Toxin Profiles

Substance Name

acrylamide
Identification Number: CASRN | 79-06-1

  Nastiness Attributes


  • Known Human Carcinogen

    This is a serious nasty substance. Exposure to this substance leads to cancer in Humans. Exercise extreme caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and very seriously consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • 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

  • Reproductive Effects

    Interferes with fertility

  • 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.

  • Toxic to specific organs

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

  • 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: Cigarette Toxin | Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Food Toxin | Synthetic Toxin | Chemical used in hydraulic fracturing fluids | Indirect Additives Used in Food Contact Substances | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Organic Acids and Derivatives | Carboximidic Acids and Derivatives | Carboximidic Acids | Primary Carboxylic Acid Amides
  • SYNONYMS: 2-Propenamide | 2-Propeneamide | Acrylagel | Acrylic acid amide | Acrylic amide | Aerofloc 3453 | Akrylamid | American cyanamid kpam | American Cyanamid P-250 | Amid kyseliny akrylove | Amide propenoate | Amide propenoic acid | Aminogen pa | Amresco Acryl-40 | Bio-Gel P 2 | BioGel P-100 | Cyanamer P 250 | Cyanamer P 35 | Cytame 5 | Dow ET 597 | Ethylene carboxamide | Ethylenecarboxamide | Flokonit e | Flygtol GB | Gelamide 250 | Himoloc SS 200 | K-Pam | Magnafloc R 292 | Nacolyte 673 | Optimum | Polyacrylamide | Polyacrylamide resin | Polyacrylamide solution | Polyhall 27 | Polyhall 402 | Polystolon | Polystoron | Porisutoron | Praestol 2800 | Prop-2-enamide | Propenamide | Propeneamide | Propenoate | Propenoic acid | Propenoic acid amide | Reten 420 | Sanpoly A 520 | Solvitose 433 | Stipix ad | Stokopol D 2624 | Sumirez A 17 | Sumirez A 27 | Sumitex A 1 | Superfloc 84 | Superfloc 900 | Sursolan P 5 | Versicol W 11 | Vinyl amide
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Shale control inhibitor, bentonite extender, unknown, fracturing, friction reducer, flocculantAcrylamide (ACR) is a chemical used in many industries around the world and more recently was found to form naturally in foods cooked at high temperatures. Acrylamide is a neurotoxicant, reproductive toxicant, and carcinogen in animal species. Only the neurotoxic effects have been observed in humans and only at high levels of exposure in occupational settings. The mechanism underlying neurotoxic effects of ACR may be basic to the other toxic effects seen in animals. This mechanism involves interference with the kinesin-related motor proteins in nerve cells or with fusion proteins in the formation of vesicles at the nerve terminus and eventual cell death. Neurotoxicity and resulting behavioral changes can affect reproductive performance of ACR-exposed laboratory animals with resulting decreased reproductive performance. Further, the kinesin motor proteins are important in sperm motility, which could alter reproduction parameters. Effects on kinesin proteins could also explain some of the genotoxic effects on ACR. These proteins form the spindle fibers in the nucleus that function in the separation of chromosomes during cell division. This could explain the clastogenic effects of the chemical noted in a number of tests for genotoxicity and assays for germ cell damage. Other mechanisms underlying ACR-induced carcinogenesis or nerve toxicity are likely related to an affinity for sulfhydryl groups on proteins. Binding of the sulfhydryl groups could inactive proteins/enzymes involved in DNA repair and other critical cell functions. Direct interaction with DNA may or may not be a major mechanism for cancer induction in animals. The DNA adducts that form do not correlate with tumor sites and ACR is mostly negative in gene mutation assays except at high doses that may not be achievable in the diet. All epidemiologic studies fail to show any increased risk of cancer from either high-level occupational exposure or the low levels found in the diet. In fact, two of the epidemiologic studies show a decrease in cancer of the large bowel. A number of risk assessment studies were performed to estimate increased cancer risk. The results of these studies are highly variable depending on the model. There is universal consensus among international food safety groups in all countries that examined the issue of ACR in the diet that not enough information is available at this time to make informed decisions on which to base any regulatory action. Too little is known about levels of this chemical in different foods and the potential risk from dietary exposure. Avoidance of foods containing ACR would result in worse health issues from an unbalanced diet or pathogens from under cooked foods. There is some consensus that low levels of ACR in the diet are not a concern for neurotoxicity or reproductive toxicity in humans, although further research is need to study the long-term, low-level cumulative effects on the nervous system. Any relationship to cancer risk from dietary exposure is hypothetical at this point and awaits more definitive studies. (A2877).
