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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Ethanal; Acetic Aldehyde; Rosin Core Solder Pyrolysis Product

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0010

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 75-07-0

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: AB1925000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1089 129

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Acetaldehyde: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 200 ppm, 360 mg/m3 TWA

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 200 ppm, 360 mg/m3 TWA

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 200 ppm, 360 mg/m3 TWA

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 25 ppm, 45 mg/m3 Ceiling; Appendix A3 - Confirmed Animal Carcinogen with Unknown Relevance to Humans

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): none established, Appendix A - NIOSH Potential Occupational Carcinogens; Appendix C - supplementary Exposure Limits (Aldehydes)

Health Factors

Carcinogenic Classification:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Group B2, probable human carcinogen

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 2B, possibly carcinogenic to humans [381 KB PDF, 171 pages]

National Toxicology Program (NTP): Reasonably Anticipated to be Human Carcinogen [170 KB PDF, 4 pages]

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 2,000 ppm

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, nose, throat; conjunctivitis; cough; CNS depression; eye, skin burns; dermatitis; delayed pulmonary edema; in animals: kidney, reproductive, teratogenic effects; [potential occupational carcinogen]; INGES. ACUTE: Dizziness; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

Health Effects: Irritation- Eye, nose, Throat, Skin---Marked (HE14); Narcosis (HE8); Pulmonary edema (HE11)

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, kidneys, CNS, reproductive system


  1. Vapor/air mixtures of acetaldehyde may be explosive.
  2. Acetaldehyde is listed by the FDA as a synthetic flavoring substance that is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for its intended use (21 CFR 182.60).
  3. EPAs reference concentration (daily inhalational exposure likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious noncancer effects during a lifetime) for acetaldehyde is 0.009 mg/m3.
  4. Acetaldehyde is a metabolite of ethanol. People of Asian descent may be more susceptible to adverse health effects, including certain cancers, because of a high incidence of polymorphism in the enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase-2. Increased damage to respiratory epithelium in nose, pharynx, larynx and trachea (but not lung) from the inhalation of acetaldehyde for two weeks has been observed in mice lacking this enzyme, compared with normal mice.
  5. People with asthma may be more susceptible to acetaldehyde-induced bronchoconstriction, which is thought to involve histamine release.

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Acetaldehyde.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Acetaldehyde.
  • EPA Air Toxics Website: Acetaldehyde. US Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network.
  • Oyama, T., Isse, T., Ogawa, M., Muto, M., Uchiyama, I. and Kawamoto, T.: Susceptibility to inhalation toxicity of acetaldehyde in Aldh2 knockout mice. Front. Biosci. 12: 1927-1934, 2007.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Acetaldehyde. In, Sittigs Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 23-26.
  • Prieto, L., Gutierrez, V., Cervera, A. and Linana, J.: Airway obstruction induced by inhaled acetaldehyde in asthma: repeatability relationship to adenosine 5-monophosphate responsiveness. J. Investig. Allergol. Clin. Immunol. 12(2): 91-98, 2002.

Date Last Revised: 03/19/2007

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:

  • sampling media: Coated XAD-2 Tube (450/225 mg sections) Coating is 10% (w/w) 2-(Hydroxymethyl)piperidine
    analytical solvent: Toluene
    maximum volume: 3 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (TWA)
    maximum volume: 0.75 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (STEL)
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/NPD
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 68)
    method classification: Fully Validated

On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Dräger
    model/type: Acetaldehyde 100/a, order no. 67 26665
    sampling information: 20 strokes
    upper measurement limit: 1000 ppm
    detection limit: approximately 10 ppm
    overall uncertainty: 25%
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: AUER/MSA
    model/type: Acetaldehyde Formaldehyde-0,1, MSA P/N 497649, AUER P/N 5086-813
    sampling information: follow manufacturer's instructions
    upper measurement limit: 50 ppm
    detection limit: 1 ppm
    overall uncertainty: unknown
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Matheson-Kitagawa
    model/Type: 8014-133SB
    sampling information: follow manufacturer's instructions
    upper measurement limit: 140 ppm
    detection limit: 1 ppm
    overall uncertainty: unknown
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Gastec
    model/type: 92
    sampling information: 1 to 4 strokes
    upper measurement limit: 750 ppm
    detection limit: 2 ppm
    overall uncertainty: 16.4% for 10 to 100 ppm, 8.2% for 100 to 300 ppm
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

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