Nitrogen

NITROGEN

Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

*** SECTION 1. CHEMICAL IDENTIFICATION ***

CHEMINFOR RECORD NUMBER :56
CCOHS CHEMICAL NAME : Nitrogen, compressed
SYNONYMS:
*Azote
*Nitrogen
CAS REGISTRY NUMBER : 7727-37-9
PIN(UN/NA NUMBER(S) : 1066
RTECS NUMBER(S) : OW9700000
CHEMICAL FAMILY :Inorganic compound of nitrogen
MOLECULAR FORMULA : N2
STRUCTURAL FORMULA :N#N (# denotes a triple bond)

*** SECTION 2. DESCRIPTION ***

APPEARANCE AND ODOUR:
Colourless, odourless gas
ODOUR THRESHOLD:
Odourless
WARNING PROPERTIES:
None
COMPOSITION/PURITY:
May contain argon and other rare gases; may also contain oxy
gen, and trace amounts of nitrogen oxides.
USES AND OCCURRENCES:
Main component of air (78-79%); used to displace oxygen or
other hazardous gases; manufacture of nitrogen fertilizer, ammo
nia, nitric acid, nitrates, and cyanides; filling high pressure
thermometers, incandescent bulbs;inter gas for purging, blanket
ing, and exerting pressure.

*** SECTION 3. HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION ***
** POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS **

EFFECTS OF SHORT-TERM(ACUTE) EXPOSURE:

INHALATION:

Air normally contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Nitro
gen gas itself is non-toxic at normal temperature and pressure.
However, if nitrogen gas accumulates to levels above 78%, it may
displace oxygen and cause oxygen deficiency in the body (asphyx
ia).Oxygen content in the atmosphere must not fall below 18%.
Effects of oxygen deficiency are: 12-16%: breathing and pulse
rate increased, muscular coordination slightly disturbed; 10-14%:
emotional upset, abnormal fatigue, disturbed respiration; 6-10%:
nausea and vomiting, collapse or loss of consciousness; below 6%:
convulsive movements, possible respiratory collapse and death.
In conditions of increased pressure (e.g.deep sea diving) nitro
gen can cause anesthetic effects and decompression
sickness(formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood vessels).

SKIN CONTACT:

No known effects

EYE CONTACT:

No known effects

*** SECTION *** HANDLING AND STORAGE ***

HANDLING:

Use in minimal quantities in designated areas with adequate
ventilation. Transport cylinders by hand truck or cart designed
for that purpose. Do not lift cylinders by their caps and do not
handle them with oily hands.
Secure cylinders in place, in an upright position at all times.
Do not drop cylinders or permit them to strike each other. Leave
valve cap on cylinder until cylinder is secured and ready for
use. Close all valves when not in actual use.

STORAGE:

Many canadian regulatory agencies have legislation for the
storage and handling of compressed gases. Review regulatory
requirements for nitrogen. Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated
area, out of direct sunlight and away from heat and ignition
sources. Store cylinders upright on a level, fireproof floor,
secured in position and protected from damage. Keep cylinder
valve cover on.

Store full cylinders separately from empty cylinders. Consider
oxygen deficiency detection and alarm equipment. Do not allow any
part of the cylinder to be exposed to temperatures above 51 deg C
(125 deg F).

*** SECTION 8. EXPOSURE CONTROLS/PERSONAL PROTECTION

NOTE: Exposure to this material can be controlled in many ways.
The measures appropriate for a particular work site depend on how
this material is used and on the extent of exposure. This general
information can be used to help develop specific control meas
ures. Ensure that control systems are properly designed and
maintained. Comply with occupational, environmental, fire, and
other applicable regulation snot currently available. Monitoring
of the oxygen concentration in the work atmosphere may be neces
sary.

ENGINEERING CONTROLS:

Provide properly designed and maintained ventilation systems
including local exhaust and dilution (general) ventilation to
prevent oxygen deficiency as indicated by a hazard assessment.
Supply sufficient replacement air to make up for air removed by
exhaust system.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT:

Respiratory protective equipment is not ordinarily required when
working with small quantities of nitrogen gas. In areas of poten
tial oxygen deficiency or where equipment failure may cause an
immediate high concentration of this material, approved respira
tory protective equipment should be readily available. If respi
ratory protection is required, institute a complete respiratory
protection program including selection, fit testing, training,
maintenance, inspection, cleaning and evaluation. Refer to the
Canadian Standards Association Standard Z94.4-M1982, “Selection,
Care and Use of Respirators”.

RESPIRATORY PROTECTION GUIDELINES:

EMERGENCY OR PLANNED ENTRY INTO UNKNOWN CONCENTRATION OR INTO AN
AREA WHERE THERE IS LESS THAN 18% OXYGEN: Positive pressure, full
face piece self-contained breathing apparatus; or positive pres
sure, full face piece supplied- air respirator with an auxiliary
positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus.

EYE/FACE PROTECTION:

No specific requirement, but it is good practice to wear chemical
safety goggles.

SKIN PROTECTION:

Not required.

**EXPOSURE GUIDELINES ***

*THRESHOLD LIMIT VALUES (TLVs) /AMERICAN CONFERENCE OF
GOVERNMENTAL INDUSTRIAL HYGIENISTS (ACGIH) / 1992-93 *

TIME-WEIGHTED AVERAGE (TLV-TWA) : Not established

TLV COMMENTS:

NOTE: In many Canadian jurisdictions, exposure limits are
similar to the ACGIH TLVs. Since the manner in which exposure
limits are established, interpreted, and implemented can very,
obtain detailed information from the appropriate government
agency in each jurisdiction. Nitrogen gas is a simple asphyxi
ant. The primary health concern is displacement of oxygen in air.

