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CHEMINFO Record Number: 241
CCOHS Chemical Name: Methyl acrylate

Acrylic acid, methyl ester
Methyl acrylic ester
Methyl propenate
Methyl propenoate
Methyl 2-propenoate
2-Propenoic acid, methyl ester

Chemical Name French: Acrylate de méthyle
Chemical Name Spanish: Acrilato de metilo
CAS Registry Number: 96-33-3
UN/NA Number(s): 1919
RTECS Number(s): AT2800000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 202-500-6
Chemical Family: Aliphatic carboxylic acid ester / unsaturated aliphatic carboxylic acid ester / monounsaturated aliphatic monocarboxylic acid ester / alkyl alkenoate / acrylic acid ester / acrylate / methyl ester
Molecular Formula: C4-H6-O2
Structural Formula: CH2=CH-C(=O)-O-CH3


Appearance and Odour:
Clear, colourless liquid with a pungent, acrid odour.(3) Lachrymator (vapour irritates the eyes and causes tears).(16,17)

Odour Threshold:
Reported values cannot be verified ; 3 ppb (0.003 ppm) (detection); 20 ppb (0.02 ppm) (recognition).(18) Odour fatigue may occur.(19)

Warning Properties:
NOT RELIABLE - reported odour threshold values cannot be verified and olfactory fatigue (odour may not be noticed after short periods) is reported to occur, but cannot be verified.

Methyl acrylate is normally available in greater than 98-99% purity. It usually contains trace amounts of an inhibitor (hydroquinone (15-20 ppm) or hydroquinone monomethyl ether (10-20 ppm or 100 ppm)) to prevent premature polymerization. Impurities may include water and acrylic acid.(3,17,20,21)

Uses and Occurrences:
Used primarily in the manufacture of acrylic and modacrylic fibres, thermoplastic resins, plastics additives, polyacrylates, and acrylic emulsion polymers; in the production of detergents, flocculants, dispersion aids and plastic films; in the synthesis of vitamin B1; and as a starting material for organic synthesis. Methyl acrylate is also used as a monomer in ionic exchange resins and barrier films.(3,7,17,20-22)
Methyl acrylate is a volatile component of pineapples. It may be released into the environment in the air or wastewater, during its production and use.(7)


Clear, colourless liquid with a pungent, acrid odour. Lachrymator. FLAMMABLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. Vapour is heavier than air and may spread long distances. Distant ignition and flash back are possible. Liquid can float on water and may travel to distant locations and/or spread fire. DANGEROUSLY REACTIVE. Uninhibited and inhibited liquid can polymerize explosively if heated. Vapor or uninhibited liquid may also polymerize explosively if exposed to sunlight (ultraviolet light) or incompatible materials. Closed containers may rupture violently when heated. VERY TOXIC. May be fatal if inhaled or harmful if swallowed. The vapour is extremely irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. May cause lung injury--effects may be delayed. CORROSIVE to the eyes and skin. May cause blindness and permanent scarring. SKIN SENSITIZER. May cause allergic skin reaction.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Methyl acrylate can quickly form very high vapour concentrations and is very toxic by inhalation. It has a pungent, acrid odour at very low concentrations (3 to 20 ppb). Inhalation can cause severe irritation of the nose, throat and upper respiratory system. Animal studies indicate that injury is generally limited to the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat and bronchial tubes). However, in severe cases, lung injury has been observed. Therefore, severe occupational exposures may produce a potentially life-threatening accumulation of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), shock, and death due to respiratory failure. Symptoms of pulmonary edema, such as shortness of breath, may not appear until several hours after exposure.
There is no specific human information available for methyl acrylate.

Skin Contact:
Methyl acrylate is corrosive to the skin, based on animal information. Corrosive effects can include severe irritation, burns and blistering. Permanent injury, including scarring, could result especially if methyl acrylate is trapped against the skin, e.g. under clothing or watchbands or in a shoe or boot.
Application of 20% methyl acrylate produced local skin irritation in 10/30 volunteers 2 days later. Repeat testing 30 days later produced no irritation at 1%, irritation in 3 volunteers at 5% and in 4 volunteers at 20%.(1,2, original unavailable in English) There is a single case report of employee exposed to undiluted methyl acrylate in his boot. Exposed skin developed a blister 8 days later.(2, original unavailable)
Methyl acrylate can cause allergic skin reactions. Refer to "Effects of Long- Term (Chronic) Exposure" for additional information.
Low absorption is expected following skin contact, based on animal studies.

