Trade name of the product: tetrahydrofuran (THF)
Chemical name of the compound: oxolan, tetrahydrofuran
Synonyms: diethylene oxide; butylenoxide; 1,4-epoxybutane; cyclotetramethylene oxide; furanidine; oxacyclopentane; oxolane; tetramethylene oxide; butane, alpha, delta-oxide; alpha-hydro-omega-hydroxypoly(oxy-1,4-butanediyl)
Chemical and physical properties: a colorless liquid with a low viscosity and strong acetate- or ether-like odor; mixes well with water
Application of the substance: Depending on its concentration, tetrahydrofuran can be used among others as the industrial solvent of natural and synthetic resins and polymers (first of all polyvinyl chloride – PVC). It is also widely used in the production varnishes, adhesives, inks and paints, and also in the synthesis of fuels, vitamins, hormones and pharmaceuticals, synthetic perfume and insecticides. The substance can also be used as a solvent of oils, fats and uncured rubber. In its polymerized form as poly(tetrahydromethylethyl) glycol (PTMEG), it is used as the main component to produce Spandex-type elastomer polyurethane fibers.
Health safety: Inhaling tetrahydrofuran causes the irritation of the respiratory system, the symptoms including cough and difficult breathing (dispnea). In a high concentration it can cause dizziness, headache, nausea and fluid to appear in the cavitas pleuralis. It can also damage the liver, kidneys or lungs. It has an irritating effect on the skin: the symptoms include: redness, itch and pain. Tetrahydrofuran can also be absorbed by the skin. Eye contact with the substance causes the irritation, redness and pain of the eye and can lead to a permanent damage of the eye. If consumed it irritates the alimentary system. The symptoms can include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, sore throat and bellyache. Warning! The vapors of the substance are heavier than the air and can move at a considerable distance from the source of the fire and flame.