it would be necessary to rip that up and
> carry it to a hazardous waste site for disposal, and rebuild and re-pave
> the roadway before it could be opened to traffic.
> I'm not a toxicologist, but I am a chemist.   I read the MSD for butyl
> acrylate, and it's LD50 in mice is in the grams range.  It is not a
> carcinogen.  It is less flammable than gasoline. It does not contain a
> halogen.  In my own lab I would treat it like any other run-of-the-mill
> slightly flammable chemical, without great concern.     So I have to
> think that the response of the highway department was excessive for this
> specific case.   A good cleanup, for sure, and maybe a fresh coat of
> asphault over the wreck site, but dig it up and haul it someplace for
> burial???  Is that really called for?   Looking for some expert
> commentary.
>                                                                 Tom
> McCloud
> Frederick Cancer Research

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