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Xylene by Chemical.net

Xylene

Xylene  Xylene properties  Xylene Safety  Xylene Fire Safety  Xylene Handling and Storage  Xylene Waste Removal  Xylene MSDS

Safety Information


The following operations may involve xylene and lead to worker exposures to this substance:
  • Blending of motor and aviation fuels
  • Use as a diluent or solvent in lacquers, varnishes, inks, paints, surface coatings, dyes, adhesives, cleaning fluids, and rubber cements
  • Use as a feedstock for xylidenes, benzoic acid, phthalic anhydride, and isophthalic and terephthalic acids and their esters
  • Manufacture of quartz crystal oscillators, hydrogen peroxide, perfumes, insect repellents, dyes, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, and leather, and use as a sterilizing agent for cat-gut
  • Formulation of insecticides
  • Use with Canada balsam as oil-immersion fluid in microscopy and as a cleaning agent in laboratory applications

Methods that are effective in controlling worker exposures to xylene, depending on the feasibility of implementation, are:
 
  • Process enclosure
  • Local exhaust ventilation
  • General dilution ventilation
  • Personal protective
Working with Xylene

This material is a FLAMMABLE AND VERY TOXIC liquid (POSSIBLE REPRODUCTIVE HAZARD). Before handling, it is very important that engineering controls are operating and that protective equipment requirements are being followed. People working with this chemical should be properly trained regarding its hazards and its safe use. Maintenance and emergency personnel should be advised of the potential hazards.

Eliminate all ignition sources (e.g. sparks, open flames, hot surfaces). Immediately report leaks, spills or ventilation failures. Unprotected persons should avoid all contact with this chemical including contaminated equipment. Consider using closed handling systems for processes involving this material. If a closed handling system is not possible use in the smallest possible amounts in a well ventilated area separate from the storage area. Avoid generating vapors or mists. Prevent the release of vapors and mists into the workplace air.

Keep away from heat. Post NO SMOKING signs. It is very important to keep areas where this material is used clear of other materials which can burn. Liquid can accumulate charge. Increase conductivity with additive designed for that purpose, reduce flow rate in transfer operations, increase time the liquid remains in transfer piping and/or handle at lower temperature. Electrically ground all drums, transfer vessels, hoses and piping. Ground clips must contact bare metal. When dispensing in other than a closed system, ensure dispensing container is bonded to receiving transfer equipment and container. Never perform any welding, cutting, soldering, drilling or other hot work on an empty vessel, container or piping until all liquid and vapors have been cleared. To reduce the fire/explosion hazard, consider the use of an inert gas in the container or storage vessel. Use non-sparking ventilation systems, approved explosion-proof equipment and intrinsically safe electrical systems in areas of use. Keep aisles and exits free of obstruction. For large scale operations, consider the installation of leak and fire detection equipment along with a suitable, automatic fire suppression system.

Do not use with incompatible materials such as strong oxidizing agents (e.g. peroxides, nitrates and perchlorates). These can increase the risk of fire and explosion.

Inspect containers for leaks before handling. Stand upwind of all opening, pouring and mixing operations. To avoid splashing, carefully dispense into sturdy containers made of compatible materials. Never transfer liquids by pressurizing the original shipping containers with air or inert gas. Do not dispense in storage area unless dispensing area is segregated by fire-resistant construction. Only use portable containers and dispensing equipment (faucet, pump, drip can) approved for flammable liquids. Never return contaminated material to its original container. Label containers. Keep containers closed when not in use. Avoid damaging containers. Assume that empty containers may contain hazardous residues.

Follow handling precautions on Material Safety Data Sheet. Practice good housekeeping. Maintain handling equipment in good, operating condition. Comply with applicable regulations.