Eye Contact:
Methyl acrylate is considered corrosive to the eyes because it has caused corrosive injury to the skin of animals. Although, the animal studies located only show severe eye irritation. Depending on the degree of exposure and the duration of contact, permanent damage including blindness could result. No human information was located.
The vapour is severely irritating to the eyes, causing tearing, based on animal observations.

There is no human information available. Animal information indicates that methyl acrylate is toxic following ingestion. Methyl acrylate is broken down in the body to form corrosive acrylic acid and methanol, which are then converted to other chemicals and excreted. Symptoms following ingestion may include irritation of the mouth, throat and stomach. Other symptoms may include diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

Lungs/Respiratory System:
Limited information suggests that long-term exposure to methyl acrylate may cause harmful effects on the respiratory system. In a small, unpublished study, 15 employees were followed over an 8 week period. Personal sampling showed average exposure to be 2 ppm, with peaks of 12.6-30 ppm lasting 2-5 minutes. Area sampling found a mean level of 5.4 ppm (0.6-17.2 ppm). The highest peak exposures were up to 122 ppm. Respiratory function testing showed that 50% of all subjects and 60% of all operators had broncial hyperactivity at the start of the study.(1,3) Animal information also suggests that long-term exposure could cause irritation of the nose, throat and respiratory tract.

Skin Sensitization:
Methyl acrylate is a skin sensitizer, based on animal evidence, limited human information and comparison to related acrylates. Once a person is sensitized to a material, contact with even a small amount causes outbreaks of dermatitis with symptoms such as skin redness, itching, rash and swelling. This can spread from the hands or arms to other parts of the body.
There is a single case report of an employee exposed to undiluted methyl acrylate in his boot. The exposed skin developed a blister 8 days later. Approximately 17 days after the first exposure, re-exposure to vapours occurred, which produced dry, red, itchy skin on the neck and upper forehead and a flare- up of the blister. Patch testing confirmed sensitization at 0.1% and above. Cross-sensitization with other acrylates was also reported. This individual had no personal or family predisposition to developing allergies.(3,4-original unavailable)
No conclusions can be drawn from the other case reports available. In one occupational case, the individual was atopic (predisposed to developing allergies.(5) Another case report describes sensitization to methyl acrylate in nail lacquer. The patch test was positive at 1.5% concentration.(6) In this case, it is not clear if the exposure was occupational, nor if there was a predisposition to allergies.
Cross-sensitization to other acrylates may occur.(3)

Limited information suggests that long-term exposure to methyl acrylate may cause harmful effects to the eyes. In a small, unpublished study, 15 employees were followed over an 8 week period. Personal sampling showed average exposure to be 2 ppm, with peaks of 12.6-30 ppm lasting 2-5 minutes. Area sampling found a mean level of 5.4 ppm (0.6-17.2 ppm). The highest peak exposures were up to 122 ppm. No corneal changes were noted, but all subjects had mild to moderate inflammation and redness of the eyes at the beginning and throughout the study. Reporting of eye irritation was increased by the end of the shift and was greater in the higher exposure group, but the results were not statistically significant..(1,3) Animal information also suggests that long-term exposure could cause irritation of the eyes.


There are no human population studies relevant to the carcinogenicity evaluation of methyl acrylate available. There is inadequate evidence in for the carcinogenicity of methyl acrylate to experimental animals.(7)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that this chemical is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has designated this chemical as not classifiable as a human carcinogen (A4).

The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has not listed this chemical in its report on carcinogens.

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
There is no human or animal information available.

Reproductive Toxicity:
There is no human or animal information available.

There is no human information available. The available animal information suggests that methyl acrylate is not mutagenic. Studies using live animals with relevant routes of exposure have shown negative results. Positive and negative results have been obtained in tests using cultured mammalian cells. Negative results have been obtained in tests using fruit flies and bacteria.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
Pre-treatment with triorthotolyl phosphate (TOTP) increased the short-term inhalation toxicity of methyl acrylate to rats.(8)

Potential for Accumulation:
Does not accumulate. Methyl acrylate is readily absorbed following ingestion and inhalation, and to a lesser extent following skin contact, and distributed throughout the body. In animals, the majority of absorbed methyl acrylate is metabolized to acrylic acid and methanol. These chemicals are further metabolized to carbon dioxide, which is excreted in the expired air. In a second, minor pathway, methyl acrylate is conjugated with glutathione to form thioethers, which are excreted in the urine.(1,3)


This chemical is flammable and very toxic. Take proper precautions to ensure your own safety before attempting rescue (e.g. remove any sources of ignition, wear appropriate protective equipment, use the "buddy" system). Remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. If breathing is difficult, oxygen may be beneficial if administered by a person trained in its use, preferably on a doctor's advice. Immediately transport victim to an emergency care facility.

