| Return to index
I. ROUTE OF ENTRY
Inhalation; skin absorption; ingestion. MDA can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin, or ingested.
MDA is a suspect carcinogen in humans. There are several reports of liver disease in humans and animals resulting from acute exposure to MDA. A well documented case of an acute cardiomyopathy secondary to exposure to MDA is on record. Numerous human cases of hepatitis secondary to MDA are known. Upon direct contact MDA may also cause damage to the eyes. Dermatitis and skin sensitization have been observed. Almost all forms of acute environmental hepatic injury in humans involve the hepatic parenchyma and produce hepatocellular jaundice. This agent produces intrahepatic cholestasis. The clinical picture consists of cholestatic jaundice, preceded or accompanied by abdominal pain, fever, and chills. Onset in about 60% of all observed cases is abrupt with severe abdominal pain. In about 30% of observed cases, the illness presented and evolved more slowly and less dramatically, with only slight abdominal pain. In about 10% of the cases only jaundice was evident. The cholestatic nature of the jaundice is evident in the prominence of itching, the histologic predominance of bile stasis, and portal inflammatory infiltration, accompanied by only slight parenchmal injury in most cases, and by the moderately elevated transaminase values. Acute, high doses, however, have been known to cause hepatocellular damage resulting in elevated SGPT, SGOT, alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin.
Absorption through the skin is rapid. MDA is metabolized and excreted over a 48-hour period. Direct contact may be irritating to the skin, causing dermatitis. Also MDA which is deposited on the skin is not thoroughly removed through washing.
MDA may cause bladder cancer in humans. Animal data supporting this assumption is not available nor is conclusive human data. However, human data collected on workers at a helicopter manufacturing facility where MDA is used suggests a higher incidence of bladder cancer among exposed workers.
III. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Skin may become yellow from contact with MDA. Repeated or prolonged contact with MDA may result in recurring dermatitis (red- itchy, cracked skin) and eye irritation. Inhalation, ingestion or absorption through the skin at high concentrations may result in hepatitis, causing symptoms such as fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, dark urine, anorexia, rash, right upper quadrant pain and jaundice. Corneal burns may occur when MDA is splashed in the eyes.
IV. TREATMENT OF ACUTE TOXIC EFFECTS/EMERGENCY SITUATION
If MDA gets into the eyes, immediately wash eyes with large amounts of water. If MDA is splashed on the skin, immediately wash contaminated skin with mild soap or detergent. Employee should be removed from exposure and given proper medical treatment. Medical tests required under the emergency section of the medical surveillance subsection (m)(4) must be conducted.
If the chemical is swallowed do not induce vomiting but remove by gastric lavage.