acrolein (Aqualin, Magnacide) Herbicide Profile 3/85
CHEMICAL NAME: Z-propenal (56)
TRADE NAME(S): Aqualin (product discontinued by Shell Chemical
Co., Chemical Intermediates) (56); Magnacide H
FORMULATION(S): 92% acrolein, 0.78 kg ai/l (6.5 lb ai/gal) (58).
TYPE: Aquatic herbicide, biocide, slimicide (56).
BASIC PRODUCER(S): Magna Corp./Arjay Div.
7505 Fannin St.
Houston, TX 77054
STATUS: Restricted use
PRINCIPAL USES: For control of submersed weeds (Potamogeton, Najas,
Zannichellia, Ceratophyllum, Spirogyra, and others)
and floating weed (water cress, water hyacinth and
water primrose) in irrigation canals and ditches.
It is also an algicide. Not phytotoxic to common
field crops when used as directed by product label
APPLICATION METHODS: Applied directly to the water (58).
Important Weeds Controlled: Used to control submerged and floating
aquatics as well as algae. Also kills snails. Toxic to seeds. Some
fungicidal effects (8b).
Fast acting. Control has been obtained for up to 15 miles of ditch.
Cattails and tule are not materially damaged. Toxic to most plants
which it comes in contact with. Remains in the water for 2-3 days
depending upon the temperature. Control should last the entire season
II. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
MOLECULAR FORMULA: C3 H4 O (58)
MOLECULAR WEIGHT: 56.1 (58)
PHYSICAL STATE: Liquid, colorless (pure compound) (58)
ODOR: Pungent (pure compound) (58)
MELTING POINT: -86.95 C (pure compound) (58)
BOILING POINT: 52.69 C (pure compound) (58)
VAPOR PRESSURE: 210 mmHg at 20 C (pure compound) (58)
SOLUBILITY: Moderately soluble in water (at 68 F) (pure
III. HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
OSHA STANDARD: 0.1 ppm (0.25 mg/m3) averaged over an eight-hour work
NIOSH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: NA
ACGIH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: TWA (Time Weighted Average): 0.1 ppm, 0.25
mg/m3; STEL (Short Term Exposure Limit): 0.3
ppm, 0.8 mg/m3 (15c).
A. ACUTE TOXICITY
DERMAL: LD50 = 50 mg/kg (rat); 30 mg/kg (mouse); 562 mg/kg
(rabbit, undiluted); 1022 mg/kg (rabbit, 10%
aqueous solution) (58). Severe skin irritant.
Causes vesiculation and a chemical burn if not
removed immediately. 1 ppm of acrolein in air
produces detectable nose irritation in 2 to 3 min
and is intolerable in 5 min (58).
ORAL: LD50 = 46 mg/kg (rat) (56); 7.1 mg/kg (rabbit) (58).
EYES: Highly lachrymatory. 1 ppm of acrolein in air
produces detectable eye irritation in 2 to 3 min
and is intolerable in 5 min (58).
B. SUBACUTE AND CHRONIC TOXICITY:
No effect on rats fed water containing 200 ppm for 90 days (58).
Chronic effects of exposure to acrolein are skin irritation and
occasionally skin allergy appearing as hives or a rash (14).
IV. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
Field observations and laboratory datat show that fish vary
considerably in their tolerance to acrolein. Most fish are killed at
less than 1 ppm (58).
Acrolein will remain in the water for up to 6 days depending upon
water temperature (58).
V. EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID PROCEDURES
The chemical information provided below has been condensed
from original source documents, primarily from "Recognition and
Management of Pesticide Poisonings", 3rd ed. by Donald P. Morgan,
which have been footnoted. This information has been provided in
this form for your convenience and general guidance only. In
specific cases, further consultation and reference may be required
and is recommended. This information is not intended as a sub-
stitute for a more exhaustive review of the literature nor for the
judgement of a physician or other trained professional.
If poisoning is suspected, do not wait for symptoms to develop.
Contact a physician, the nearest hospital, or the nearest Poison
FREQUENT SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF POISONING:
HEADACHE, DIZZINESS, NAUSEA, and vomiting are prominent early
symptoms of excessive exposure to these gases. Acrolein is a strong
irritant causing BURNING SENSATIONS in the nose and throat, TEARING,
COUGH, and sometimes hoarseness and wheezing. DROWSINESS, TREMORS,
double vision, and weakness are the common early manifestations of
central nervous system impairment. Tremors may progress to myoclonic
movements, then to generalized SEIZURES, UNCONSCIOUSNESS, and death.
Injuries to the skin by liquid fumigants may be manifest as areas
of redness or as BLISTERS which rupture, leaving raw skin or deep
SKIN CONTACT: Flush contaminating fumigant from the skin with
copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes. Contact with liquid
fumigant can cause blindness or death. Treat injuries immediately
INGESTION: Get medical attention immediately. If medical
attention is not immediately available, get the afflicted person to
vomit by having him touch the back of his throat with his finger or by
giving him Syrup of Ipecac as directed on the package. This
non-prescription drug is available at most drug stores and drug
counters and should be kept with emergency medical supplies in the
workplace. Do not make an unconscious person vomit (14).
INHALATION: Remove victims of fumigant inhalation to fresh air.
Even though initial symptoms and signs are mild, keep victim quiet, in
a semireclining position. Reduction in physical activity reduces the
likelihood of pulmonary edema (25).
EYE CONTACT: Flush contaminating fumigant from the eyes with
copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes. Contact with liquid
fumigant can cause blindness or death. Treat injuries immediately (25).
