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Chemical Datasheet

FORMALDEHYDE, SOLUTION, FLAMMABLE

3 - Flammable liquid 8 - Corrosive material
Chemical Identifiers | Hazards | Response Recommendations | Physical Properties | Regulatory Information | Alternate Chemical Names

Chemical Identifiers

CAS Number - Chemical Abstracts Service registry number. Unique identification number assigned to this chemical by the American Chemical Society.

UN/NA Number - The United Nations-North America number (also called UN number or DOT number). 4-digit number identifying an individual chemical or group of chemicals with similar characteristics. Required on shipping papers; often shown on placards or labels. This numbering system was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and then became the UN standard system for classifying hazardous materials.

DOT Hazard Label - U.S. Department of Transportation hazard warning label for the chemical (such as flammable liquid or corrosive). This label must be displayed on shipped packages, railroad tank cars, and tank trucks according to specifications described in 49 CFR 172.

CHRIS Code - 3-letter code used by the U.S. Coast Guard to identify individual chemicals included in its CHRIS (Chemical Hazards Response Information System) manual.

NFPA 704 - Text description of the diamond-shaped placard, which contains codes indicating the level of the chemical's health, flammability, and instability hazards, along with special hazards such as water- and air-reactivity. See a guide to the NFPA diamond.

General Description - Brief description of the chemical's general appearance, behavior, and hazardousness.

List of data sources.
CAS Number UN/NA Number DOT Hazard Label CHRIS Code
  • 50-00-0
  • Flammable Liquid
  • Corrosive
NFPA 704
Diamond Hazard Value Description
4
3 0
Blue Health 3 Can cause serious or permanent injury.
Red Flammability 4 Burns readily. Rapidly or completely vaporizes at atmospheric pressure and normal ambient temperature.
Yellow Instability 0 Normally stable, even under fire conditions.
White Special
(NFPA, 2010)
General Description
A colorless aqueous solution of formaldehyde, which is a gas at ordinary conditions. Has a pungent irritating odor. Flash point varies from 122 to 141°F. Denser than water. The vapors are heavier than air and are highly irritating to the nose. Toxic if swallowed. Contact can cause severe injury to the skin accompanied by drying, cracking, and scaling. Used to make plastics, other chemicals, and fertilizers. Used as a preservative and a corrosion inhibitor.

Rate of onset: Immediate

Persistence: Hours

Odor threshold: 1 ppm

Source/use/other hazard: Disinfection/germicide; fungicide; textile; health care (tissue fixing).

Hazards

Reactivity Alerts - Special alerts if the chemical is especially reactive (see list of reactivity alerts).

Air & Water Reactions - Special alerts if the chemical reacts with air, water, or moisture.

Fire Hazard - Description of the chemical's fire hazards (such as flammability, explosion risk, or byproducts that may evolve if the chemical is burned).

Health Hazard - Description of the chemical's health hazards (such as toxicity, flammability, or corrosivity).

Reactivity Profile - Description of the chemical's potential reactivity with other chemicals, air, and water. Also includes any other intrinsic reactive hazards (such as polymerizable or peroxidizable).

Reactive Groups - List of reactive groups that the chemical is assigned to, based on its known chemistry. Reactive groups are categories of chemicals that react in similar ways because their chemical structures are similar. Reactive groups are used to predict reactivity when you add a chemical to MyChemicals. Read more about reactive groups.

Potentially Incompatible Absorbents - Absorbents are products that can be used to soak up liquids from spills. However, some absorbents can react with particular chemicals (that is, they are incompatible), so caution should be used in selecting the correct absorbent for your situation. This section provides a list of potentially incompatible absorbents that have been known to react with liquids assigned to one or more of the reactive groups listed on this datasheet. Read more about absorbents, including situations to watch out for.

