5 March 2021 Bulletin

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Methyl Isocyanate

Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) is an organic compound with the molecular formula CH3NCO. It is also known as isocyanatomethane, methyl carbylamine, and MIC. [1] Under normal conditions, Methyl isocyanate is a colourless liquid, which has a sharp, pungent smell. It evaporates easily at room temperature and boils at 44 degrees Celsius. Methyl isocyanate vapours are dense and can collect in low-lying areas, where they can form potentially explosive mixtures with air. It is also highly flammable and reacts violently with water, forming Ureas and large amounts of Carbon dioxide in the process. Methyl isocyanate corrodes certain metals and attacks some plastics, rubbers and coatings. When heated, it breaks down to give toxic gases such as hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen. Methyl isocyanate is one of a group of substances known as the volatile organic compounds (VOCs). [2]


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