Acridine is a colourless crystalline organic solid that is obtained from coal tar. Its formula is C13H9N. [1]

Uses [2,3]

Acridine has a range of uses across various applications. It is used in the manufacture and synthesis of drugs and dyes. In the latter category, acridine orange, a fluorescent dye used for cell cycle determination. The acridine proflavine is used an antiseptic.

Routes of Exposure [4]

The main routes of exposure to acridine are ingestion, inhalation and skin contact.

Health Effects

Acridine poisoning affects a range of systems, including the integumentary and respiratory systems.

Acute Effects [2]

Severity of symptoms depend on the level and type of exposure. If inhaled, this compound can irritate the respiratory system. People with already impaired respiratory function, such as chronic bronchitis, could be more impactfully affected. High level doses of ingestion may be fatal. Skin exposure to the chemical could cause dermatitis, and could result in phototoxicity. Skin contact with this compound could exacerbate any pre-existing dermal conditions. Eye contact with acridine could result in irritation and/or ocular lesions.

Chronic Effects [2]

Chronic exposure to acridine is toxic to multiple body systems. Long term exposure to the compound may result in difficulty breathing and related systemic problems. This material may produce carcinogenic effects. It may also produce cumulative health effects.


  • First Aid Measures [2]

  • Ingestion: DO NOT induce vomiting. Contact a medical professional immediately.

  • Skin contact: Avoid direct contact with contaminated clothing. Wearing protective clothing if necessary, remove all contaminated clothing, footwear and accessories. Do not re-wear clothing until it has been thoroughly decontaminated. Rinse with soap and flowing water for at least 30 minutes. Contact a doctor immediately.
  • Eye contact: Flush eyes (including under the eyelids), with fresh running water for at least 30 minutes. Removal of contact lenses should only be done by skilled personnel. Do not stop flushing due to the lens. Contact a medical professional at once.
  • Inhalation: Move the patient to a fresh air source. Keep them warm and rested. Prosthesis, such as false teeth, should be removed prior to conducting CPR. Contact a doctor immediately.
  • General: Never administer anything by mouth to an unconscious, exposed person.

  • Exposure Controls/Personal Protection [2]

  • Engineering controls: Emergency eyewash fountains and quick-drench areas should be accessible in the immediate area of the potential exposure. Ensure there is adequate ventilation, or use a local exhaust ventilation.

  • Personal protection: Safety glasses with side shields or chemical goggles, protective and dustproof clothing, gloves (e.g. PVC), a P.V.C apron and an appropriate mask or dusk respirator. Do not wear contact lenses as they could absorb chemicals in the air. Wear impervious shoes or gumboots. Other protection could overalls. For specifications regarding other PPE, follow the guidelines set in your jurisdiction.

Regulation [5]

~h2United States:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)has set a Time Weighted Average (TWA) concentration limit for acridine of 2mg/m3.

Australia [2]

Australia Exposure Standards have set a TWA for acridine of 0.2mg/m3.