List of data sources.
Reactivity Alerts
none
Air & Water Reactions
The solution gives up formaldehyde vapors readily. These vapors are flammable over a wide vapor-air concentration range. Water soluble.
Fire Hazard
Toxic vapors such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are generated during combustion. Explosion hazard: when aqueous formaldehyde solutions are heated above their flash points, a potential for explosion hazard exists. High formaldehyde concentration or methanol content lowers flash point. Reacts with nitrogen oxides at about 180; the reaction becomes explosive. Also reacts violently with perchloric acid-aniline, performic acid, nitromethane, magnesium carbonate, and hydrogen peroxide. When heated, irritant formaldehyde gas evolved from solution. The main products of decomposition are carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Metals such as platinum, copper, chromia, and alumina also catalyze the formation of methanol, methylformate, formic acid, carbon dioxide, and methane. Reacts with peroxide, nitrogen oxide, and performic acid causing explosions. Can react with hydrogen chloride or other inorganic chlorides to form bis-chloromethylether (BCME), a known carcinogen. Very reactive, combines readily with many substances, 40% solution is powerful reducing agent. Incompatible with amines, azo compounds, dithiocarbamates, alkali and alkaline earth metals, nitrides, nitro compounds, unsaturated aliphatics and sulfides, organic peroxides, oxidizing agents, and reducing agents. Aqueous solutions are unstable. Commercial formaldehyde-alcohol solutions are stable. Gas is stable in absence of water. Avoid oxidizing and alkaline materials. Hazardous polymerization may occur. Compound will polymerize with active organic materials such as phenol. Will polymerize violently in the presence of caustics and nitrides; (amines) exothermic reaction, (Azo compound) exothermic reaction giving off nitrogen gas, (caustics) heat generation and violent polymerization, (dithiocarbamates) formation of flammable gases and toxic fumes, formation of carbon disulfide may result, (alkali and alkaline earth metals) heat generation and formation of a flammable hydrogen gas. (EPA, 1998)
Health Hazard
The probable oral lethal dose for humans is 0.5-5 g/kg, or between 1 ounce and 1 pint for a 150 pound person. Acute -- below 1 ppm, odor perceptible to most. 2-3 ppm, mild tingling of eyes. 4-5 ppm, increased discomfort, mild lacrimation. 10 ppm, profuse lacrimation; can be withstood only for few minutes. 10-20 ppm, breathing difficult, cough, severe burning of nose and throat. 50-100 ppm, acute irritation of respiratory tract, very serious injury likely. Skin -- primary irritation from strong solutions, gas. Delayed -- sensitization dermatitis. Suspected carcinogen. Effects in women include menstrual disorders and secondary sterility. Solutions splashed in eyes have caused injuries ranging from severe, permanent corneal opacification and loss of vision to minor discomfort. In people sensitized to formaldehyde, late asthmatic reactions may be provoked by brief exposures at approximately 3 ppm. (EPA, 1998)
Reactivity Profile
FORMALDEHYDE, SOLUTION, reacts violently with strong oxidizing agents (hydrogen peroxide, performic acid, perchloric acid in the presence of aniline, potassium permanganate, nitromethane). Reacts with bases (sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, ammonia), and with nitrogen dioxide (explosive reaction around 180°C). Reacts with hydrochloric acid to form highly toxic bis(chloromethyl) ether. Polymerization reaction with phenol may develop sudden destructive pressure [Bretherick, 5th ed., 1995, p.168].
Belongs to the Following Reactive Group(s)
Potentially Incompatible Absorbents

Use caution: Liquids with this reactive group classification have been known to react with the absorbent listed below. More info about absorbents, including situations to watch out for...

Response Recommendations

Isolation and Evacuation - Isolation and evacuation distance recommendations from the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).

Firefighting - Response recommendations if the chemical is on fire (or near a fire).

Non-Fire Response - Response recommendations if the chemical isn't on fire (or near a fire).

Protective Clothing - Recommendations for protective gear.

Dupont Tychem® Suit Fabrics - A table of normalized breakthrough times for DuPont Tychem suit fabrics for the chemical, if available.

