- Synonyms: BCME; bis-CME; Chloromethyl ether; Dichlorodimethyl ether; Dichloromethyl ether; Oxybis(chloromethane)
- OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2630
- Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 542-88-1
- NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: KN1575000
- Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 2249 131
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Ether, bis (chloromethyl): chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more
- OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
- General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1008 bis(Chloromethyl) ether requirements identical to 29 CFR 1910.1003 -- 13 Carcinogens (4-Nitrobiphenyl, etc.) -- Cancer-Suspect Agent
- Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.1108 - bis(Chloromethyl) ether requirements identical to 29 CFR 1910.1003 -- 13 Carcinogens (4-Nitrobiphenyl, etc.) -- Cancer-Suspect Agent
- Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1008 - bis(Chloromethyl) ether requirements identical to 29 CFR 1910.1003 -- 13 Carcinogens (4-Nitrobiphenyl, etc.) -- Cancer-Suspect Agent
- American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (1979): 0.001 ppm (0.0047 mg/m3) TWA; A1
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): Appendix A - NIOSH Potential Occupational Carcinogens; Appendix B - Thirteen OSHA-Regulated Carcinogens
- Carcinogenic Classification:
- Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, mucous membrane, respiratory system; pulmonary congestion, edema; blurred vision (corneal damage), necrosis; decreased pulmonary function; cough, dyspnea, wheezing; blood-stained sputum, bronchial secretions; [potential occupational carcinogen]; Ingestion Acute: Burning sensation in throat and chest, abdominal pain; shock or collapse.
- Health Effects: Cancer (Lung) (HE1); Chronic bronchitis, impaired respiratory function (HE10); Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Marked (HE14)
- Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system
- Vapor/air mixtures of bis(chloromethyl) ether (BCME) may be explosive.
- BCME is a contaminant (1 to 7%) of technical grade chloromethyl methyl ether (CMME). Both are no longer produced or sold in large quantities in the U.S.
- Literature Basis:
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: bis-Chloromethyl ether.
- International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): bis(Chloromethyl) ether.
- EPA Air Toxics Website: bis(Chloromethyl)ether (BCME). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network.
- No Author: bis(Chloromethyl) Ether and Technical-Grade Chloromethyl Methyl Ether (CAS Nos. 542-88-1 and 107-30-2). Report on Carcinogens (latest edition); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program.
- Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Bis(Chloromethyl) Ether. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 345-348.
- Weiss, W. and Nash, D.: An epidemic of lung cancer due to chloromethyl ethers. 30 years of observation. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 39(10): 1003-1009, 1997.
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA
Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
- Two Midget Impingers in series, each containing 10 mL derivatizing reagent
- maximum volume: 50 Liters
- maximum flow rate: 0.5 L/min
- current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/ECD
- method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 10)
- method classification: Fully Validated
- note: Derivatizing reagent: 16 grams of 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol and 4.4 grams of Sodium Methoxide dissolved in 1 Liter of Methanol. OSHA personnel may obtain sampling solution from the Salt Lake Technical Center.
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