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Propane Toxicology

Identification :

CAS Number : 74-98-6
UN Number : 1978
Molecular Formula : C3H8
Molecular Weight : 44.11

Main Synonyms :

French Names :
N-Propane,
Propane.
English Names :
Propane,
Dimethylmethane.

Comment :

An odoriferous agent is added in a very small amount with the aim of detecting its presence in the event of leaks. This odoriferous agent is in fact a mixture of mercaptans, mainly ethylmercaptan, which is added in a very weak concentration.

Uses and Sources of Emission :
 
Fuel, propelling agent.

 
Hygiene and Safety :

I-Appearance :
 
Pure, it is a colourless and odourless gas, in the absence of mercaptans.
 
II-Physical Properties :

Physical State : Gas
Molecular Mass : 44,09
Density : N/A
Solubility in Water : Not very soluble
Vapor Density (air=1) : 1,55
Melting Point : -187,7 °C
Boiling Point : -42,1 °C
Vapor Tension : N/A
Separation Coefficient (water/oil) : 0,004437
Olfactive Detection Limit : N/A
Conversion Factor (ppm-mg/m³) : 1,803
Evaporation Rate (ether=1) : N/A

III-Data on Fire Hazards :
 
T° of Auto-Ignition : 450 °C
Lower Explosive Limit : 2,1% to 25 °C
Upper Explosive Limit : 9,5% to 25 °C

Prevention :

I- Protection Measures :
 
The laws and by-laws in Occupational Health & Safety aim at the elimination of the hazards at the source. When engineering means and modifications of the working methods are not sufficient to reduce the exposure to this substance, the wearing of individual protection equipment can prove to be necessary. These protection gears must be in conformity with the regulation.
 
II-Respiratory Tract :
 
Wear respiratory protection if the concentration in the work environment is higher than the VEMP (1 000 ppm or 1 800 mg/m³).
 
III-Skin :
 
Wear skin protection. The selection of the skin protection equipement depends on the nature of the work to carry out.
 
IV-Eyes:
 
Wear ocular protection if there is a risk of splashes. The selection of an ocular protection gear depends on the nature of the work to carry out and, if it is necessary, on the type of of respiratory protection gear used.

Protection equipement :

I-Respiratory Tract Protection Equipment :
 
Respiratory protection gears must be chosen, adjusted, maintained and inspected in accordance with regulation.
 
II-NIOSH recommends the following respiratory protection gears according to concentrations in the air:
 
A-Entry (planned or emergency) in a Zone where the Concentration is Unknown or in a Situation of IDLH (2100 ppm) :
Any autonomous respiratory protection gear provided with a complete mask working on request or any other one functioning on positive pressure.
Any respiratory protection gear supplying air with a full mask functioning on request or on positive pressure coupled with an auxiliary autonomous respiratory protection gear functioning on request or on positive pressure.
B-Emergency Evacuation :
Any autonomous respiratory protection gear adapted for evacuation.
C-Up to 2 100 ppm :
Any air-supplying respiratory protection gear.
Any autonomous respiratory protection gear provided with a complete mask.

Reactivity :

I-Stability :
 
This product is stable.
 
II-Incompatibility :
 
This product is incompatible with these substances : Strong oxidizing agents such as chlorine, fluorine, etc (can cause fire or explosion).
 
III-Products of Decomposition :
 
Thermal decomposition (starting at 650 degrees Celsius) :
-ethylene,
-acetylene,
-propylene,
-methane,
-ethane,
-hydrogen.

Handling :

I- Handle away from any source of ignition.
II- Do not smoke.
III-Use nonmetal tools.
IV-The equipment must be grounded.
V-Ventilate adequately, if not wear a suitable breathing gear.
VI-Compressed gas bottles should not undergo violent shocks and one should never use a damaged bottle.
VII-Bottles must be attached upright or retained in a carriage when they are used.
VIII-Do not use compressed gas bottles for ends than those for which they are intended.

Storage :

I-Store away from any source of heat and ignition.
II-Store in a cool place, sheltered from oxidizing materials.
III-Ground containers and put them in a well ventilated place.
IV-Compressed gas bottles must be kept away from any heat source likely to raise the temperature of the content above 55 °C, be provided with a protection cap for the valves when they are not in use, be stored upright and firmly secured in place.
V-Compressed gas bottles connected in series by a collector must be supported, maintained together and form a unit, using a framework or another installation designed for this purpose.
VI-Taps and safety devices must be sheltered from shocks.

Leaks :

I-Eliminate all sources of ignition.
II-Reduce the concentration of vapors by spraying water.
III-Close the valve of the cylinder and to turn it over to the supplier.

Waste :

I-Let the gas escape into the atmosphere.
II-In the case of large amounts, consult local authorities.

Toxicology :

I-Absorption :
 
This product is absorbed by the respiratory tract.
 
II-IDLH : Immediate danger to Life and Health : 2 100 ppm.
 
III-Acute Effects :
 
Exposure to very high concentrations :
-depression of the central nervous system and
-simple asphyxia :
* dyspnea,
* respiratory distress,
* dizzy spells,
* narcosis,
* loss of conscience,
* possibility of death.

Possibility of frostbites in contact with liquid gas

IV-Pregnancy :

A-Effects on Development :
No data concerning an effect on development was found in the consulted documentary sources.
B-Effects on Reproduction :
No data concerning the effects on reproduction was found in the consulted documentary sources.
C-Data on Breast Milk :
It is found in the mother's milk in animals.

V-Cancerogenic Effects :
 
No data concerning cancerogenic effects was found in the consulted documentary sources.

VI-Mutagenic Effects :
 
No data concerning mutagenic, in vivo or in vitro, effects on cells of mammals was found in the consulted documentary sources.

First aid :

I-Inhalation :
 
In the event of inhalation of gas, bring the person into a ventilated place. If it does not breathe, give him artificial respiration.
Call a doctor
 
II-Skin Contact :
 
In the case of frosbite, apply tepid water.
Consult a doctor.

Quebec's Exposure Limit :
 
Valeur d'Exposition Moyenne Pondérée (VEMP) :
1 000 ppm 1 800 mg/m³

References :
1-Sax's Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, Lewis C., dernière édition.
2-CSST-Québec, Répertoire Toxicologique,2005
 

Related Information

Links

Hazards Man-Made Vitreous Fibers (MMVF) Toxicology
Typecodes Article by Edouard Bastarache
Edouard Bastarache is a well known doctor that has written many articles on the subject of toxicity of ceramic materials and books on technical aspects of ceramics. He writes in both English and French.

By Tony Hansen


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