Toxin Profiles

Substance Name

Methane
Identification Number: CASRN | 74-82-8

  Nastiness Attributes


  • Reproductive Effects

    Interferes with fertility

  • 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: Chemical Found in Air near CSG Operations | Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Food Toxin | Natural Toxin | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Hydrocarbons | Alkanes | Acyclic Alkanes | Acyclic Alkanes
  • SYNONYMS: Biogas | Carbane | CH4 | Marsh gas | Methyl hydride | Tetrahydridocarbon
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Unknown | Methane (CH4), is a gas produced by a group of colonic anaerobes, absorbed from the colon and excreted in expired air. As a result, breath CH4 excretion can be used as an indicator of the in situ activity of the methanogenic flora. All CH4 produced in human beings is a metabolic product of intestinal bacteria, and about 50% of CH4 produced in the gut is absorbed and excreted in expired air. Because there appears to be no catabolism of this gas by other colonic organisms or host cells, breath CH4 measurements provide a rapid, simple means of semi quantitatively assessing the ongoing in situ metabolism of the methanogenic flora. It could seem likely that the intracolonic activity of a variety of bacteria similarly might be assessed quantitatively via analysis of expired air. However, the application of this methodology has been confounded by the rapid catabolism of many volatile bacterial products by other bacteria or human tissue. A striking aspect of the studies of breath CH4 measurements is the enormous individual variations in the excretion of this gas. Virtually all children under 5 years of age and 66% of the adult population do not exhale appreciable quantities of CH4. The remaining 34% of the adult population has appreciable breath methane concentrations of up to 80 ppm (mean, 15.2 ppm; median, 11.8 ppm). On this basis the population can be divided into CH4 producers or nonproducers, although a more accurate term would be to define subjects as being low or high CH4 producers. The primary methanogen present in the human colon, Methanobrevibacter smithii, produces methane via a reaction that relies entirely on H2 produced by other organisms to reduce CO2 to CH4. Thus, breath CH4 concentrations might be expected to mirror breath H2 concentrations; however, the high levels of CH4 observed in the fasting state may result from H2 derived from endogenous rather than dietary substrates. A diverse assortment of conditions has been associated with a high prevalence of methane producers including diverticulosis, cystic fibrosis, high fasting serum cholesterol levels, encopresis in children, and aorto-iliac vascular disease, whereas obesity (measured as skin-fold thickness) was related inversely to methane production. The challenge that remains is to determine to what extent methanogens actively influence body physiology vs. simply serve as passive indicators of colonic function. (A11043)
  • COMMENTS: This Chemical is in the category of VOC and is found in Air near CSG Operations From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia: Extremely flammable gas | | 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: CH4
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: T3DB | PubChem | Article-Colborn-2010 | FracFocus | EPA in USA | Article-Colborn-Air | 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: Symptoms of methane asphyxiation include nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, headache, drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness, disorientation, mood swings, tingling sensation, loss of coordination,suffocation, convulsions, unconsciousness, coma, and possibly death. (L173)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Methane is an asphyxiant and displaces oxygen in enclosed spaces. At high enough concentrations, oxygen depletion may cause asphyxiation, resulting in generalized hypoxia and possibly death. (L171, L172) | Methane is biologically inactive. (L172)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Methane is an asphyxiant and displaces oxygen in enclosed spaces. At high enough concentrations, oxygen depletion may cause asphyxiation. Low concentrations of surrounding oxygen results in deficient oxygen to the organs, compounded by increased oxygen exhalation during respiration. This results in generalized hypoxia and possibly death. (L171, A120) |
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Methane is the major component of natural gas, which is found in geological deposits known as natural gas fields and used as vehicle fuel in its compressed form. Methane may be burned to produce electricity and is often piped into homes for domestic heating and cooking purposes. Methane is also used in industrial processes to produce chemicals such as hydrogen, methanol, acetic acid, and acetic anhydride. (L171)

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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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