Breathing high levels of vinyl chloride can cause you to feel dizzy or sleepy. Breathing very high levels can cause you to pass out, and breathing extremely high levels can cause death.
Some people who have breathed vinyl chloride for several years have changes in the structure of their livers. People are more likely to develop these changes if they breathe high levels of vinyl chloride. Some people who work with vinyl chloride have nerve damage and develop immune reactions. The lowest levels that produce liver changes, nerve damage, and immune reaction in people are not known. Some workers exposed to very high levels of vinyl chloride have problems with the blood flow in their hands. Their fingers turn white and hurt when they go into the cold.
The effects of drinking high levels of vinyl chloride are unknown. If you spill vinyl chloride on your skin, it will cause numbness, redness, and blisters.
Animal studies have shown that long-term exposure to vinyl chloride can damage the sperm and testes.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has determined that vinyl chloride is a known carcinogen. Studies in workers who have breathed vinyl chloride over many years showed an increased risk of liver, brain, lung cancer, and some cancers of the blood have also been observed in workers.