Figure 1 – Vinyl Carbinol
This month our example is Vinyl
Carbinol, which has a chemical formula of
(C3H6O). Vinyl Carbinol is listed
under the UN # (United Nations Number) by the US
Department of Transportation: UN 1098. Vinyl Carbinol is
listed as CAS# (Chemical Abstract Service Number)
107-18-6. The Vinyl Carbinol molecular structure is
shown in Figure 1 and is also represented by
Vinyl Carbinol is a colorless liquid,
pungent, mustard-like odor, lachrymator.
Manufacture of flavorings, perfumes, to denature
alcohol, fungicides, and herbicides.
Point: -128°C (-200°F)
Point: 97°C (205°F)
Density: 2.0 (air = 1.0)
Point: 21°C (70°F)
Explosion Limit: 2.5%
Explosion Limit: 18%
Synonyms: Allyl Alcohol,
chloroethene, chloroethylene, 1-chloroethylene, ethylene
monochloride, monochloroethylene, monoVinyl Carbinol,
MVC, VC, VCM, and Vinyl Carbinol monomer.
Incompatibilities: Oxidizing agents,
strong acids, acids, alkali metals, aluminum, amines,
coatings, magnesium, plastics, rubber, sodium hydroxide,
isocyanates, sodium, carbon tetrachloride,
chlorosulfonic acid, oleum, metallic halides, and
Hazards and Protection:
- Keep away from heat, sparks, and flame. Keep away
from sources of ignition. Store in a cool, dry,
well-ventilated area away from incompatible substances.
- Wash thoroughly after handling. Wash hands before
eating. Use only in a well ventilated area. Ground and
bond containers when transferring material. Use
spark-proof tools and explosion proof equipment. Do not
get in eyes, on skin, or on clothing. Empty containers
retain product residue, (liquid and/or vapor), and can
be dangerous. Avoid contact with heat, sparks and flame.
Do not ingest or inhale. Do not pressurize, cut, weld,
braze, solder, drill, grind, or expose empty containers
to heat, sparks or open flames.
- Eyes: Wear appropriate protective eyeglasses or
chemical safety goggles as described by OSHA's eye and
face protection regulations in 29 CFR 1910.133 or
European Standard EN166. Skin: Wear appropriate gloves
to prevent skin exposure. Clothing: Wear appropriate
protective clothing to prevent skin exposure.
- Follow the OSHA respirator regulations found in
29CFR 1910.134 or European Standard EN 149. Always use a
NIOSH or European Standard EN 149 approved respirator
spills/leaks - Absorb spill with inert material,
(e.g., dry sand or earth), then place into a chemical
waste container. Avoid runoff into storm sewers and
ditches which lead to waterways. Clean up spills
immediately, using the appropriate protective equipment.
Remove all sources of ignition. Use a spark-proof tool.
A vapor suppressing foam may be used to reduce vapors.
- May form explosive peroxides. May polymerize.
Forms explosive mixture with air (flash point 70 degrees
- Carbon monoxide, irritating and toxic fumes and
gases, carbon dioxide.
Exposure limit(s) - OSHA PEL:
TWA 2 ppm (5 mg/m3) skin
TWA 2 ppm (5 mg/m3)
Exposure effects - May cause
liver and kidney damage. Effects may be delayed.
- Harmful if swallowed. Causes gastrointestinal
irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. May cause
central nervous system depression, characterized by
excitement, followed by headache, dizziness, drowsiness,
and nausea. Advanced stages may cause collapse,
unconsciousness, coma and possible death due to
- Harmful if inhaled. May cause severe irritation of the
respiratory tract with sore throat, coughing, shortness
of breath and delayed lung edema. May cause pulmonary
edema and severe respiratory disturbances. Vapors may
cause dizziness or suffocation.
- Causes skin irritation. May be fatal if absorbed
through the skin.
- Get medical aid immediately. Remove from exposure
to fresh air immediately. If not breathing, give
artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give
oxygen. DO NOT use mouth-to-mouth respiration.
- Do NOT induce vomiting. If victim is conscious and
alert, give 2-4 cupfuls of milk or water. Never give
anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Get medical
- Get medical aid immediately. Immediately flush
skin with plenty of soap and water for at least 15
minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes.
