Material Safety Data Sheet

City University of Hong Kong


Chemical Name: Methanol
Synonyms: Methyl Alcohol, Wood Alcohol, Carbinol, Wood Naptha, Methyl Hydroxide
Chemical Family: Alcohol
Formula: CH3OH
C.A.S.: 67-56-1



Physical State: Liquid
Boiling Point : 148-148.5 deg. F
Vapour Pressure, mmHg/20 deg. C: 96-100
Melting Point : -144 deg. F
Vapour Density (Air=1): 1.1
Specific Gravity (Water=1): 0.79
Water Solubility, %: 100
Appearance And Odour: Clear, colourless liquid; mild alcohol odour
Evaporation Rate (Butyl Acetate=1): >2


Condition Of Flammability: Flammable
Extinguishing Media:
Use water spray, dry chemical, CO2, or alcohol foam. Do not use a direct water stream.

Flash Point : 52-53 deg. F
Flammable Limits In Air, % Lower: 6 Upper: 36.5
Special Fire Fighting Procedures:
Fire fighters should wear self-contained breathing apparatus and full protective clothing. Use water spray to cool nearby containers and structures exposed to fire.


Stability: Stable
Polymerization: Will not occur
Strong oxidizing agents, aluminum, zinc, any metal that displaces hydrogen, acids, and alkalis.

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
May liberate carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde and unidentified organic compounds in black smoke.

Conditions To Avoid: Heat, sparks, and open flames.


Primary Routes Of Exposure: Swallowing, skin or eye contact, inhalation.

Signs And Symptoms Of Exposure:

Prolonged or repeated exposure or breathing very high concentrations may cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, visual disturbances, giddiness, intoxication, sleepiness, unconsciousness, and death. initial symptoms of inhalation may only be mild intoxication but may become more severe after 12-18 hours. Toxic effects are exerted on the central nervous system, especially the optic nerve.

Eye Contact: Vapours will irritate the eyes. Liquid and mists will irritate and may burn the eyes.
Skin Contact:
Brief contact may dry the skin. Prolonged or repeated contact may irritate the skin, causing dermatitis. Methanol may be absorbed through intact skin to produce systemic effects.

Swallowing 100-250 ml of methanol can be fatal. Swallowing lesser quantities can cause blindness, dizziness, headaches, or nausea. Absorption of methanol is rapid but excretion is slow, resulting in delayed effects or compounding effects of repeated exposure. Initial symptoms may only be mild intoxication but these may become more severe 12-18 hours later. Toxic effects are exerted on the central nervous system, especially the optic nerve.

Chronic Effects Of Exposure:
Prolonged or repeated exposure may result in CNS damage, blindness, damage to pancreas, or death.

Medical Conditions Generally Aggravated By Exposure: None reported.
Oral: Human LDLO = 340 mg/kg; Rat LD50 = 5628 mg/kg
Dermal: Rabbit LD50 = 20 g/kg
Inhalation: Human TCLO = 86 g/m3 (Irritation); Rat LC50 = 64,000 ppm/4h
This material is not considered to be a carcinogen by the national toxicology program, the international agency for research on cancer, or the occupational safety and health administration.


If Inhaled:
Remove to fresh air. Give artificial respiration if not breathing. Get immediate medical attention.

In Case Of Eye Contact:
Immediately flush eyes with lots of running water for 15 minutes, lifting the upper and lower eyelids occasionally. Get immediate medical attention.

In Case Of Skin Contact:
Immediately wash skin with lots of soap and water. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes; wash before reuse. Get medical attention if irritation persists after washing.

If Swallowed:
If conscious, immediately induce vomiting by giving 2 glasses of water and sticking a finger down the throat. Get immediate medical attention. after patient has vomited have patient drink milk, water, or solution of sodium bicarbonate in water (1 tsp/1 qt). Do not give anything to an unconscious or convulsing person.


Local mechanical exhaust ventilation capable of maintaining emissions at the point of use below the pel.

Respiratory Protection:
Wear a niosh-approved self-contained breathing apparatus in the pressure demand mode, or a supplied-air respirator if use conditions generate vapours or mists.

Eye Protection:
Chemical goggles unless a full facepiece respirator is also worn. It is generally recognized that contact lenses should not be worn when working with chemicals because contact lenses may contribute to the severity of an eye injury.

Protective Clothing: Long-sleeved shirt, trousers, safety shoes, rubber gloves, and rubber apron.
Other Protective Measures: An eyewash and safety shower should be nearby and ready for use.

Handling And Storage Precautions:
Keep away from heat, sparks, and flames. Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place away from incompatible materials. Vent container frequently, and more often in warm weather, to relieve pressure. electrically ground all equipment when handling this product and use only non-sparking tools. Keep container tightly closed when not in use. Do not use pressure to empty container. Wash thoroughly after handling. Do not get in eyes, on skin, or on clothing.

Repair And Maintenance Precautions: Do not cut, grind, weld, or drill on or near this container.

Other Precautions:
Containers, even those that have been emptied, will retain product residue and vapours. Always obey hazard warnings and handle empty containers as if they were full.


Action To Take For Spills Or Leaks:
Wear protective equipment including rubber boots, rubber gloves, rubber apron, and a self-contained breathing apparatus in the pressure demand mode or a supplied-air respirator. In any event, always wear eye protection. Extinguish all ignition sources and ensure that all handling equipment is electrically grounded. For small spills or drips, mop or wipe up and dispose of in DOT-approved waste containers. For large spills, contain by diking with soil or other non-combustible absorbent materials and then pump into DOT-approved waste containers; or absorb with non-combustible sorbent material, place residue in DOT-approved waste containers. Keep out of sewers, storm drains, surface waters, and soil. Comply with all applicable governmental regulations on spill reporting, and handling and disposal of waste.