Chloroformic Acid Methyl Ester is used in the synthesis of a new class of potent Cdk4 inhibitors in the treatment of cancer. Also used in the synthesis of Phorboxazole B.
Methyl chloroformate is highly toxic upon inhalation and upon ingestion. A concentration of 1 mg/liter (190 ppm) has been lethal in 10 minutes. It is corrosive and irritating to skin.
Air & Water Reactions
Highly flammable. Gives off hydrochloric acid fumes in contact with moist air. Slightly soluble in water and decomposed by water to hydrochloric acid with evolution of heat.
Methyl chloroformate is very dangerous when exposed to heat sources, sparks, flame, or oxidizers. Methyl chloroformate will react with water or steam to produce toxic and corrosive fumes. Vapors may travel to a source of ignition and flash back. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discoloration of tank due to fire. Toxic fumes of phosgene are produced when the material is heated to decomposition. Heat or steam should be avoided.
A colorless liquid with a pungent odor. Flash point 54°F. Corrosive to metals and tissue. Vapors heavier than air. Very toxic by inhalation. Used to make other chemicals and insecticides.
Methyl chloroformate is incompatible with water, strong oxidizing agents, alcohols, bases (including amines). Decomposes slowly in water to yield methanol, HCl, and CO2; reaction can be hazardous if water is hot. Attacks many metals especially in humid atmosphere [Handling Chemicals Safely 1980. p. 476]. May react vigorously or explosively if mixed with diisopropyl ether or other ethers in the presence of trace amounts of metal salts [J. Haz. Mat., 1981, 4, 291].