Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Acrylamide

  • Acrylamide is harmful if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.  It affects the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive system, as well as being an irritant to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. 
  • The following personal protective equipment is required: safety glasses or goggles, rubber gloves (or other gloves recommended for this chemical), and lab coats.
  • All work done with liquid and solid acrylamide should be performed in a properly functioning fume hood.  This will eliminate nearly 100% of the hazards presented by the airborne particles and vapors.
  • Do not store acrylamide in the presence of oxidizers, peroxides, acids, or bases to avoid potential violent polymerization.
  • Acrylamide may also polymerize violently in the presence of heat above the melting point of 85°C.
  • Acrylamide must be stored in appropriate containers for disposal, away from heat sources, out of direct sunlight, and away from the incompatible chemicals listed above.
  • All acrylamide is to be considered hazardous waste for disposal purposes.  Even when polymerized, there is a significant portion (greater than 1% of the total solution) that is in monomer formation.  This amount of monomer means that the entire solution is toxic hazardous waste.
  • Acrylamide gels should be place in the bags supplied by EHSS (not red or yellow bags please!).  Pour off any liquid before placing the gels in the bags.
  • Acrylamide liquid waste should be poured into appropriate containers (i.e. carboys) for disposal through EHSS.  Please do not put solids in with the liquid waste, including paper towels, fish heads, sheep eyes, or other solid materials!
  • In the event of a large spill of acrylamide, back away,  call 911, and secure the lab area.  The irritant and toxic nature of the chemical warrants help from experts.