First Aid - Recommended first aid treatment for people exposed to the chemical.

List of data sources.
Isolation and Evacuation
Excerpt from GUIDE 132 [Flammable Liquids - Corrosive]:

As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area for at least 50 meters (150 feet) in all directions.

SPILL: Increase, in the downwind direction, as necessary, the isolation distance shown above.

FIRE: If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions. (ERG, 2012)
Firefighting
Keep unnecessary people away; stay upwind; keep out of low areas. Isolate for 1/2 mile in all directions if tank car or truck is involved in fire.

Wear self-contained breathing apparatus; wear goggles if eye protection not provided. Shut off flow of gas or liquid and keep cooling water streams on exposed tanks or containers. Use water spray carefully in vicinity of dusts so as not to create dust clouds.

Small fires: dry chemical, carbon dioxide, water spray or foam. Large fires: water spray, fog or foam. Move container from fire area if you can do so without risk. Do not get water inside container. Spray cooling water on containers exposed to flames until well after fire is out. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discoloration of tank due to fire. (EPA, 1998)
Non-Fire Response
Excerpt from GUIDE 132 [Flammable Liquids - Corrosive]:

Fully encapsulating, vapor protective clothing should be worn for spills and leaks with no fire. ELIMINATE all ignition sources (no smoking, flares, sparks or flames in immediate area). All equipment used when handling the product must be grounded. Do not touch or walk through spilled material. Stop leak if you can do it without risk. Prevent entry into waterways, sewers, basements or confined areas. A vapor suppressing foam may be used to reduce vapors. Absorb with earth, sand or other non-combustible material and transfer to containers (except for Hydrazine). Use clean non-sparking tools to collect absorbed material.

LARGE SPILL: Dike far ahead of liquid spill for later disposal. Water spray may reduce vapor; but may not prevent ignition in closed spaces. (ERG, 2012)
Protective Clothing
Skin: No recommendation is made specifying the need for personal protective equipment for the body.

Eyes: Wear appropriate eye protection to prevent eye contact.

Wash skin: No recommendation is made specifying the need for washing the substance from the skin (either immediately or at the end of the work shift).

Remove: No recommendation is made specifying the need for removing clothing that becomes wet or contaminated.

Change: No recommendation is made specifying the need for the worker to change clothing after the work shift. (NIOSH, 2003)
DuPont Tychem® Suit Fabrics
Tychem® Fabric Legend
QC = Tychem QC
SL = Tychem SL
TF = Tychem F
TP = Tychem ThermoPro
C3 = Tychem CPF 3
BR = Tychem BR
LV = Tychem LV
RC = Tychem Responder® CSM
TK = Tychem TK
RF = Tychem Reflector®
Testing Details
Permeation data obtained per ASTM F739. Normalized breakthrough times (the time at which the permeation rate is equal to 0.1 µg/cm2/min) reported in minutes. All liquid chemicals have been tested between approximately 20°C and 27°C unless otherwise stated. All chemicals have been tested at a concentration of greater than 95% unless otherwise stated. Chemical warfare agents (Lewisite, Sarin, Soman, Sulfur Mustard, Tabun and VX Nerve Agent) have been tested at 22°C and 50% relative humidity per military standard MIL-STD-282.
Normalized Breakthrough Times (in Minutes)
Chemical CAS Number State QC SL TF TP C3 BR LV RC TK RF
Formaldehyde (100 ppm) 50-00-0 Vapor >480 >480 >480 >480 >480
> indicates greater than.
A blank cell indicates the fabric has not been tested. The fabric may or may not offer barrier.

