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CAS Registry No.: 74-98-6
Other names: Dimethylmethane, n-Propane, Propyl hydride, Liquefied propane
Main Uses: Fuel, refrigerant, aerosol propellant, solvent.
Appearance: Colourless gas.
Odour: Odourless in its natural state; therefore has POOR warning properties. An odourant such as mercaptan (rotten-egg smell) is used in most applications.
NOTE: Equipment containing propane may be contaminated with Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) in the form of lead 210.
Canadian TDG: UN1978
A - Compressed Gas; B1 - Flammable Gas
Emergency Overview: Colourless gas. Odourless or an odourant is added. EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE GAS. Distant ignition and flashback are possible. CONFINED SPACE HAZARD. Can accumulate in hazardous amounts in low-lying areas especially inside confined spaces. COMPRESSED GAS. Contains gas under pressure. May explode if heated. ASPHYXIANT. High concentrations can displace oxygen in air and cause suffocation. May cause frostbite.
Main Routes of Exposure: Inhalation.
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Not specifically evaluated.
American Conference for Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH): Not specifically designated.
Inhalation: Take precautions to prevent a fire (e.g. remove sources of ignition). In case of oxygen deficiency: take precautions to ensure your own safety before attempting rescue (e.g. wear appropriate protective equipment). Move victim to fresh air. Keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. If breathing is difficult, trained personnel should administer emergency oxygen. If the heart has stopped, trained personnel should start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or automated external defibrillation (AED). Immediately call a Poison Centre or doctor. Treatment is urgently required. Transport to a hospital.
Skin Contact: Not applicable (gas). Liquefied gas: quickly remove victim from source of contamination. DO NOT attempt to rewarm the affected area on site. DO NOT rub area or apply direct heat. Gently remove clothing or jewelry that may restrict circulation. Carefully cut around clothing that sticks to the skin and remove the rest of the garment. Loosely cover the affected area with a sterile dressing. DO NOT allow victim to drink alcohol or smoke. Immediately call a Poison Centre or doctor. Treatment is urgently required. Transport to a hospital.
Eye Contact: Not applicable (gas). Liquefied gas: move victim to fresh air. Immediately and briefly flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water. DO NOT attempt to rewarm. Cover both eyes with a sterile dressing. DO NOT allow victim to drink alcohol or smoke. Immediately call a Poison Centre or doctor. Treatment is urgently required. Transport to a hospital.
Ingestion: Not applicable (gas).
First Aid Comments: Some of the first aid procedures recommended here require advanced first aid training. All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the chemical and its conditions of use in the workplace.
Flammable Properties: EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE GAS. Can easily ignite. Can readily form explosive mixture with air at room temperature.
Suitable Extinguishing Media: Dry chemical powder and high-expansion foam. Foam manufacturers should be consulted for recommendations regarding types of foams and application rates.
Unsuitable Extinguishing Media: DO NOT use carbon dioxide, low expansion foams, and direct application of water on liquefied gas.
Specific Hazards Arising from the Chemical: Gas or vapour may travel a considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back to a leak or open container. Gas or vapour may accumulate in hazardous amounts in low-lying areas especially inside confined spaces, resulting in a health hazard. Can displace oxygen in the air, causing suffocation. Direct addition of water to liquefied gas will cause flash vapourization resulting in an explosion (either immediately or delayed) known as a "boiling liquid, expanding vapour explosion (BLEVE)". Heat from fire can cause a rapid build-up of pressure inside cylinders. Explosive rupture and a sudden release of large amounts of gas may result. Cylinder may rocket. In a fire, the following hazardous materials may be generated: very toxic carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide.
Personal Precautions: Evacuate the area immediately. Isolate the hazard area. Keep out unnecessary and unprotected personnel. Evacuate downwind locations. Eliminate all ignition sources. Use grounded, explosion-proof equipment. Distant ignition and flashback are possible. Monitor area for flammable or explosive atmosphere. Before entry, especially into confined areas, check atmosphere with an appropriate monitor. Test for sufficient oxygen levels.
Methods for Containment and Clean-up: If possible, turn leaking container so that gas escapes rather than liquefied gas. Contact emergency services and manufacturer/supplier for advice.
Other Information: Contact supplier, local fire and emergency services for help. Report spills to local health, safety and environmental authorities, as required.
Handling: Eliminate heat and ignition sources such as sparks, open flames, hot surfaces and static discharge. Post "No Smoking" signs. Only use where there is adequate ventilation. Immediately report leaks, spills or failures of the safety equipment (e.g. ventilation system). In the event of a spill or leak, exit the area immediately. Never work on pressurized system. Use piping and equipment designed for high pressures and cold temperatures. Isolate and purge all equipment, piping or vessels prior to maintenance or repairs.
NOTE: Equipment containing propane may be contaminated with Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) in the form of lead 210. If NORM is present, precautions to prevent inhalation, skin contact and ingestion should be taken when opening, or cleaning or doing repair work on the inner surfaces of this equipment.
Storage: Store in an area that is cool, well-ventilated, out of direct sunlight and away from heat and ignition sources. An approved, fire-resistant area. Separate from incompatible materials. (e.g., oxygen, chlorine gases) On the ground floor or preferably, in an isolated, detached building. Clear of combustible and flammable materials (e.g. old rags, cardboard). Electrically bond and ground containers. Ground clips must contact bare metal. Always secure (e.g. chain) cylinders in an upright position to a wall, rack or other solid structure. Avoid bulk storage indoors.
ACGIH® TLV® - TWA: Simple asphyxiant*; Explosion hazard**
Exposure Guideline Comments: No specific TLV® = Threshold Limit Value. TWA = Time-Weighted Average.
*Minimal oxygen content required.
**Propane is a flammable asphyxiant or excursions above the TLV could approach 10% of the lower explosive limit.
NOTE: In many (but not all) Canadian jurisdictions, the exposure limits are similar to the ACGIH® TLVs®. Since legislation varies by jurisdiction, contact your local jurisdiction for exact details. A list is available in the OSH Answers on Canadian Governmental Occupational Health & Safety Departments.
A list of which acts and regulations that cover exposure limits to chemical and biological agents is available on our website. Please note that while you can see the list of legislation for free, you will need a subscription to view the actual documentation.
Engineering Controls: General ventilation is usually adequate. Do not allow product to accumulate in the air in work or storage areas, or in confined spaces. For large scale use of this product: use stringent control measures such as process enclosure to prevent product release into the workplace. Use non-sparking ventilation systems, approved explosion-proof equipment and intrinsically safe electrical systems in areas where this product is used and stored. Use leak and fire detection equipment and an automatic fire suppression system. Provide safety shower in work area, if contact or splash hazard exists.
Eye/Face Protection: Not required if product is used as directed.
Skin Protection: Protect exposed skin using insulated gloves suitable for low temperatures, long sleeves, protective apron and trousers worn outside boots or over shoes. Wear appropriate foot protection when handling cylinders. Suitable materials include: nitrile rubber, neoprene rubber. The following materials should NOT be used: polyvinyl chloride. Recommendations are NOT valid for very thin neoprene rubber and nitrile rubber gloves (0.3 mm or less).
Up to 2100 ppm:
(APF = 10) Any supplied-air respirator
(APF = 50) Any self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece
APF = Assigned Protection Factor
Recommendations apply only to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirators. Refer to the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards for more information.