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Dimethylethylamine

General Description

Synonyms: N,N-Dimethylethanamine; N,N-Dimethylethylamine; Ethyldimethylamine; N-ethyldimethylamine; Methanamine, N-ethyl-N-methyl

OSHA IMIS code: 0915

CAS number: 598-56-1

Chemical description and physical properties:

  • clear liquid with a strong ammonia-like odor 
  • molecular formula: C4H11N
  • molecular weight: 73.14
  • boiling point: 37°C
  • flash point: -36°C
  • melting point: -140°C

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • alumina tube (400/200 mg sections) 
  • maximum volume: 4 L 
  • maximum flow rate: 0.1 L/min 
  • current analytical method: gas chromatography; GC/NPD 
  • analytical solvent: deionized water (pH 7) 
  • method reference: OSHA PV2096 (partially validated)

Exposure Limits and Health Effects (Updated September 6, 2012)

Standard Set By Exposure Limit Health Effect Codes -- Health Effects and Target Organs

OSHA PEL

Not established  
 
NIOSH REL Not established  
 
 
ACGIH TLV® Not established  
CAL/OSHA PELs Not established  
 

Carcinogenic classification:

  • NTP: Not listed
  • IARC: Not listed
  • EPA: Not listed

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

NIOSH IDLH concentration: Not established

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. Visual disturbances (except blindness from direct contact of liquid with eyes) may occur at concentrations above 5 ppm TWA and are reversible within three hours after the end of exposure (Ståhlbom et al. 1991; Warren and Selchan 1988).
  2. Dimethylethylamine has been shown to irritate the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes and induce blurred vision, headache, nausea, faintness, chest and abdominal pain, and increased heart rate (NIOSH 1987).
  3. Some dimethylethylamine is excreted in the urine unchanged (mean post-shift half-life = 1.5 hours), but most is excreted as the metabolite dimethylethylamine-N-oxide (mean post-shift half-life = 2.9 hours) (Lundh et al. 1991).
  4. Although dimethylethylamine can be absorbed through the skin, this is not an important route for systemic exposure compared with pulmonary absorption (Lundh et al. 1997).
  5. Used in "cold box" coremaking with isocyanates-polyurethane systems in foundries.
  6. Employees may be at risk to injury at or after work because of visual disturbances (Albrecht 1999).

Partial reference list:

  • Lundh, T., Boman, A., and Åkesson. B.: Skin absorption of the industrial catalyst dimethylethylamine in vitro in guinea pig and human skin, and of gaseous dimethylethylamine in human volunteers. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 70(5): 309-313, 1997.
  • Lundh, T., Ståhlbom, B., and Åkesson. B.: Dimethylethylamine in mould core manufacturing: exposure, metabolism and biological monitoring. Br. J. Ind. Med.48(3): 203-207, 1991.
  • NIOSH: Preventing Vision Disturbances and Acute Physical Distress Due to Dimethylethylamine (DMEA). 1987.
  • Ståhlbom, B., Lundh, T., Floren, I., and Åkesson, B.: Visual disturbances in man as a result of experimental and occupational exposure to dimethylethylamine. Br. J. Ind. Med. 48(1): 26-29, 1991.
  • Warren, D.W., Jr. and Selchan, D.F.: An industrial hygiene appraisal of triethylamine and dimethylethylamine exposure limits in the foundry industry. Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 49(12): 630-634, 1988.
  • Albrecht WN and  Stephenson RL, Health hazards of tertiary amine catalysts: Scan J Work Env Health, 14:209-218, 1999.

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