Acrylonitrile is classified as moderately toxic by acute exposure through oral intake, skin contact, and inhalation. Symptoms of exposure include weakness, lightheadedness, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Acrylonitrile is severely irritating to the eyes and mildly irritating to the skin; prolonged contact with the skin can lead to burns.
Acrylonitrile is mutagenic in bacterial and mammalian cell cultures and embryotoxic/ teratogenic in rats at levels that produce maternal toxicity. Acrylonitrile is carcinogenic in rats and is regulated by OSHA as a carcinogen (29 CFR 1910.1045). Acrylonitrile is listed in IARC Group 2A ("probable human carcinogen") and is classified as a "select carcinogen" under the criteria of the OSHA Laboratory Standard.
Flammability and Explosibility
Highly flammable liquid (NFPA rating = 3). Vapor forms explosive mixtures with air at concentrations of 3 to 17% (by volume). Hazardous gases produced in fire include hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen. Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers should be used to fight acrylonitrile fires.