Special Warnings from DuPont

  1. Serged and bound seams are degraded by some hazardous liquid chemicals, such as strong acids, and should not be worn when these chemicals are present.
  2. CAUTION: This information is based upon technical data that DuPont believes to be reliable. It is subject to revision as additional knowledge and experience are gained. DuPont makes no guarantee of results and assumes no obligation or liability...
    ... in connection with this information. It is the user's responsibility to determine the level of toxicity and the proper personal protective equipment needed. The information set forth herein reflects laboratory performance of fabrics, not complete garments, under controlled conditions. It is intended for informational use by persons having technical skill for evaluation under their specific end-use conditions, at their own discretion and risk. Anyone intending to use this information should first verify that the garment selected is suitable for the intended use. In many cases, seams and closures have shorter breakthrough times and higher permeation rates than the fabric. Please contact DuPont for specific data. If fabric becomes torn, abraded or punctured, or if seams or closures fail, or if attached gloves, visors, etc. are damaged, end user should discontinue use of garment to avoid potential exposure to chemical. Since conditions of use are outside our control, we make no warranties, express or implied, including, without limitation, no warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular use and assume no liability in connection with any use of this information. This information is not intended as a license to operate under or a recommendation to infringe any patent or technical information of DuPont or others covering any material or its use.

(DuPont, 2013)

First Aid
Signs and Symptoms of Acute Formaldehyde Exposure: Acute exposure to formaldehyde may result in irritation or burns to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes; lacrimation (tearing); nausea; vomiting (may be bloody); abdominal pain; and diarrhea. Difficulty in breathing, cough, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema may occur. Sensitized people may experience asthmatic reactions, even when exposed briefly. Hypotension (low blood pressure) and hypothermia (reduced body temperature) may precede cardiovascular collapse. Lethargy, dizziness, convulsions, and coma may be noted. Nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys), hematuria (bloody urine), and liver toxicity have been reported.

Emergency Life-Support Procedures: Acute exposure to formaldehyde may require decontamination and life support for the victims. Emergency personnel should wear protective clothing appropriate to the type and degree of contamination. Air-purifying or supplied-air respiratory equipment should also be worn, as necessary. Rescue vehicles should carry supplies such as plastic sheeting and disposable plastic bags to assist in preventing spread of contamination.

Inhalation Exposure:
1. Move victims to fresh air. Emergency personnel should avoid self-exposure to formaldehyde.
2. Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate, and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer oxygen or other respiratory support.
3. Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
4. Transport to a health care facility.

Dermal/Eye Exposure:
1. Remove victims from exposure. Emergency personnel should avoid self- exposure to formaldehyde.
2. Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate, and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer oxygen or other respiratory support.
3. Remove contaminated clothing as soon as possible.
4. If eye exposure has occurred, eyes must be flushed with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
5. Wash exposed skin areas twice with soap and water.
6. Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
7. Transport to a health care facility.

Ingestion Exposure:
1. Evaluate vital signs including pulse and respiratory rate, and note any trauma. If no pulse is detected, provide CPR. If not breathing, provide artificial respiration. If breathing is labored, administer oxygen or other respiratory support.
2. Obtain authorization and/or further instructions from the local hospital for administration of an antidote or performance of other invasive procedures.
3. Give the victims water or milk: children up to 1 year old, 125 mL (4 oz or 1/2 cup); children 1 to 12 years old, 200 mL (6 oz or 3/4 cup); adults, 250 mL (8 oz or 1 cup). Water or milk should be given only if victims are conscious and alert.
4. Vomiting may be induced with syrup of Ipecac. If elapsed time since ingestion of formaldehyde is unknown or suspected to be greater than 30 minutes, do not induce vomiting and proceed to Step
5.Ipecac should not be administered to children under 6 months of age.Warning: Ingestion of formaldehyde may result in sudden onset of seizures or loss of consciousness. Syrup of Ipecac should be administered only if victims are alert, have an active gag-reflex, and show no signs of impending seizure or coma. If ANY uncertainty exists, proceed to Step
5.The following dosages of Ipecac are recommended: children up to 1 year old, 10 mL (1/3 oz); children 1 to 12 years old, 15 mL (1/2 oz); adults, 30 mL (1 oz). Ambulate (walk) the victims and give large quantities of water. If vomiting has not occurred after 15 minutes, Ipecac may be readministered. Continue to ambulate and give water to the victims. If vomiting has not occurred within 15 minutes after second administration of Ipecac, administer activated charcoal.
5. Activated charcoal may be administered if victims are conscious and alert. Use 15 to 30 g (1/2 to 1 oz) for children, 50 to 100 g (1-3/4 to 3-1/2 oz) for adults, with 125 to 250 mL (1/2 to 1 cup) of water.
6. Promote excretion by administering a saline cathartic or sorbitol to conscious and alert victims. Children require 15 to 30 g (1/2 to 1 oz) of cathartic; 50 to 100 g (1-3/4 to 3-1/2 oz) is recommended for adults.
7. Transport to a health care facility. (EPA, 1998)