Respiratory Protection

Conditions for respirator use

Good industrial hygiene practice requires that engineering controls be used where feasible to reduce workplace concentrations of hazardous materials to the prescribed exposure limit. However, some situations may require the use of respirators to control exposure. Respirators must be worn if the ambient concentration of xylene exceeds prescribed exposure limits. Respirators may be used (1) before engineering controls have been installed, (2) during work operations such as maintenance or repair activities that involve unknown exposures, (3) during operations that require entry into tanks or closed vessels, and (4) during emergency situations. If the use of respirators is necessary, the only respirators permitted are those that have been approved by NIOSH and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Respiratory protection program

Employers should institute a complete respiratory protection program. Such a program must include respirator selection, an evaluation of the worker's ability to perform the work while wearing a respirator, the regular training of personnel, fit testing, periodic workplace monitoring, and regular respirator maintenance, inspection, and cleaning. The implementation of an adequate respiratory protection program (including selection of the correct respirator) requires that a knowledgeable person be in charge of the program and that the program be evaluated regularly. For additional information on the selection and use of respirators and on the medical screening of respirator users, consult the NIOSH Respirator Decision Logic [NIOSH 1987c] and the NIOSH Guide to Industrial Respiratory Protection [NIOSH 1987a].

Table 1 lists the respiratory protection that NIOSH recommends for workers exposed to xylene. The recommended protection may vary over time because of changes in the exposure limit for xylene or in respirator certification requirements. Users are therefore advised to determine periodically whether new information is available.

Personal Protective Equipment


Protective clothing should be worn to prevent skin contact with xylene. Impervious gloves, boots, aprons, gauntlets, and other protective clothing are recommended for use as necessary. Chemical protective clothing should be selected on the basis of available performance data, manufacturers' recommendations, and evaluation of the clothing under actual conditions of use. The following materials have been recommended for use against permeation by xylene and may provide protection for periods greater than 8 hours: polyvinyl alcohol and Viton. Materials that may withstand permeation for more than 4 but fewer than 8 hours are Teflon and polyethylene/ethylene vinyl alcohol [Forsberg and Mansdorf 1989, p. 46]. Natural rubber, butyl rubber, neoprene, a nitrile rubber and polyvinyl chloride mixture, nitrile rubber, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, and a neoprene and natural rubber mixture have demonstrated poor resistance to permeation by xylene.

If xylene is dissolved in an organic solvent, the permeation properties of both the solvent and the mixture must be considered when selecting personal protective equipment and clothing.

Safety glasses, goggles, or faceshields should be worn during operations in which xylene might contact the eyes (e.g., through splashes of solution). Eyewash fountains and emergency showers should be available within the immediate work area whenever the potential exists for eye or skin contact with xylene. Contact lenses should not be worn if the potential exists for xylene exposure.


Warning Properties

The odor threshold for xylene is 1 part per million (ppm) parts of air. Xylene is considered to have adequate warning properties.

Eye irritation properties

The eye irritation threshold for xylene is 200 ppm (870 mg/m(3)).

Exposure Limits

The current OSHA PEL for xylene is 100 ppm (435 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m(3)) of air) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) concentration. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommended exposure limits (RELs) for xylene are 100 ppm (435 mg/m(3)) as a TWA for up to a 10-hour workshift and a 40-hour workweek and 200 ppm (868 mg/m(3)) for 10 minutes as a short-term limit [NIOSH Recommendations, 1988]. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has assigned xylene a threshold limit value (TLV) of 100 ppm (435 mg/m(3)) as a TWA for a normal 8-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek and a short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 150 ppm (655 mg/m(3)) for periods not to exceed 15 minutes [ACGIH 1988, p. 42]. The OSHA and ACGIH limits are based on the risk of irritant, narcotic, and chronic effects associated with exposure to xylene, and the NIOSH limit is based on xylene's potential to cause central nervous system depression and respiratory irritation.

Xylene Health Hazard Information

Routes of exposure of xylene

Exposure to xylene can occur via inhalation, ingestion, eye or skin contact, and, to a small extent, by absorption through the skin.


 

Hazard Information

This product is considered hazardous according to regulatory guidelines.



