Clear, colorless liquid with a distinct, strong almond odor.
Acetone cyanohydrin is used as a raw material for insecticide manufacture and also to produce ethyl alpha-hydroxyisobutyrate, a pharmaceutical intermediate. It has been used as a complexing agent for metals refining and separation. Acetone cyanohydrin is also used as a reagent in the formation of aldehyde cyanohydrins from aldehydes and in combination with a potassium cyanide-crown ether complex and it acts as an effective, stereoselective hydrocyanating reagent.
Registry Numbers and Inventories.
EC Index Number
Very toxic; Dangerous for the Environment
R 26/27/28 50/53
S 7/9 27 45 60 61
Swiss Giftliste 1
Japan ENCS (MITI)
Melting point, °C
Boiling point, °C
Vapor pressure, mmHg
0.6 (25 C)
Vapor density (air=1)
1053 ppm (0.1%) at 20 C (calculated)
0.932 g/cm3 (19 C)
Solubility in water
0.0481 g/(cm s) (20 C)
1.40002 (19 C)
Partition coefficient, pKow
Heat of vaporization
Hazards and Protection.
Keep away from heat, sparks, and flame. Keep away from sources of ignition. Store in a cool, dry place. Store in a tightly closed container. Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from incompatible substances.
D1A D2A D2B B3
Wash thoroughly after handling. Wash hands before eating. Remove contaminated clothing and wash before reuse. Use only in a well ventilated area. Empty containers retain product residue, (liquid and/or vapor), and can be dangerous. Keep container tightly closed. Avoid contact with heat, sparks and flame. Do not get on skin or in eyes. 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 protective 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 when necessary.
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. Provide ventilation.
Stable under normal temperatures and pressures.
Hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, irritating and toxic fumes and gases, carbon dioxide.
Upper exp. limit, %
Lower exp. limit, %
Wear a self-contained breathing apparatus in pressure-demand, MSHA/NIOSH (approved or equivalent), and full protective gear. Use water spray to keep fire-exposed containers cool. Water may be ineffective. Material is lighter than water and a fire may be spread by the use of water. Combustible Liquid. To extinguish fire, use water, dry chemical, chemical foam, or alcohol-resistant foam. Use water spray to cool fire-exposed containers. Water may be ineffective.
Slightly flammable. Combustion requires preheating.
Too dangerous to health to expose fire fighters; a few whiffs of vapor could cause death; vapor or liquid could be fatal on penetrating normal protective clothing. Vapor forms explosive mixture with air. Decomposes when heated to 248F or at lower temperature under alkaline conditions, emitting highly toxic hydrogen cyanide. May react violently with water. Contact with sulfuric acid may cause it to explode.
Combustion by-products include: Oxides of nitrogen, hydrogen cyanide.
TLV: 4.7 ppm; 5 mg/m3 (ceiling values) as CN (skin) (ACGIH 1997). NIOSH REL: C 1 ppm (4 mg/m3) 15-minute
May cause liver and kidney damage. May be metabolized to cyanide which in turn acts by inhibiting cytochrome oxidase impairing cellular respiration.
May be fatal if swallowed. May cause gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. May cause liver and kidney damage. Metabolism may release cyanide, which may result in headache, dizziness, weakness, collapse, unconsciousness and possible death. Human fatalities have been reported from acute poisoning. Ingestion may result in symptoms similar to cyanide poisoning which is characterized by aspyhxiation.
May cause respiratory tract irritation. May cause liver and kidney damage. Aspiration may lead to pulmonary edema. May be metabolized to cyanide which in turns act by inhibiting cytochrome oxidase impairing cellular respiration. Inhalation may result in symptoms similar to cyanide poisoning which includes unconsciousness and death. Inhalation at high concentrations may cause CNS depression and asphixiation.
May be fatal if absorbed through the skin. May be metabolized to cyanide which in turn acts by inhibiting cytochrome oxidase impairing cellular respiration. May cause irritation and dermatitis. May cause cyanosis of the extremities.
May cause eye irritation. May cause chemical conjunctivitis and corneal damage.
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 aid immediately.
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. If breathing has ceased apply artificial respiration using oxygen and a suitable mechanical device such as a bag and a mask.
Flush skin with plenty of soap and water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Discard contaminated clothing in a manner which limits further exposure. SPEEDY ACTION IS CRITICAL!
Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting the upper and lower eyelids. Get medical aid immediately.