In most Canadian jurisdictions, oxygen content of air must remain
above 18% by volume.

*** PERMISSIBLE EXPOSURE LIMITS (PELs)/
FINAL RULE LIMITS/ OCCUPATIONAL
SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (OSHA) *

TIME WEIGHTED AVERAGE (PEL-TWA) : Not established

NOTE: The OSHA PEL Final Rule Limits are currently
non-enforceable due to a court decision. The OSHA
[EL Transitional Limits are now in force.

*PERMISSIBLE EXPOSURE LIMITS (PELs)
TRANSITIONAL LIMITS/ OCCUPATIONAL
SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (OSHA)*

TIME WEIGHTED AVERAGE (PEL-TWA) : Not established

*** SECTION 9. PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

MOLECULAR WEIGHT : 28.013
CONVERSION FACTOR:
1ppm =1.27 mg/m3
MELTING POINT :-210 deg C (-346 deg F)
BOILING POINT : -196 deg C (-320.4 deg F)
SOLUBILITY IN WATER:
1.49% V/V at 25 deg C and 760 mm Hg
SOLUBILITY IN OTHER LIQUIDS:
Soluble in liquid ammonia, ethanol
VAPOUR DENSITY : Approx.1(air=1)
CRITICAL TEMPERATURE :-146.9 DEG c )-232.4 DEG F)
OTHER PHYSICAL PROPERTIES:
CRITICAL PRESSURE: 3,400 kPa (33.54 atm)

*** SECTION 10 STABILITY AND REACTIVITY ***

STABILITY:
Stable

HAZARDOUS POLYMERIZATION:
Does not occur.

HAZARDOUS DECOMPOSITION PRODUCTS:
None

INCOMPATIBILITY – MATERIALS TO AVOID:

Nitrogen is a stable material which shows little reactivity
towards other chemicals. Nitrogen tends to react only with
highly reactive chemicals or under extreme conditions (high tem
perature and pressure), such as the following: LITHIUM: Nitrogen
reacts with molten lithium. TITANIUM: Can burn in nitrogen at
mosphere. CALCIUM, STRONTIUM AND BARIUM: React at red heat to
form nitrides. CARBON: Reacts to form cyanides when heated in
presences of alkalies. OZONE: Can react explosively.

CORROSIVITY TO METALS:

Not corrosive

*** SECTION 11. TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION ***

Available studies concern oxygen deficiency caused by high levels
of nitrogen gas and effects on the nervous system of high at
mospheric pressures.

*** SECTION 12. ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION ***

NOTE: This section is under development.

*** SECTION 13. DISPOSAL CONSIDERATIONS ***

Allow gas to dissipate into the atmosphere.

*** SECTION 14. TRANSPORT INFORMATION ***

** TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS (TDG) SHIPPING INFORMATION

DESCRIPTION AND SHIPPING NAME: Nitrogen,compressed or Nitrogen
PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (PIN): 1066
CLASSIFICATION: 2.2 – Non- flammable, Non-toxic, non-corrosive
gas

SPECIAL PROVISIONS: —
IMP CLASSIFICATION: 2.2
ICAO CLASSIFICATION: 2
PACKING GROUP: X

*** SECTION 15. REGULATORY INFORMATION ***
** WORKPLACE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INFORMATION SYSTEM (WHMIS) **

PROPOSED WHMIS CLASSIFICATION :

A – Compressed gas

WHMIS HEALTH EFFECTS:

Does not meet criteria.

DETAILED WHMIS CLASSIFICATION ACCORDING TO CRITERIA:

CLASS A- COMPRESSED GAS: Meets criteria; critical temperature: –
-147 deg
CLASS B – FLAMMABLE & COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL: Does not meet criteria
CLASS C – OXIDIZING MATERIAL: Does not meet criteria.
CLASS D –

POISONOUS AND INFECTIOUS MATERIAL. DIVISION 1 – IMME-
DIATE AND SERIOUS TOXIC EFFECTS: Does not meet criteria.
acute lethality: Does not meet criteria; simple asphyxiant.
CLASS D – POISONOUS AND INFECTIOUS MATERIAL. DIVISION 2. OTHER
TOXIC
EFFECTS: Does not meet criteria; simple asphyxiant.
CLASS E – CORROSIVE MATERIAL: Does not meet criteria.
CLASS F – DANGEROUSLY REACTIVE MATERIAL: Does not meet criteria.
OSHA hazard communication evaluation:
Meets criteria for hazardous material, as defined by 29 CRF
1910.1200.

*** SECTION 16. OTHER INFORMATION ***

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Braker,W.; Mossman,A.L.Nitrogen.In: Matheson gas data book.
Sixth edition. Lyndhurst, NJ,1980.p.522-530

Bear,R.R. Inorganic compounds of oxygen,nitrogen,and carbon. In:
Clayton.G.D.; Clayton,F.E., eds. Patty’s industrial hygiene and
toxicology. 3rd revised edition. Vol.2C : toxicology. New York,
NY;Toronto, Ontario: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1982.p. 4094-4096

Information on chemicals reviewed in the CHEMINFO database is
drawn from a number of publicly available sources. A list of
general references used to compile CHEMINFO record is available
in the dstabase Help.

REVIEW/PREPARATION DATA : 1986-06-26
REVISION INDICATORS:
PEL-TWA; 1993-03
OSHA evaluation; 1993-03
Trans PEL-TWA; 1993-04

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