Emergency Overview:
Colorless Liquid. Flammable. Vapor accumulation
could flash and/or explode if ignited. DOT ERG No. : 130
Potential health Effects:
 Skin irritation. Irritation to eyes, nose
and throat at exposure levels above 100 ppm. Respiratory
irritation, dizziness, nausea, loss of consciousness.
Respiratory distress, confusion and coma in cases of significant
overexposure. Excessive breathing of vapors can result in
temporary liver or kidney damage. Prolonged repeated skin
contact with low viscosity materials may defeat the skin resulting
in possible irritation and dermatitis. Swallowing may result in
severe gastrointestinal irritation.

Acute exposure:
The signs and symptoms of acute exposure to xylene include headache, fatigue, irritability, lassitude, nausea, anorexia, flatulence, irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and motor incoordination and impairment of equilibrium. Flushing, redness of the face, a sensation of increased body heat, increased salivation, tremors, dizziness, confusion, and cardiac irritability have also been reported.

Chronic exposure:
The signs and symptoms of chronic exposure to xylene may include conjunctivitis; dryness of the nose, throat, and skin; dermatitis; and kidney and liver damage.


 

 

First Aid Measures

Eye contact:
flush thoroughly with water for at least 15 minutes. Get  medical assistance.
 Skin contact:
 injection injury warning: if product is injected into
 or under the skin, or into any part of the body, regardless of
 the appearance of the wound or its size, the individual should be evaluated immediately by a physician as a surgical emergency.
 Even though initial symptoms from high pressure injection may be minimal or absent, early surgical treatment within the first few hours may significantly reduce the ultimate extent of injury.
 Wash contact areas with soap and water. Remove contaminated clothing. Launder contaminated clothing before reuse.
 Inhalation:
Remove from further exposure. If respiratory irritation,
 dizziness, nausea, or unconsciousness occurs, seek immediate medical assistance. If breathing has stopped, assist ventilation with bag-valve-mask device or use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
 Ingestion:
Seek immediate medical attention. Do not induce vomiting.
 Note to physicians: pre-existing medical conditions which may be aggravated by exposure: hydrocarbon solvents/petroleum hydrocarbons- skin contact may aggravate an existing dermatitis.
 Material if aspirated into the lungs may cause chemical
 pneumonitis. Treat appropriately.

 

It is preferable that engineering methods are used to control hazardous conditions. Methods include mechanical ventilation (dilution and local exhaust), process or personnel enclosure, control of process conditions, and process modification (e.g. substitution of a less hazardous material). Administrative controls and personal protective equipment may also be required.

Use a non-sparking, grounded ventilation system separate from other exhaust ventilation systems. Exhaust directly to the outside, taking necessary precautions for environmental protection. When there is large scale use of this material, consider using a closed handling system including local exhaust ventilation with process enclosure. Supply sufficient replacement air to make up for air removed by exhaust systems.

Effects on Humans:
Xylene is an irritant of the eyes and mucous membranes at concentrations below 200 ppm, and it is narcotic at high concentrations. The estimated oral for humans is 50 mg/kg [EPA Health Advisory, 1987, p. 4]. Of three workers exposed to xylene concentrations of approximately 10,000 ppm for 18.5 hours, one died and two recovered slowly after a period of unconsciousness and retrograde amnesia; disturbances of liver and kidney function were noted in these workers.
 Ingestion of xylene causes gastrointestinal distress and may cause toxic hepatitis. Aspiration of xylene or acute exposure to high vapor concentrations of this substance may cause chemical pneumonitis, hemorrhage into the air spaces, and pulmonary edema. A worker exposed to the vapors of a solvent containing 75 percent xylene (approximate airborne xylene concentration of 60 to 350 ppm) developed giddiness, anorexia, and vomiting. After inhalation of high concentrations of xylene, workers may become flushed, feel hot, and experience confusion, dizziness, tremors, and other signs or symptoms of central nervous system toxicity. Blood dyscrasias that have proven fatal in at least one case are reported to have been the result of chronic xylene exposure, but these hematopoietic effects are now believed to have been caused by benzene, formerly a common contaminant of xylene. Chronic exposure to xylene may cause central nervous system depression, anemia, mucosal hemorrhage, bone marrow hyperplasia, liver enlargement, liver necrosis, and nephrosis. Repeated contact of the skin with xylene causes drying and dermatitis.

