Toxin Profiles

Substance Name

Acrolein
Identification Number: CASRN | 107-02-8

  Nastiness Attributes


  • Carcinogenic Properties

    Accumulating evidence points to cancer potential. Exercise caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Endocrine Disrupter

    Interferes with your hormones. Hormones are powerful messengers that can bind to DNA. You don't want to mess with them.

  • Mutagenic Properties

    Cause mutations to Genetic material like DNA, RNA or mitochondrial DNA

  • Birth/Developmental

    Known to effect development of fetus.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.

    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Serious Acute Effects

    This is a serious nasty substance. Effects are Acute (seen immediately). Substances in this category may be FATAL or acutely toxic if inhaled, skin contact or swallowed. See further details.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.

  • Toxic to Wildlife

    May kill plants, fish, birds or other animals and insects or may be very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. This then effects delicate environmental ecology and food supply in ways we don't fully understand yet.

  • Soluble in Water

    This substance easily dissolves in water. As such it can be easily transported via waterways. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.

  • Volatile - Evaporates easily

    This substance easily enters the air we breath. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.


  • CATEGORIES: Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids | Chemicals detected in flowback and produced water - collectively referred to as - hydraulic fracturing wastewater | Pesticide | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Food Toxin | Synthetic Toxin | EAFUS (Everything Added to Food in the United States) | PESTICIDE active ingredient | organic | herbicide | Pesticide approved in Australia | Pesticide approved in USA (California) | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Organooxygen Compounds | Carbonyl Compounds | Alpha,Beta-Unsaturated Carbonyl Compounds | Short-chain Aldehydes
  • SYNONYMS: 2-Propen-1-one | 2-Propenal | 2-Propenaldehyde | Acquinite | Acraldehyde | Acrylaldehyde | Acrylic Aldehyde | Aldehyde | acrylic | Allyl aldehyde | Aqualin | Aqualine | Biocide | CH2=CHCHO | Crolean | Ethylene aldehyde | Magnacide | Magnacide H | Papite | Prop-2-En-1-al | Prop-2-enal | Propenal | Propenaldehyde | Propylene aldehyde | Slimicide | trans-Acrolein Formylethylene
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Biocide, fracturing | Acrolein (systematic name: propenal) is the simplest unsaturated aldehyde. It is a colourless liquid with a piercing, disagreeable, acrid smell. The smell of burnt fat (as when cooking oil is heated to its smoke point) is caused by glycerol in the burning fat breaking down into acrolein. It is produced industrially from propylene and mainly used as a biocide and a building block to other chemical compounds, such as the amino acid methionine. Acrolein is used as an etherification agent in the preparation of modified food starches. Acrolein is an herbicide and algicide used in water treatment. It is produced by microorganisms, e.g. Clostridium perfringens. Acrolein is a relatively electrophilic compound and a reactive one, hence its high toxicity. It is a good Michael acceptor, hence its useful reaction with thiols. It forms acetals readily, a prominent one being the spirocycle derived from pentaerythritol, diallylidene pentaerythritol. Acrolein participates in many Diels-Alder reactions, even with itself. Via Diels-Alder reactions, it is a precursor to some commercial fragrances, including lyral, norbornene-2-carboxaldehyde, and myrac aldehyde. Acrolein is toxic and is a strong irritant for the skin, eyes, and nasal passages. The main metabolic pathway for acrolein is the alkylation of glutathione. The WHO suggests a 'tolerable oral acrolein intake' of 7.5 mg/day per kilogram of body weight. Although acrolein occurs in French fries, the levels are only a few micrograms per kilogram.
  • COMMENTS: Residues of this pesticide are NOT tested for on Australian Foods even though the Pesticide is approved in Australia. This is partly so because this pesticide is not usually used around food agriculture. | Pesticide approved in Australia From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia: Highly flammable liquid and vapour. Fatal if inhaled. Toxic in contact with skin. Toxic if swallowed. Causes severe skin burns and eye damage. Very toxic to aquatic life | Environmental Hazard Acutely Toxic | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C3H4O
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | IARC | Article-Colborn-2010 | EPA in USA | EAFUS | Consolidated Pesticide Information Dataset (CPI) from the USA EPA | Compendium of Pesticide Common Names | APVMA | DPR | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 21/04/2015

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Ingestion of acrolein causes stomach irritation, vomiting, stomach ulcers and bleeding. Breathing acrolein may cause eye watering, burning of the nose and throat and a decreased breathing rate. (L121)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Acrolein is a severe pulmonary irritant and lachrymatory agent. Breathing large amounts of acrolein damages the lungs and could cause death. (L121, L122) | Acrolein can be absorbed though oral, inhalation, or dermal routes. In the liver and kidneys, acrolein forms conjugates with glutathione, cysteine, N-acetylcysteine, and/or thioredoxin. Acrolein can also be transformed into acrylic acid by liver cytosol or microsomes, or it can be oxidized to glycidaldehyde by lung or liver microsomes. Acrolein metabolites are excreted in the urine. (L121)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Acrolein rapidly and irreversibly binds to lysine moieties and sulfhydryl groups found on many cellular molecules forming thiol ethers. By this mechanism acrolein can bind to messenger compounds to produce direct cytotoxic effects or secondary effects from interrupted cell signaling pathways. Perturbation of inflammatory responses in bronchial epithelial cells was demonstrated by direct action of acrolein on the inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B (IκB) kinase, which inhibits activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) transcription factor and suppresses interleukin 8 (IL-8) production. Rapid binding of acrolein to neural receptors in the corneal and nasal mucosa results in rapid depolarization of the associated neurons to produce ocular and nasal irritation. Acrolein also binds rapidly to glutathione, which may be inhibitory to the enzyme glutathione peroxidase and result in a lower level of cellular protection against oxygen radical toxicity. Further, the adduction of glutathione generates GS-propionaldehyde, which produces oxygen and possibly hydroxy radicals via cytosolic aldehyde dehydrogenase. Acrolein inhibits thioredoxin and thioredoxin reductase, which disrupts the cellular thiol redox balance necessary for cell survival. It interferes with normal reverse cholesterol transport by high density lipoprotein (HDL) by modifying specific sites in apolipoprotein A-I. Acrolein also inhibits aldehyde dehydrogenases and activates the transient receptor potential cation channel. (L121, A84, A85, A86) | Perturbation of inflammatory responses in bronchial epithelial cells was demonstrated by direct action of acrolein on the inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B (IκB) kinase, which inhibits activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) transcription factor and suppresses interleukin 8 (IL-8) production. (A83)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Acrolein is used as a pesticide to control algae, weeds, bacteria, and mollusks. It is also used to make other chemicals, such as polyester resin, polyurethane, propylene glycol, acrylic acid, acrylonitrile, and glycerol. Small amounts of acrolein can be formed when trees, tobacco, other plants, gasoline, and oil are burned. (L121)

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  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


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