  • COMMENTS: From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia: | | 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: C3H5NO
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | CPDB | PubChem | IARC | NTP | OEHHA | Article-Colborn-2010 | FracFocus | EPA in USA | US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | FDA Indirect Food Additives | 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: Direct exposure to pure acrylamide by inhalation, skin absorption, or eye contact irritates the exposed mucous membranes and can also cause sweating, urinary incontinence, nausea, myalgia, speech disorders, numbness, paresthesia, and weakened legs and hands. (L1157)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Acrylamide is neurotoxic and causes the disassembly or rearrangement of intermediate filaments. It may also damage the male reproductive glands and is believed to be carcinogenic. (L1157) | Acrylamide is absorbed following oral, inhalation, and dermal exposure and is widely distributed, tending to accumulate in the red blood cells. In the proposed major metabolic pathway acrylamide reacts with glutathione to form S-beta-propionamide glutathione conjugate which is excreted in the urine as cysteine or N-acetylcysteine derivatives. The major urinary metabolite (accounting for 48% of the excreted dose) is N-acetylcysteine-S-beta-propionamide. Alternately, acrylamide may be oxidized to glycidamide by CYP2E1. Glycidamide then goes on to form similar glutathione conjugates or undergos hydrolysis, leading to the formation of 2,3-dihydroxypropionamide and 2,3-dihydroxypropionicacid. (A635, A324, L1887)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Acrylamide produces a central-peripheral distal axonopathy when administered chronically. This is characterized functionally by decreases in the monosynaptic reflex and dorsal root potential and alterations in the characteristics of the dorsal root reflex. Acrylamide's neurotoxic effects may be caused by the disruption of fast axonal transport. Acrylamide is thought to bind to kinesin, which leads to impairment of the fast axonal transport system responsible for the distal delivery of macromolecules. This results in deficiencies in proteins responsible for maintaining axonal structure and function. Acrylamide may also disrupt nitric oxide signaling at nerve terminals by forming adducts with softnucleophilic sulfhydryl groups on cysteine residues. In terms of reproductive toxicity, data suggest that acrylamide-induced male dominant lethal mutations may involve clastogenic events from binding of acrylamide and/or glycidamide to spermatid protamines or spindle fiber proteins and/or direct alkylation of DNA by glycidamide. Adverse effects on mounting, sperm motility, and intromission could also be related to distal axonopathy resulting from binding of acrylamide to motor proteins.Acrylamide's mechanism of carcinogenicity is likely mutagenic, as the metabolite glycidamide is believed to react with proteins and DNA, causing mutations that persist in viable somatic cells and resulting in tumor formation. In addition, acrylamide's affinity for binding sulfhydryl groups on proteins could inactive proteins/enzymes involved in DNA repair and other critical cell functions. (A322, L1887, A2877) | The metabolite glycidamide is believed to react with DNA, causing mutations that persist in viable somatic cells which can result in reproductive damage and tumor formation. (L1887)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Most acrylamide is used to synthesize polyacrylamides, which find many uses as water-soluble thickeners. Polyacrylamide was first used in a laboratory setting as polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to separate charged molecules. Acrylamide has many other uses in molecular biology laboratories, including the use of linear polyacrylamide (LPA) as a carrier which aids in the precipitation of small amounts of DNA. Many laboratory supply companies sell LPA for this use. Some acrylamide is used in the manufacture of dyes and the manufacture of other monomers. Acrylamide also occurs in many cooked starchy foods, such as potato chips and French fries. (L1157)

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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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