Signs and symptoms of exposure:

Acute exposure: The signs and symptoms of acute exposure to xylene include headache, fatigue, irritability, lassitude, nausea, anorexia, flatulence, irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and motor incoordination and impairment of equilibrium. Flushing, redness of the face, a sensation of increased body heat, increased salivation, tremors, dizziness, confusion, and cardiac irritability have also been reported.

Chronic exposure: The signs and symptoms of chronic exposure to xylene may include conjunctivitis; dryness of the nose, throat, and skin; dermatitis; and kidney and liver damage.

Emergency procedures:

In the event of an emergency, remove the victim from further exposure, send for medical assistance, and initiate the following emergency procedures:

Eye exposure: If xylene or a solution containing xylene gets into the eyes, immediately flush the eyes with large amounts of water for a minimum of 15 minutes, lifting the lower and upper lids occasionally. Get medical attention as soon as possible.

Skin exposure: If xylene or a solution containing xylene contacts the skin, the contaminated skin should be washed with soap and water. If irritation persists, get medical attention.

Inhalation: If xylene vapors are inhaled, move the victim at once to fresh air and get medical care as soon as possible. If the victim is not breathing, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation; if breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Keep the victim warm and quiet until medical help arrives.

 Ingestion: DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. If xylene or a solution containing xylene is ingested, give the victim several glasses of water to drink. Get medical help immediately. Keep the victim warm and quiet until medical help arrives.

Rescue: Remove an incapacitated worker from further exposure and implement appropriate emergency procedures (e.g., those listed on the Material Safety Data Sheet required by OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200). All workers should be familiar with emergency procedures and the location and proper use of emergency equipment.

Exposure Sources and Control Methods

The following operations may involve xylene and lead to worker exposures to this substance:

  • Blending of motor and aviation fuels
  • Use as a diluent or solvent in lacquers, varnishes, inks, paints, surface coatings, dyes, adhesives, cleaning fluids, and rubber cements
  • Use as a feedstock for xylidenes, benzoic acid, phthalic anhydride, and isophthalic and terephthalic acids and their esters
  • Manufacture of quartz crystal oscillators, hydrogen peroxide, perfumes, insect repellents, dyes, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, and leather, and use as a sterilizing agent for cat-gut
  • Formulation of insecticides
  • Use with Canada balsam as oil-immersion fluid in microscopy and as a cleaning agent in laboratory applications

Methods that are effective in controlling worker exposures to xylene, depending on the feasibility of implementation, are

  • Process enclosure,
  • Local exhaust ventilation,
  • General dilution ventilation, and
  • Personal protective equipment.

Remove an incapacitated worker from further exposure and implement appropriate emergency procedures. All workers should be familiar with emergency procedures and the location and proper use of emergency equipment.

If xylene contacts the skin, workers should immediately wash the affected areas with soap and water.

Clothing contaminated with xylene should be removed immediately, and provisions should be made for the safe removal of the chemical from the clothing. Persons laundering the clothes should be informed of the hazardous properties of xylene, particularly its potential to cause dryness and irritation of the skin.

A worker who handles xylene should thoroughly wash hands, forearms, and face with soap and water before eating, using tobacco products, or using toilet facilities.

Workers should not eat, drink, or use tobacco products in areas where xylene is handled, processed, or stored.
 

Notification Procedures:
Report spills as required to appropriate authorities. U. S. Coast Guard regulations require immediate
reporting of spills that could reach any waterway including intermittent dry creeks. Report spill to Coast Guard toll free number (800) 424-8802. In case of accident or road spill notify CHEMTREC (800) 424-9300.

Procedures If Material Is Released Or Spilled:
Eliminate all ignition sources. Adsorb on fire retardant treated sawdust, diatomaceous earth, etc. Shovel up with spark-resistant shovel and remove to appropriate waste disposal facility in accordance with current
applicable laws and regulations. For large spills: Contain material and pump back to holding tank for later disposal.

Environmental Precautions:
Prevent spills from entering storm sewers for drains and contact with soil.

xylene information