What EPA pkockam omcss rzcclatt Acrvuuodx, and unbxr what laws d it uculatzd?
EPAOmci
Pollution Prevention & Tones
Air
Solid Wnteft
Water
Law
Tone Substances Control Act
Emergency Pluming and Community Right-to-Knaw Act (EPCRA): Regulations (313)
Tones Release Inventory d
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Chemicals can be released to the envi-
ronment as a result of their manufacture,
processing, and use The EPA has de-
veloped information summaries on se-
lected chemicals to describe how you
might be exposed to these chemicals,
how exposure to them might affect you
and the environment, what happens to
them in the environment, who regulates
them, and whom to contact for additional
information EPA is committed to re-
ducing environmental releases of
chemicals through source reduction and
other practices that reduce creation of
pollutants
WHAT IS ACRYLAMIDE, HOW IS
IT USED, AND HOW MIGHT I BE
EXPOSED?
Acrylamide is an odorless solid
that exists as flake-like crystals, h does
not occur naturally but is produced in
laqje amounts (100 million pounds in
1992) by three companies in the United
States US demand for acrylamide is
likely to increase during the next several
years The laigest users of acrylamide are
companies that make polyacrytamide
polymers Companies also use acryla-
mide to make N-butoxyacrylamide and
N -methylolacrylamjjje Products such as
clarifying agents, adhesives, printing ink
emulsitin stabilizers, thickening agents
for agricultural sprays, and water reten-
tion aids can also contain acrylamide
Exposure to acrylamide can oc-
cur in the workplace or in the environ-
ment following itlcuet to lu, water, land, or
groundwater Acrytamidt enter* the body
when breathed in with contaminated air or
when consumed with contaminated food or
water It can also be absorbed through skin
contact It is not likely to remain in the body
due to its removal in urine
WHAT HAPPENS TO ACRYLAMIDE
IN THE ENVIRONMENT?
Acrylamide dissolves when mixed
with water Most direct releases of acryla-
mide to the environment are to underground
sites or to air Once in air, acrylamide breaks
down to other chemicals Microorganisms
that live in water and in soil can also break
down acrylamide. Because of its ability to
mix with water and its inability to bind well
to soil, acrylamide that makes its way into the
ground can move through the ground and
enter groundwater. Plants and animals are
not likely to store acrylamide
HOW DOES ACRYLAMIDE AFFECT
HUMAN HEALTH AND THE
ENVIRONMENT?
Effects of acrylamide on human
health and the environment depend on how
much acrylamide is present and the length
and frequency of exposure Effects also
depend on the health of a person or the
condition of the environment when exposure
occurs
Exposure to acrylamide for short
periods of time can adversely affect the
human nervous system. Effects range
from drowsiness to incoordination,
hallucinations, and confusion Direct
contact with dissolved acrylamide
irritates the skin Acrylamide dust
irritates the respiratory system These
effects are not likely to occur at levels
ofaciylamide that are normally found
in the environment
Human health effects asso-
ciated with breathing or otherwise
consuming small amounts of acry-
lamide over long periods of time are
not known Workers repeatedly ex-
posed to acrylamide have developed
neurologic symptoms such as ab-
normal sensation, muscle weakness,
and incoordination. Laboratory
studies show that repeat exposure to
acrylamide causes similar adverse
nervous system effects in animals
Studies show that repeat exposure to
acrylamide also causes general tox-
icity, adverse blood effects, and ad-
verse reproductive effects in animals
Lifetime exposure to small amounts
of acrylamide in drinking water
causes cancer in animals. Repeat
exposure to acrylamide may likewise
cause cancer in humans
Acrylamide is not likely to
cause environmental harm at levels
normally found in the environment

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