Acrylamide Chemical formula

Chemical information

Acrilamida; Akryloamid; Amida acrílica. Propenamide.
Chemical formula: C3H5NO = 71.08.
CAS — 79-06-1.


Acrylamide is highly toxic and irritant; it can be absorbed through unbroken skin. Symptoms of poisoning include burning and ulceration of the mouth and throat following ingestion. Excessive sweating is common and other symptoms may include numbness of limbs, paraesthesias, and muscle weakness. CNS effects such as somnolence, confusion, hallucinations, ataxia, tremors, dysarthria, and nystagmus may occur depending on the severity of exposure. Peripheral neuropathies may appear several weeks after severe acute exposure or as a result of chronic exposure. Gastric lavage may be tried in patients within one hour of ingestion; activated charcoal may also be considered. Contamination of eyes and skin should be irrigated and treated as for burns. Patients should be observed and monitored, and corrective and supportive treatment given as necessary. Acrylamide has various industrial applications, including use as a plasticiser and a waterproof ‘chemical grout’.
1. Kesson CM, et al. Acrylamide poisoning. Postgrad Med J 1977; 53: 16–17
2. WHO. Acrylamide IPCS Health and Safety Guid
45. Geneva: WHO, 1991. Available at: hsg/hsg/hsg045.htm (accessed 31/03/06)

Food toxicity.

Concerns have been expressed by the Swedish National Food Administration about the level of acrylamide they found in certain cooked foods, particularly those exposed to very high temperatures such as fried foods, and the potential carcinogenic risk. However, it has been acknowledged that, although the results have been replicated in other international laboratories, the total sample size is small and none of the methods being used have so far been validated.1 One subsequent population-based study failed to find any excess risk or convincing trend of cancer of the bowel, bladder, or kidney in high consumers of foods with a high or moderate acrylamide content.2 The joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)3 reviewed data provided by 24 countries on acrylamide in food analysed between 2002 and 2004. Their recommendations were for re-evaluation of the effects of acrylamide on completion of studies of carcinogenicity and neurotoxicity, and that efforts to reduce the concentrations of acrylamide in food should continue.
1. Kapp C. WHO urges more research into acrylamide in food. Lancet 2002; 360: 64
2. Mucci LA, et al. Dietary acrylamide and cancer of the large bowel, kidney, and bladder: absence of an association in a population-based study in Sweden. Br J Cancer 2003 88: 84–9
3. FAO/WHO. Evaluation of certain food contaminants: sixtyfourth report of the joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives. WHO Tech Rep Ser 930 2006. Available at: http:// (accessed 18/07/08)
Published October 27, 2018.