Physical Properties

This section contains physical properties, flammability limits, and toxic thresholds for this chemical (see definitions of each property). More property data is available for common chemicals.

See also the Levels of Concern guide for information on AEGLs, ERPGs, PACs, and IDLH values.

List of data sources.
Chemical Formula:
  • CH2O (aqueous)
Flash Point: 140 ° F 40% solution (EPA, 1998)
Lower Explosive Limit (LEL): 7 % (EPA, 1998)
Upper Explosive Limit (UEL): 73 % (EPA, 1998)
Autoignition Temperature: 806 ° F (USCG, 1999)
Melting Point: -134 ° F for anhydrous form (EPA, 1998)
Vapor Pressure: 10 mm Hg at -126.4 ° F for anhydrous form (EPA, 1998)
Vapor Density (Relative to Air): 1.067 to 1.075 for gas state (EPA, 1998)
Specific Gravity: 0.815 at -4.0 ° F anhydrous form (EPA, 1998)
Boiling Point: -3.1 ° F at 760.0 mm Hg commercial aqueous formaldehyde boils at 205° F (EPA, 1998)
Molecular Weight: 30.03 (EPA, 1998)
Water Solubility: Miscible (NIOSH, 2003)
IDLH: 20 ppm ; A potential human carcinogen. (NIOSH, 2003)

AEGLs (Acute Exposure Guideline Levels)

Interim AEGLs for Formaldehyde (50-00-0)
Exposure Period AEGL-1 AEGL-2 AEGL-3
10 minutes 0.9 ppm 14 ppm 100 ppm
30 minutes 0.9 ppm 14 ppm 70 ppm
60 minutes 0.9 ppm 14 ppm 56 ppm
4 hours 0.9 ppm 14 ppm 35 ppm
8 hours 0.9 ppm 14 ppm 35 ppm
(NAC/NRC, 2013)

ERPGs (Emergency Response Planning Guidelines)

Chemical ERPG-1 ERPG-2 ERPG-3
Formaldehyde (50-00-0) 1 ppm star-in-circle icon indicates that odor should be detectable near ERPG-1. 10 ppm 40 ppm
star-in-circle icon indicates that odor should be detectable near ERPG-1.
(AIHA, 2013)

PACs (Protective Action Criteria)

Chemical PAC-1 PAC-2 PAC-3
Formaldehyde (50-00-0) 0.9 ppm 14 ppm 56 ppm LEL = 70000 ppm
(SCAPA, 2012)

Regulatory Information

This section contains regulatory information from the Title III Consolidated List of Lists (see details about each regulatory field).

List of data sources.
Regulatory Name CAS Number/
313 Category Code
EPCRA 302
EHS TPQ
EPCRA 304
EHS RQ
CERCLA RQ EPCRA 313
TRI
RCRA
Code
CAA 112(r)
RMP TQ
Formaldehyde 50-00-0 500 100 100 313 U122 15000
Formaldehyde (solution) 50-00-0 500 100 100 X U122 15000

(EPA List of Lists, 2012)

Alternate Chemical Names

This section provides a listing of alternate names for this chemical, including trade names and synonyms.