Toxic Gases & Vapors
Iso-cyanatomethane; Isocyanate de methyle [French]; Isocyanate, methyl-; Isocyanic acid, methyl ester; Methane, isocyanato-; Methyl carbonimide; Methyl isocyanat [German]; Methyl isocyanat [German]; Methyl isocyanate; Methyl isocyanide; Methylcarbylamine; Methylisocyanaat [Dutch]; Methylisokyanat [Czech]; Metil isocianato [Italian]; TL 1450; [ChemIDplus] UN2480
Colorless liquid with a sharp, pungent odor; [NIOSH]
Used in the production of insecticides, herbicides, polyurethanes, and other plastics; [ACGIH] Released from a pesticide factory in Bhopal India in 1984, killing about 2.500 people and leaving many survivors with chronic lung disease; [Rom, p. 503-4]
Methyl isocyanate can cause eye and skin injuries, pulmonary edema, and possibly immunological asthma. Skin sensitivity to methyl isocyanate developed in all sixteen guinea pigs tested. [ACGIH] Causes second and third degree burns after short skin exposures; [CHRIS] In high-dose reproductive studies of animals, methyl isocyanate decreases fertility and increases fetal losses and birth defects. Women exposed in the Bhopal disaster had higher rates of spontaneous abortions than controls. [Frazier, p. 344-5] A lachrymator; [HSDB] Methyl isocyanate is fibrogenic to the lungs in the context of an acute inhalation exposure complicated by bronchiolitis obliterans.
Skin Designation (ACGIH)
Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs
Lacrimation and irritation of the eyes, mucous membranes and skin; "Human data: Volunteers experienced eye irritation and lacrimation after 1 to 5 minutes at 2 ppm, with more marked irritation at 4 ppm; exposures were unbearable at 21 ppm [Kimmerle and Eben 1964]. In another study, volunteers noted eye irritation and lacrimation at 5 ppm in less than 50 seconds [Mellon 1963].
Odor Threshold Low
LC50 (rat) = 6.1 ppm/6 hr
Odor threshold from AIHA; Flash point = -7 deg C; VP from HSDB;
may ignite at ambient temp
Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: