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General Description

  • Synonyms: β-Estradiol; beta-Estradiol; beta-Oestradiol; Dihydrofolliculin; Dihydoxyestrin; 1,3,5-Estratriene-3,17 beta-diol; 1,3,5(10)-Triene-3,17-β-Diol
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: E319
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 50-28-2
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: KG297500
  • Chemical Description and Physical Properties:
    • white powder
    • molecular formula: C18H24O2
    • molecular weight: 272.4
    • melting point: 178-179°C

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • Potential Symptoms: IN MEN: Anorexia, nausea, vomiting, edema; feminization (gynecomastia, galactorrhea, erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism, oligospermia); IN WOMEN: Menstrual disorders (menorrhagia, metrorrhagia); headache, nausea; endometriosis pain; mastodynia; fluid retention; possible decrease in milk production by lactating mothers
  • Health Effects: Known human carcinogen (endometrial cancer) (HE2); Gallstones (HE3); Impairment of fertility (HE5)
  • Affected Organs: Male and female reproductive systems
  • Notes:
    1. Estradiol is an OSHA Select carcinogen and is listed as a hazardous drug in the OSHA Technical Manual, as well as in a NIOSH Alert on hazardous drugs.
    2. 17β-Estradiol has high affinities for both the α and β estrogen receptors, with dissociation constants in the subnanomolar range.
    3. Mean serum estradiol levels in samples from postmenopausal women of unknown ovarian status were reported to be about one-third the levels of estradiol found in samples from elderly men. Estradiol levels are relatively stable in men aged 40-80.
  • Literature Basis:
    • No Author: Estrogens, Steroidal (PDF). Report on Carcinogens (latest edition); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program.
    • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposure to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings. NIOSH Publication No. 2004-165.
    • OSHA Technical Manual - Section VI: Chapter 2, Appendix VI: 2-1: Some Common Drugs Considered Hazardous.
    • Bélanger, A., et al.: Changes in serum concentrations of conjugated and unconjugated steroids in 40- to 80-year-old men. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 79(4): 1086-1090, 1994.
    • de Ronde, W., Hofman, A., Pols, H.A.P. and de Jong, F.H.: A direct approach to the estimation of the origin of oestrogens and androgens in elderly men by comparison with hormone levels in postmenopausal women. Eur. J. Endocrinol. 152(2): 261-268, 2005.
    • Gruber, C.J., Tschugguel, W. Schneeberger, C. and Huber J.C.: Production and actions of estrogens. N. Engl. J. Med. 346(5): 340-352, 2002.
    • Kuiper, G.G.J.M., et al.: Comparison of the ligand binding specificity and transcript tissue distribution of estrogen receptors a and β. Endocrinology 138(3): 863-870, 1997.
    • Muller, M., den Tonkelaar, I., Thijssen, J.H., Grobbee, D.E. and van der Schouw, Y.T.: Endogenous sex hormones in men aged 40-80 years. Eur. J. Endocrinol. 149(6): 583-589, 2003.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Estradiol 17β. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1023-1025.
    • Storgaard, L., Bonde, J.P. and Olsen, J.: Male reproductive disorders in humans and prenatal indicators of estrogen exposure. A review of the published epidemiological studies. Reprod. Toxicol. 21(1): 4-15, 2006.
    • Uhler, M.L., Marks, J.W., Voigt, B.J. and Judd, H.L.: Comparison of the impact of transdermal versus oral estrogens on biliary markers of gallstone formation in postmenopausal women. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 83(2): 410-414, 1998.
  • Date Last Revised: 04/07/2006

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Glass Fiber Filter (37 mm) in 3-piece cassette
  • maximum volume: 240 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min
  • maximum time: 240 Minutes
  • current analytical method: High Performance Liquid Chromatography; HPLC/UV at 280nm
  • analytical solvent: Methanol
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2001)
  • method classification: Partially Validated

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