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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 Emergency Response Guidebook: 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):
  • 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:
  • 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]; Ingestion 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
  • Notes:
    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. 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.
    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, 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.
  • Date Last Revised: 03/19/2007

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • 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
  • note:
On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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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