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Synonyms: Ethyl ester of formic acid, Ethyl methanoate
OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1155
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 109-94-4
NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: LQ8400000
Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1190 129
NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Ethyl formate: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 -- 100 ppm, 300 mg/m3 TWA
Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 100 ppm, 300 mg/m3 TWA
Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 100 ppm, 300 mg/m3 TWA
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 100 ppm, 303 mg/m3 TWA
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 100 ppm, 300 mg/m3 TWA
NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 1,500 ppm
Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, upper respiratory system; burning sensation, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath; headache; drowsiness; eye redness, pain; skin redness, dryness, cracking, burning sensation; in animals: narcosis
Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Mild (HE16); Narcosis (HE8); Explosive, Flammable (HE18)
Affected Organs: Eyes, respiratory system, CNS
- Vapor/air mixtures may be explosive.
- Ethyl formate is generally recognized as safe by the FDA as a direct food substance (21 CFR 184.1295).
- Ethyl formate is hydrolyzed to ethanol and formic acid, the latter being the toxic principal for the use of ethyl formate as a pesticide.
- The pesticide tolerance for ethyl formate (used to control the flour beetle, Indian meal moth, and raisin moth) was revoked by the EPA in 1999 (removal of 40 CFR 180.520). Interest in ethyl formate as a pesticide, however, continues outside the U.S.
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Ethyl formate.
- International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Ethyl formate.
- EPA: Federal Register: Dalapon, Fluchloralin, et al.; Various Tolerance Revocations.
- Haritos, V.S. and Dojchinov, G.: Cytochrome c oxidase inhibition in the rice weevil Sitophilus oryzae (L.) by formate, the toxic metabolite of volatile alkyl formates. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. C. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 136(2): 135-143, 2003.
- Keenes, M., et al.: Disinfestation of food processing equipment. Presented at the 12th Annual International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reduction, San Diego, CA, 30 October - 3 November, 2005.
- Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Ethyl Formate. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1106-1108.
Date Last Revised: 11/06/2006
Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
- sampling media: Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
maximum volume: 10 Liters
maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 1452 [19 KB PDF, 3 pages])
method classification: Partially Validated
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