Skin Contact:
Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective clothing, if necessary. Flush contaminated area with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 20-30 minutes, by the clock. Under running water, remove contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). If irritation persists, repeat flushing. DO NOT INTERRUPT FLUSHING. If necessary, keep emergency vehicle waiting. Immediately transport victim to an emergency care facility. Discard contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods.

Eye Contact:
Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective gloves, if necessary. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 20-30 minutes, by the clock, while holding the eyelid(s) open. Neutral saline solution may be used as soon as it is available. DO NOT INTERRUPT FLUSHING. If necessary, keep emergency vehicle waiting. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the unaffected eye or onto the face. If irritation persists, repeat flushing. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility.

NEVER give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, or is unconscious or convulsing. Have victim rinse mouth thoroughly with water. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 240 to 300 mL (8 to 10 oz) of water to dilute material in the stomach. If vomiting occurs naturally, repeat administration of water. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility.

First Aid Comments:
Provide general supportive measures (comfort, warmth, rest).
Consult a doctor and/or the nearest Poison Control Centre for all exposures.
Some recommendations in the above sections may be considered medical acts in some jurisdictions. These recommendations should be reviewed with a doctor and appropriate delegation of authority obtained, as required.
All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the material and its conditions of use in the workplace.


Flash Point:
-3 to -2.7 deg C (26.6 to 27.14 deg F) (closed cup) (3,7,17,23); also reported as 6 deg C (43 deg F) (16)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
2.8% (17,21,24)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
25% (17,21,24)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
393 deg C (739.4 deg F) (3,17); also reported as 468 deg C (875 deg F) (24)

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Probably not sensitive. Stable material.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Mixtures of methyl acrylate vapour and air at concentrations in the flammable range may be ignited by a static charge of sufficient energy.

Electrical Conductivity:
Not available.

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other irritant gases, which may include unburned methyl acrylate, aldehydes and other toxic constituents.(16,20)

Fire Hazard Summary:
Flammable and dangerously reactive liquid. Material will readily ignite at room temperature. Hazardous polymerization of inhibited liquid may occur under fire conditions. Methyl acrylate may polymerize explosively in a fire. Vapours may form polymers in vents and flame arresters, resulting in blockage of vents and/or the rupture of closed containers. Vapour is heavier than air and can travel a considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back to a leak or open container. Liquid can float on water and may travel to distant locations and spread fire. During a fire, irritating/toxic gases may be generated. Vapour can accumulate in confined spaces posing a toxicity and flammability/explosion hazard.

Extinguishing Media:
Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, alcohol-resistant foam or water spray.(3,24) Water may be ineffective, since it may not cool methyl acrylate below its flash point.(24) Carbon dioxide or dry chemical powder may be used on small fires.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Use extreme caution since explosive polymerization may occur under fire conditions and may rupture containers. Fight fire from a protected, explosion-resistant location or maximum possible distance. Approach fire from upwind to avoid hazardous vapours and toxic decomposition products.
Water can extinguish the fire if used under favourable conditions and when hose streams are applied by experienced firefighters trained in fighting all types of flammable liquid fires.(24)
If fire occurs in the vicinity of methyl acrylate, use unmanned monitors and hoseholders to keep cooling streams of water on fire-exposed containers, tanks or pipelines until well after the fire is out, in order to protect their contents from the danger of polymerization. This should begin as soon as possible and should concentrate on any unwetted portions of the container. Stay away from ends of tanks. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discolouration of tank due to fire.
In an advanced or massive fire, the area should be evacuated; use unmanned hoseholders or monitor nozzles. If this is is not possible, withdraw from fire area and do not attempt to fight the fire.
If a leak or spill has not ignited, use water spray to cool and disperse the vapours. Water spray may also be used to dilute spills to non-flammable mixtures and to flush spills away from ignition sources. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material.
Tanks, drums or other containers should not be approached directly after they have been involved in a fire or heated by exposure, until they have completely cooled down.

