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Ethyl Benzene

General Description

Synonyms: Phenylethane; Ethylbenzol; Ethylbenzene

OSHA IMIS code: 1080

CAS number: 100-41-4

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • maximum volume: 12 L
  • maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (TWA)
  • maximum volume: 0.25 L
  • maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (STEL)
  • current analytical method: gas chromatography; GC/FID
  • analytical solvent: carbon disulfide
  • alternate solvent: (99:1) carbon disulfide/dimethylformamide
  • method reference: OSHA 1002 (fully validated)
  • sampling time: 5 to 240 min (TWA)
  • current analytical method: gas chromatography; GC/FID
  • analytical solvent: carbon disulfide
  • method reference: OSHA 1002 (fully validated)
On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • sampling information: 2 strokes
  • upper measurement limit: 70 ppm
  • detection limit: approx. 1 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: unknown
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
  • 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)

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

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

OSHA 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 Appendix A
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
NIOSH 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
ACGIH 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 5 ppm (22 mg/m3) TWA
30 ppm (130 mg/m3) STEL
HE2 -- Possible animal carcinogen
HE3 -- hearing loss (cochlear impairment)
HE3 -- kidney damage
HE15 -- upper respiratory tract irritation

Carcinogenic classification:

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): 1 mg/m3

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): 5 ppm (acute); 2 ppm (intermediate); 0.06 ppm (chronic)

NIOSH IDLH concentration: 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.

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Ethyl Benzene. 2016.
  • Andrew, F.D., R.L. Buschbom, W.C. Cannon, R.A. Miller, L.F. Montgomery, D.W. Phelps, et al. 1981. Teratologic assessment of ethylbenzene and 2- ethoxyethanol. Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA. PB 83- 208074., 108.
  • ATSDR: Toxicological Profile Ethyl Benzene. 2010.
  • EPA: Integrated Risk Information System - Ethyl Benzene. 1991.
  • Hardin, B.D., G.P. Bond, M.R. Sikov, F.D. Andrew, R.P. Beliles and R.W. Niemeier. 1981. Testing of selected workplace chemicals for teratogenic potential. Scand. J. Work Environ. Health. 7(suppl 4): 66-75. 
  • IARC: Monographs on Carginogenicity. Ethyl Benzene. v77. 1999.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guideline for Ethyl Benzene. September 1978.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety CardEthylbenzene. November 2007.
  • NTP: Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies & Ethyl Benzene (inhalation studies). 1999.

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