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Ethylene dibromide

General Description

  • Synonyms: 1,2-Dibromoethane; Ethylene bromide; EDB
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1140
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 106-93-4
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: KH9275000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1605 154
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Ethylene dibromide: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): Skin; Appendix A3 (Confirmed Animal Carcinogen with Unknown Relevance to Humans)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.045 ppm TWA; 0.13 ppm Ceiling (15 Minutes); Appendix A - NIOSH Potential Occupational Carcinogen

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 100 ppm
  • Potential Symptoms: Respiratory system, eye irritation; dermatitis with vesiculation; decreased sperm count, increased sperm abnormalities; skin absorption: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea; lethargy; metabolic acidosis, liver and kidney damage; (carcinogenic)
  • Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Skin-Marked (HE14); Acute Toxicity-Liver, Kidney (HE4); Suspected Human Carcinogen (HE2)
  • Affected Organs: Respiratory system, liver, kidneys, skin, eyes, testes
  • Notes:
    1. Metabolized in the liver primarily by cytochrome P450 2E1 and conjugation with glutathione.
    2. Serious toxic interactions between ethylene dibromide inhalation (20 ppm) and the drug disulfiram (an inhibitor of CYP2E1) have been reported in rat carcinogenicity studies.
    3. Effects on sperm reported for workers exposed to peak levels less than 0.3 ppm.
  • Literature Basis:
    • Letz, G.A., Pond, S.M., Osterloh, J.D., Wade, R.L. and Becker, C.E.: Two fatalities after acute occupational exposure to ethylene dibromide. JAMA 252(17): 2428-2431, 1984 (symptoms of fatal exposure).
    • Ratcliffe, J.M., Schrader, S.M., Steenland, K., Clapp, D.E., Turner, T. and Hornung, R.W.: Semen quality in papaya workers with long term exposure to ethylene dibromide. Br. J. Ind. Med. 44(5): 317-326, 1987 (sperm toxicity).
    • Wormhoudt, L.W., Ploemen, J.H., de Waziers, I., Commandeur, J.N., Beaune, P.H., van Bladeren, P.J. and Vermeulen, N.P.: Inter-individual variability in the oxidation of 1,2-dibromoethane: use of heterologously expressed human cytochrome P450 and human liver microsomes. Chem. Biol. Interact. 101(3): 175-192, 1996 (metabolism).
    • Stein, H.P., Bahlman, L.J., Leidel, N.A., Parker, J.C., Thomas, A.W. and Millar, J.D.: Ethylene dibromide and disulfiram toxic interaction. Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 39(7): A35-37, 1978 (interaction with disulfiram).
  • Date Last Revised: 05/20/2003

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
  • maximum volume: 10 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min (TWA)
  • maximum time: 5 Minutes
  • maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min (Ceiling)
  • maximum time: 5 Minutes
  • maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min (Peak)
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/ECD
  • analytical solvent: Xylene
  • method reference: OSHA Manual of Analytical Methods (OSHA 2 & Supplement)
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • note: Sample must be refrigerated and analyzed as soon as possible.
On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:
  • Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: AUER/MSA
  • model/type: Trichloroethane-5, MSA P/N 487343, AUER P/N 5086-834
  • sampling information: follow manufacturer's instructions
  • upper measurement limit: 700 ppm
  • detection limit: approx. 25 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: unknown
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
  • Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: Gastec
  • model/type: 136L
  • sampling information: 1 stroke
  • upper measurement limit: 80 ppm
  • detection limit: approx. 4 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: unknown
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
  • Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: Gastec
  • model/type: 136H
  • sampling information: 1 stroke
  • upper measurement limit: 210 ppm
  • detection limit: approx. 7 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: unknown
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
  • Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: Matheson-Kitagawa
  • model/type: 8014-166S
  • sampling information: follow manufacturer's instructions
  • upper measurement limit: 50 ppm
  • detection limit: approx. 1 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: unknown
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

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