VI. FIRE AND EXPLOSION INFORMATION
GENERAL: Flash point (TCC) -25 C (58).
Flammable limitd in air, % by volume: Lower; 2.8; Upper: 31
EXTINGUISHER TYPE: Dry chemical, carbon dioxide, or alcohol foam (14).
Soluble in water. Do not contaminate with any foreign material at
any time. To avoid the possibility of polymerization, keep under
oxygen-free nitrogen only. Iron and low carbon steel are unaffected at
room temperaure. Slight corrosion might occur under more severe
conditions of temperature (58).
VIII. PROTECTIVE MEASURES
STORAGE AND HANDLING: Can be stored under oxygen-free nitrogen in dark
glass bottles, in cylinders, or in black iron drums. Highly reactive
chemically and readily forms polymers. In closed systems, this
polymerization can proceed with explosive violence in the presence of
alkaline materials and strong acids. It will polymerize slowly in the
presence of air, forming an insoluble white precipitate. For this
reason, it is shipped under an oxygen-free atmosphere and is inhibited
with hydroquinone. However, hydroquinone does not inhibit the
polymerization catalyzed by alkalies and strong acids. Therefore,
contamination with any foreign materials should be avoided (58).
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Employees should be provided with and required to
use impervious clothing, gloves, face shields (eight-inch minimum), and
other appropriate protective clothing necessary to prevent any
possibility of skin contact with liquid acrolein. Employees should be
provided with and required to use splash-proof safety goggles where
there is any possibility of liquid acrolein contacting the eyes (14).
PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT: Safety goggles where there is any possibility of
liquid acrolein contacting the eyes (14).
RESPIRATORY PROTECTION FOR ACROLEIN
Minimum Respiratory Protection*
Condition Required Above 0.1 ppm
5 ppm or less A chemical cartridge respirator with a full
facepiece and an organic vapor cartridge(s).
A gas mask with a chin-style or a front- or
back-mounted organic vapor canister.
Any supplied-air respirator with a full
facepiece, helmet, or hood.
Any self-contained breathing apparatus with
a full facepiece.
Greater than 5 ppm** or Self-contained breathing apparatus with a
entry and escape from full facepiece operated in pressure-demand
unknown concentrations or other positive pressure mode.
A combination respirator which includes a
Type C supplied-air respirator with a full
facepiece operated in pressure-demand or
other positive pressure or continuous-flow
mode and an auxiliary self-contained
breathing apparatus operated in
pressure-demand or other positive pressure
Fire Fighting Self-contained breathing apparatus with a
full facepiece operated in pressure-demand
or other positive pressure mode.
Escape Any gas mask with a full facepiece providing
protection against organic vapors.
Any escape self-contained breathing
apparatus with a full facepiece.
* Only NIOSH-approved or MSHA-approved equipment should be used.
** Use of supplied-air suits may be necessary to prevent skin contact
while providing respiratory protection from airborne
concentrations of acrolein; however, this equipment should be
selected, used and maintained under the immediate supervision of
trained personnel. Where supplied-air suits are used above a
concentration of 5 ppm, an auxiliary self-contained breathing
apparatus operated in positive pressure mode should also be worn
IX. PROCEDURES FOR SPILLS AND LEAKS
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL, DAY OR NIGHT
PESTICIDE TEAM SAFETY NETWORK/CHEMTREC
Persons not wearing protective equipment and clothing should be
restricted from areas of spills or leaks until cleanup has been
If acrolein is spilled or leaked, the following steps should be
1. Remove all ignition sources.
2. Ventilate area of spill or leak.
3. For small quantities, absorb on paper towels. Evaporate in a safe
place (such as a fume hood). Allow sufficient time for
evaporating vapors to completely clear the hood ductwork. Burn
the paper in a suitable location away from combustible materials.
For large quantities, cover with sodium bisulfite (NaHSO3), add a
small amount of water and mix. Then, after one hour, flush with
large amounts of water and wash the site with soap solution.
Liquid acrolein should not be allowed to enter a confined space,
such as a sewer, because of the possibility of an explosion.
Waste disposal methods:
Acrolein may be disposed of:
1. By absorbing it in vermiculite, dry sand, earth or a similar
material and disposing in a secured sanitary landfill.
2. For small quantities, by absorbing it in vermiculite, dry sand,
earth, or a similar material and disposing of in a suitable
3. For large quantities, by mixing with a flammable liquid (such as
acetone) and atomizing in a suitable combustion chamber (14).
X. LITERATURE CITED
8b. Thomson, W.T. 1981. Agricultural chemicals - book 2:
herbicides. Revised ed. Thomson Publications, Fresno, CA.
14. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute
for Occuptational Safety and Health. 1981. Occupational
health guidelines for chemical hazards. F. W. Mackinson, R.
S. Stricoff, L. J. Partridge, Jr., and A. D. Little, Inc.,
eds. DHHS (NIOSH) Publ. No. 81-123. Washington, DC.
15c. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. 1984.
TLVs: threshold limit values for chemical substances and
physical agents in the work environment and biological exposure
indices with intended changes for 1984-85. Cincinnati, OH.
25. Morgan, D.P. 1982. Recognition and management of pesticide
poisonings, 3rd ed. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Washington, DC. 120 pp.
56. Farm Chemicals Handbook, 70th ed. 1984. R. T. Meister, G. L.
Berg, C. Sine, S. Meister, and J. Poplyk, eds. Meister
Publishing Co., Willoughby, OH.
58. Weed Science Society of America, Herbicide Handbook Committee.
1983. Herbicide handbook of the weed science society of
America, 5th ed. Weed Science Society of America, Champaign,
IL. 515 pp.