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)
Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, kidneys, CNS, reproductive system
Vapor/air mixtures of acetaldehyde may be explosive.
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).
EPA's 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.
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.
People with asthma may be more susceptible to acetaldehyde-induced bronchoconstriction, which is thought to involve histamine release.
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, Sittig's 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.
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