Protection of Fire Fighters:
Methyl acrylate is very toxic and a skin sensitizer. Do not enter fire area without wearing specialized protective equipment suitable for the situation. Firefighter's normal protective clothing (Bunker Gear) will not provide adequate protection. A full-body encapsulating chemical protective suit with positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (NIOSH approved or equivalent) may be necessary.


NFPA - Health: 3 - Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury.
NFPA - Flammability: 3 - Liquids and solids that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions.
NFPA - Instability: 2 - Undergoes violent chemical change at elevated temperatures and pressures, or reacts violently with water, or may form explosive mixtures with water.


Molecular Weight: 86.09

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 3.51 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.285 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: -75 deg C (-103 deg F) (3,16,19); also reported as -76.5 deg C (-105.7 deg F) (20,25)
Boiling Point: 80-80.5 deg C (176-177 deg F) (3,16,19,20)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.954 at 20 deg C (water = 1) (3,21,17); also reported as 0.956 at 20 deg C (water = 1) (3,7,25)
Solubility in Water: Moderately soluble (approximately 5 g/100 g at 23-25 deg C) (3,17,21)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in ethanol, diethyl ether, acetone and benzene (7,19,20,22)
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Log P(oct) = 0.80 (22,26)
pH Value: Not available
Viscosity-Dynamic: 0.53 mPa.s (0.53 centipoise) at 20 deg C (17); 0.49 mPa.s (0.49 centipoise) at 25 deg C (3,17)
Viscosity-Kinematic: 0.554-0.556 mm2/s (0.554-0.556 centistokes) at 20 deg C (calculated)
Saybolt Universal Viscosity: 27.4 Saybolt Universal Seconds at 37.8 deg C (100 deg F) (calculated)
Surface Tension: 24.2 mN/m (24.2 dynes/cm) at 20 deg C (22)
Vapour Density: 2.97 (air = 1) (1,19)
Vapour Pressure: 9.09-9.3 kPa (68-70 mm Hg) at 20 deg C (3,7,17,21); 11.47 kPa (86 mm Hg) at 25 deg C (calculated) (27)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: Approximately 89500-92000 ppm (8.95-9.2%) at 20 deg C; 113200 ppm (11.32%) at 25 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: Not available
Henry's Law Constant: 19.96 Pa.m3/mol (cited as 1.97 x 10(-4) atm.m3/mol) at 25 deg C (estimated)(35); log H = -2.09 (dimensionless constant; calculated)


Liquid methyl acrylate is stable in the presence of an inhibitor, if kept at normal temperatures. Even inhibited methyl acrylate can polymerize explosively when moderately heated.(23) The vapour may polymerize explosively.

Hazardous Polymerization:
Acrylic monomers polymerize violently, unless stabilized with an inhibitor. Even inhibited methyl acrylate can polymerize when moderately heated.(23) Uninhibited methyl acrylate liquid or material that is depleted of inhibitor can polymerize violently when exposed to light (ultraviolet or sunlight), or the presence of incompatible materials that act as catalysts (e.g. metals or peroxides).(3,17,20,28) Phenolic inhibitors are only effective in the presence of oxygen.(28) Moisture may cause rust-initiated polymerization.(21) Hazardous polymerization can also occur in the vapour phase. Methyl acrylate dimerizes slowly on standing. This reaction is promoted by elevated storage temperatures and cannot be prevented by stabilizers.(3)

Incompatibility - Materials to Avoid:

NOTE: Chemical reactions that could result in a hazardous situation (e.g. generation of flammable or toxic chemicals, fire or detonation) are listed here. Many of these reactions can be done safely if specific control measures (e.g. cooling of the reaction) are in place. Although not intended to be complete, an overview of important reactions involving common chemicals is provided to assist in the development of safe work practices.

