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Acrylonitrile is a colourless, volatile, highly flammable liquid that can be dissolved in water and has a sharp, onion or garlic-like odour. Acrylonitrile is primarily used in the production of nitril polymers. These in turn are used to make materials such as plastics, synthetic rubbers and acrylic fibres. Exposure to acrylonitrile can occur from inhalation, ingestion, and skin or eye absorption.
Acrylonitrile is a respiratory, skin, and eye irritant and may cause allergic contact dermatitis. Inhalation of acrylonitrile vapours primarily affects the nervous system and lungs, and can cause nose and throat irritation, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, nausea, dizziness, weakness, headache, impaired judgment, and convulsions. Prolonged exposure can cause permanent damage and is a suspected causative agent of toxic epidermal necrosis.
         Regulatory Requirements 
Currently, there are no regulations pertaining to acrylonitrile on construction projects. Industrial processes involving acrylonitrile are regulated under the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, Regulation 835 as amended by O.Reg. 101/04, Designated Substance – Acrylonitrile. The transport of the waste to the disposal site is controlled by the federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992.