Wash clothing before reuse.
In using the PEAC application we
access information for the chemical by first locating
Vinyl Carbinol in the database. The following figures
show the screens displayed for chemical properties,
Figure 2 for the PEAC-WMD for Windows application
and Figure 3-5 for the PEAC‑WMD for the Pocket PC
Figure 2 - Using the Lookup By: Name for
Vinyl Carbinol using the PEAC-WMD for Windows
Review of the information displayed
in the chemical properties screen whether in Figure 2
(above) or Figures 3-5 (below), show chemical properties
values discussed earlier at the top of this discussion.
As you can see below, the published toxicity values,
e.g., IDLH, STEL, and the TEELs (Temporary Emergency
Exposure Limits) published by Department of Energy are
provided. We will use the IDLH as the Level of Concern
when we develop the Protective Action Distance (PAD) a
Figure 3 – Selecting Vinyl
Carbinol using the PEAC-WMD for Pocket PC
Figure 4 – The top portion of the
Chemical Properties Data Display Screen
Figure 5– The bottom portion of
the Chemical Properties Data Display Screen
A benefit of using the PEAC tool is
assistance in the development of an evacuation zone for
those chemicals that produce a toxic vapor cloud. As
with most of our examples, AristaTek creates a scenario
for a spill or release of the specific chemical, and
then we work through the development of a PAD
(Protective Action Distance) to demonstrate how the PEAC
For our hypothetical scenario using
Vinyl Carbinol as the involved chemical we’ll set the
location to be fragrance-manufacturing facility located
outside Baltimore, MD. The date is April 14, 2004, about
6:00 PM with a temperature of 55°F, wind speed of 2 mph and a clear
sky. The hypothetical release involves a drum that
contains Vinyl Carbinol and it has fallen off a truck,
ruptured and formed a pool about 10’ in diameter. The
PEAC tool can provide guidance with regards to toxic
vapor cloud that is released.
If you decide to follow along as we
proceed through these examples, remember to set the
location to Baltimore and set the date and time to the
proper values, otherwise you’ll compute different
values. We’ll use a terrain type of urban/forest since
this is a manufacturing facility and has buildings and
processing equipment in the immediate area.
As seen at the top of the data
display screens, there is a yellow icon displayed; this
is the PEAC icon for notifying the user that a
Protective Action Distance can be calculated. Clicking
or tapping on the PAD icon will display a screen as
shown in Figure 6. Following through the screens, we
provide information on the Meteorology, Container Size,
and Type of Release (Source). The following figures
demonstrate how we would work through our scenario to
see what our Protective Action Distance should be.
It’s Baltimore in April and the
temperature about 55°, wind is set for 2 mph,
clear skies and the terrain is Urban/Forest
since it’s a processing facility setting.
We have selected from our list
of container sizes the Drum/Barrel
selection. This gets us a quick estimate of
how much material might be involved.
We have selected a Large
Rupture, and since the liquid boils at 205°F
it will form a liquid pool. So the application
asks for a pool depth and diameter.
Figure 6 – Calculating a PAD using the
PEAC‑WMD System for March 11th
By pressing the right arrow at the
top of the screen, the PEAC system will display a screen
as shown in Figure 7. This calculates a PAD
(Protective Action Distance) based on the default
Level of Concern the IDLH of 20 ppm. This
evacuation or standoff distance is based on the toxicity
of Vinyl Carbinol, not the flammability.
Figure 7 – Default PAD for Vinyl
Carbinol using the IDLH of 20 ppm
If we want to calculate a PAD based
on a toxicity level other than the IDLH, we can enter a
value in the field for Level of Concern or we can
select a value from our list of toxicity values shown in
Figure 8. In this figure we select the STEL value or 4
Figure 8 – Selecting another Level of
The calculated PAD will be displayed, see Figure
Figure 9 – Calculated PAD using the STEL
Level of Concern
In addition to the toxicity of the
released material, the user should also remember the
flammability issue with Vinyl Carbinol and eliminate all
Substantial portions of this
discussion were adapted from:
INCHEM web site, http://www.inchem.org/,
- Chemfinder web site, http://chemfinder.cambridgesoft.com/,
- University of Akron web site,