PEROXIDES, CATALYTIC METALS (e.g. copper or iron), AZO-COMPOUNDS, and MOISTURE - can initiate violent or explosive polymerization.(3,20,21)
STRONG OXIDIZING AGENTS (e.g. chlorine, nitrates or perchlorates) - may react violently. Increased risk of fire and explosion.(3,16,20,23) May cause violent or explosion polymerization.(3,20,24)
STRONG ACIDS (e.g. chlorosulfonic acid) - may react to produce heat and pressure.(16,24,29) May initiate violent or explosive polymerization.(20)
STRONG BASES (e.g. alkalis, such as sodium hydroxide or ammonium hydroxide) - may react violently.(16,24) Can extract the phenolic inhibitor, e.g. hydroquinone or hydroquinone methyl ether.(21) May initiate violent or explosive polymerization.(3,20)
AMINES (e.g. 2-aminoethanol, ethylene diamine or ethyleneimine) - may react violently.(29) May initiate violent or explosive polymerization.

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported

Conditions to Avoid:
Heat, sparks, open flames, other ignition sources, sunlight, low inhibitor concentration, oxygen-free atmospheres, storage at temperatures above 10 deg C, contamination.

Corrosivity to Metals:
No specific information is available for methyl acrylate. It is probably not corrosive to the common metals. Stainless steels, carbon steel, cast iron, aluminum, copper, brass, naval bronze, aluminum bronze, silicon bronze, nickel and its alloys, tantalum, titanium and zirconium have good resistance (less than 20 mils (505 um)/year) to ethyl acrylate, a closely related acrylic ester.(30,31)

Corrosivity to Non-Metals:
Like ethyl acrylate, a closely related acrylate ester, it can probably attack some plastics, elastomers, and coatings.(30)

Stability and Reactivity Comments:
Phenolic inhibitors (hydroquinone and hydroquinone methyl ether) are effective only in the presence of oxygen.(28) Therefore, methyl acrylate must be stored under air, rather than under an inert atmosphere. However, the oxygen concentration must be kept low (6 to 8 vol%) to prevent the formation of a flammable mixture.(3,17,21) Care must be taken to prevent contamination, since contaminants can render the inhibitor ineffective or can promote polymerization.(3)
Temperatures must also be kept low to prevent formation of peroxides and other chemicals.(21)


LC50 (rat): 750-1000 ppm (4-hour exposure) (8)
LC50 (rat): 1000 ppm (4-hour exposure) (9)

LD50 (oral, rat): 277 mg/kg (1,3,10 - original not available in English)
LD50 (oral, rat): 300 mg/kg (9)

LD50 (dermal, rabbit): 1244 mg/kg; cited as 1.3 mL/kg (9)

Eye Irritation:

Methyl acrylate is a severe eye irritant.

Application of 0.1 mL of undiluted methyl acrylate caused severe injury in rabbits (scored over 5, where 5 is severe injury; graded 4/10).(9) An unpublished study has also shown severe irritation in rabbits following the application of 0.1 mL (scored 66/110).(3)

Skin Irritation:

Methyl acrylate has produced corrosive effects, especially when the site of application is covered.

Application of 0.5 mL of undiluted methyl acrylate for 1 hour, with partial or complete covering, produced redness and swelling in rabbits. With complete covering, there was irritation after 1 hour and corrosion after 4 hours.(11) In another study, covered application produced redness and swelling in rabbits in 1 hour and blistering in 2 hours.(3, unconfirmed) Application of 1-5 mL to the intact skin of rabbits (every 10 minutes for 1-3 hours for 1-2 days) produced fluid accumulation and abscesses at the site of contact.(12)

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

Irritation has been shown for all routes of exposure at the point of contact. Inhalation causes irritation of the nasal passages and lungs; oral exposure in the stomach and intestinal tract; and dermal exposure to the skin. The severity of the changes are related to dose, frequency and duration of contact.

Rats exposed by inhalation to 1086-2715 ppm for 4 hours showed irritation of the eyes, nose and respiratory tract and laboured breathing. Death was attributed to generalized heart and lung failure. No significant respiratory or central nervous system effects were observed in rats exposed to 110 ppm for 32 days. Autopsy showed no significant effects.(13)

Skin Contact:
Skin application of 28400 mg/kg to rabbits produced swelling and abscesses at the site of application. Follow-up 2 months later showed no abnormalities.(12) Application of approximately 190 mg/kg, with partial covering, to the shaved skin of 3 rabbits for 20 hours caused no deaths. Skin damage was observed at the site of contact.(3)

Single oral doses (2 mmol/kg) in rats resulted in profound irritation in the stomach 4 hours after administration (congestion, edema and some necrosis).(14) Lethal oral exposure of rabbits caused laboured breathing and bluish discolouration of the skin before death. There was congestion of the stomach and upper gastrointestinal tract with fluid accumulation in the kidneys, spleen, lungs and brain. Follow-up 2 months later of animals receiving sub-lethal doses showed only slight to moderate changes in the liver and kidneys. There were no effects observed following exposure to 23 mg/kg for 5 weeks.(12)

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

Long-term inhalation exposure has produced severe irritation of the eyes, nose, and lungs. No significant systemic toxicity was observed in rats exposed to 135 ppm for 2 years.

