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Ethyl Benzene

General Description

  • Synonyms: Phenylethane; Ethylbenzol; Ethylbenzene
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1080
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 100-41-4
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: DA0700000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1175 130
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Ethyl Benzene: Physical description, chemical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazard Summary - Ethylbenzene: Uses, sources and potential exposure, acute and chronic health hazard information, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit Limit Values HE Codes Health Factors and Target Organs
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1
100 ppm
(435 mg/m3)
TWA
HE15 Eye, skin, and throat irritation
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55
100 ppm
(435 mg/m3)
TWA
HE15 Eye, skin, and throat irritation
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards
100 ppm
(435 mg/m3)
TWA
HE15 Eye, skin, and throat irritation
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) 100 ppm
(435 mg/m3)
TWA 125 ppm
(545 mg/m3)
STEL
HE7 Weakness, dizziness, drowsiness, or unconsciousness; depression of the central nervous system
HE8 Narcosis
HE11 Edema and hemorrhage of lung tissue
HE15 Eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2010) 20 ppm
(87 mg/m3)
TWA A3; BEI
HE3 Hearing loss (cochlear impairment)
HE3 Kidney damage
HE15 Upper respiratory tract irritation
CAL/OSHA PELs 100 ppm
(435 mg/m3) TWA 125 ppm
(545 mg/m3) STEL
HE3 Hearing loss (cochlear impairment)
HE3 Kidney damage
HE15 Upper respiratory tract irritation
  • National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Not listed
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans)
  • EPA carcinogenic classification: Not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity
  • EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): 1 mg/m3
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Level (MRL): 5 ppm (acute); 2 ppm (intermediate); 0.06 ppm (chronic)
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 800 ppm
  • Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards
    1. Ethylbenzene is highly flammable (NIOSH/IPCS 2007).
    2. Ethylbenzene was tested by inhalation exposure in single experiments in mice and rats. In mice, it increased the incidence of lung adenomas in males and of liver adenomas in females. In male rats, it increased the incidence of renal tubule adenomas and carcinomas. An increase in the incidence of renal adenomas was seen in females only after step-sectioning. (IARC 1999)
    3. The EPA reference concentration was established based on laboratory studies observing developmental deficits in rats and rabbits exposed by inhalation.
    4. The EPA carcinogen assessment was made before the IARC or NTP studies were published.
    5. Laboratory inhalation studies in rats and mice observed kidney, liver, lung and thyroid effects. (NTP 1999)
    6. The ATSDR minimal risk level is based on neurological and developmental effects.
  • Date Last Revised: 11/16/2012
  • Literature Basis:

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
  • analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
  • alternate solvent: (99:1) Carbon Disulfide/Dimethylformamide
  • maximum volume: 12 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (TWA)
  • maximum volume: 0.25 Liter
  • maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (STEL)
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 1002)
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • Diffusive Sampler (SKC 575-002 Passive Sampler)
  • sampling time: 5 to 240 Minutes (TWA)
  • analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 1002)
  • method classification: Fully Validated
On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:
  • device: Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: AUER/MSA
  • model/type: Tol-5, MSA P/N 803947, AUER P/N 5085-828
  • sampling information: follow manufacturer’s instructions
  • upper measurement limit: 1800 ppm
  • detection limit: approx. 5 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: unknown
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
  • device: Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: Dräger
  • model/type: Ethyl Benzene 30/a, order no. 67 28381
  • sampling information: 6 strokes
  • upper measurement limit: 400 ppm
  • detection limit: approx. 10 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: 16%
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
  • device: Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: Gastec
  • sampling information: 2 strokes
  • upper measurement limit: 70 ppm
  • detection limit: approx. 1 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: unknown
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
  • device: Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: Matheson-Kitagawa
  • model/type: 8014-179S
  • sampling information: follow manufacturer’s instructions
  • upper measurement limit: 500 ppm
  • detection limit: approx. 10 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: unknown
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

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