In a well-conducted 2-year study, rats were exposed by inhalation to 0, 15, 45, or 135 ppm. There were no exposure-related clinical signs or systemic toxicity detected by blood, urine or tissue studies. All animals had dose-related tissue degeneration and other changes in the lining of the nose. The olfactory (smell) cells were most affected. Corneal damage (including opacity) was observed in all groups, with only minor effects observed at 15 ppm. Both the nose and eye changes were believed to be associated with the irritating properties of methyl acrylate.(2) In a limited study (small numbers of animals), rats, guinea pigs, rabbits and a monkey exposed to 31 ppm for 70 days showed no effects from exposure. At 95 ppm, rabbits experienced eye and nasal irritation. At 237 ppm, rabbits and guinea pigs experienced laboured respiration and death, as did rats at 578 ppm. Fatally exposed animals had lung injury (congestion and edema) and degenerative changes in the heart muscle, liver and kidneys. In surviving animals, the effects were completely reversed 2 months after exposure.(12)

Rats were exposed to 0, 1, 5 or 20 mg/kg in drinking water for 13 weeks. Slight decreases in body weight and water consumption were observed at the highest dose. No other significant toxic effects attributable to exposure were observed.(3 citing an unpublished study)

Skin Sensitization:
Sensitization was produced in guinea pigs in 4/5 different protocols at doses as low as 1%. In most tests, methyl acrylate produced a positive reaction in 4/6 animals.(15) Positive results were also obtained in guinea pigs in another study that used 2 protocols. Methyl acrylate was considered to be a medium or strong sensitizer.(3)

Negative results have been obtained in one inhalation study using rats. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded there is inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of methyl acrylate to experimental animals.(7)
In a 2-year inhalation study, rats were exposed to 0, 15, 45, or 135 ppm. There was no significant difference in mortality between the groups. Incidence of soft-tissue sarcomas varied considerably among the groups, but there was no dose-dependence. No increased frequency of any tumor type in any organ could be related to a carcinogenic effect.(2)

The available information suggests that methyl acrylate is not mutagenic.
Negative results (bone marrow micronuclei induction) were obtained in inhalation and oral studies using mice (up to 2100 ppm or 250 mg/kg), even at toxic doses.(3) Other studies with live animals used routes of exposure (intraperitoneal) that are not relevant for evaluating potential human exposure.
Positive and negative results have been obtained in tests using cultured mammalian cells.(7) Negative results have been obtained in a test using fruit flies.(3) Negative results have been obtained in tests using bacteria.(1,3,7)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Methyl acrylate. In: Documentation of the threshold limit value and biological exposure indices. 6th ed. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), 1991
(2) Reininghaus, W., et al. Chronic toxicity and oncogenicity of inhaled methyl acrylate and n-butyl acrylate in Sprague-Dawley rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Vol. 29, no. 5 (1991). p. 329-339
(3) Methyl acrylate. Joint assessment of commodity chemicals, no. 37. European Centre for Ecotoxicity and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC), Sept., 1998
(4) Kanerva, L., et al. A single accidental exposure may result in a chemical burn, primary sensitization and allergic contact dermatitis. Contact Dermatitis. Vol. 31, no. 4 (1994). p. 229-235
(5) Kanerva, L., et al. Occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by photobonded sculptured nails and a review of (meth)acrylates in nail cosmetics. American Journal of Contact Dermatitis. Vol. 7, no. 2 (June, 1996). p. 109- 115
(6) Kanerva, L., et al. Methyl acrylate: a new sensitizer in nail lacquer. Contact Dermatitis. Vol. 33, no. 3 (1995). p. 203-204
(7) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Methyl acrylate. In: IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Vol. 71, part 3. Re-evaluation of some organic chemicals, hydrazine and hydrogen peroxide. World Health Organization, 1999. p. 1489-1496
(8) Silver, E. H., et al. Potentiation of acrylate ester toxicity by prior treatment with the carboxylesterase inhibitor triorthotolyl phosphate (TOTP). Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Vol. 57 (1981). p. 208-219
(9) Smyth, H. F. Jr., et al. Further experience with the range finding test in the industrial toxicology laboratory. Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. Vol. 30, no. 1 (1948). p. 63-68
(10) Acrylic acid, methyl ester. RTECS database record. Last updated: 1999-07
(11) Potokar, M., et al. Studies on the design of animal tests for the corrosiveness of industrial chemicals. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Vol. 23, no. 6 (1985). p. 615-617
(12) Treon, J. F., et al. The toxicity of methyl and ethyl acrylate. The Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. Vol. 31, no. 6 (Nov., 1949). p. 317-326
(13) Oberly, R., et al. LC50 values for rats acutely exposed to vapors of acrylic and methacrylic acid esters. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Vol. 16, no. 6 (1985). p. 811-822
(14) Ghanayem, B.I., et al. Ethyl acrylate-induced gastric toxicity. II. Structure-toxicity relationships and mechanism. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Vol. 80, no. 2 (1985). p. 336-344
(15) Parker, D., et al. Contact sensitivity to acrylate compounds in guinea pigs. Contact Dermatitis. Vol. 9, no. 1 (1983). p. 55-60
(16) Sigma-Aldrich Canada Ltd. Available at: <> {Password required)
(17) Ohara, T., et al. Acrylic acid and derivatives. In: Ullmann's encyclopedia of industrial chemistry. 5th completely revised ed. Vol. A 1. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, 1985. p. 161-176
(18) Odor thresholds for chemicals with established occupational health standards. American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1989. p. 22, 65
(19) Bisesi, M.S. Esters: acrylates: ethyl acrylate. In: Patty's industrial hygiene and toxicology. 4th ed. Edited by G.D. Clayton, et al. Vol. II. Toxicology. Part D. John Wiley and Sons, 1994. p. 2999-3006
(20) Emergency action guide for methyl acrylate. Association of American Railroads, July, 1994
(21) Bauer, W. Jr. Acrylic acid and derivatives. In: Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. 4th ed. Vol. 1. John Wiley and Sons, 1991. p. 287-314
(22) HSDB record for methyl acrylate. Last revision date: 1999/09/21
(23) Methyl acrylate. In: Chemical safety sheets: working safely with hazardous chemicals. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991. p. 575
(24) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325; NFPA 49
(25) Dean, J.A. Lange's handbook of chemistry. 14th ed. McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1992. p. 1.245, 5.113, 6.141
(26) Sangster, J. Octanol-water partition coefficients of simple organic compounds. Journal of Physical Chemistry Reference Data. Vol. 18, no. 3 (1989). p. 1179
(27) Daubert, T.E., et al. Data compilation tables of properties of pure compounds. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1985
(28) Urben, P.G., ed. Bretherick's reactive chemical hazards database (CD ROM). 6th ed. Version 3.0. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd., 1999
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(30) Schweitzer, P.A. Corrosion resistance tables: metals, nonmetals, coatings, mortars, plastics, elastomers and linings, and fabrics. 4th ed. Part B, E-O. Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1995. p. 1141-1144
(31) Corrosion data survey: metals section. 6th ed. National Association of Corrosion Engineers, 1985. p. 54-6 to 55-6
(32) Methyl acrylate. In: NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, June 1997
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(37) Industrial Biotest Labs Inc. Primary skin irritation tests with eighteen materials in albino rabbits with cover letter dated 06/15/89. Date produced: June 28, 1972. Hoechst Celanese Corp. EPA/OTS 86-890001277. NTIS/OTS0520783.

Information on chemicals reviewed in the CHEMINFO database is drawn from a number of publicly available sources. A list of general references used to compile CHEMINFO records is available in the database Help.

Review/Preparation Date: 2003-03-24

Revision Indicators:
PEL transitional comments 2004-01-09
PEL-TWA final 2004-01-09
PEL final comments 2004-01-09
Resistance of materials for PPE 2004-04-08
EU classification 2005-02-06
Passive Sampling Devices 2005-04-10
Bibliography 2005-12-06
Short-term skin contact 2005-12-06
Short-term eye contact 2005-12-06

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