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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: 2-Ethylhexanol; 2-Ethylhexan-1-ol; Isooctyl Alcohol

OSHA IMIS Code Number: E106

IMIS Name History: 2-Ethylhexanol prior to 4/20/07

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 104-76-7

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: MP0350000

Chemical Description and Physical Properties:

colorless liquid, with characteristic odor
molecular weight: 130.26
vapor pressure: 48 Pa @ 20°C
molecular formula: C8H18O
boiling point: 183°C
melting point: -76°C
flash point: 81°C

Incompatibilities: Reacts violently with strong oxidants

Health Factors

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, nose, throat, skin; cough, sore throat; headache, dizziness, weakness

Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15); Potential narcosis (HE8)

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, CNS


  1. OSHA does not have a PEL for 2-ethylhexanol, which is a breakdown product of some phthalate plasticizers and is thought to contribute to the deterioration of indoor air quality, as well as to leach from medical-grade vinyl tubing.
  2. Above 73ºC, explosive vapor/air mixtures may be formed. At 20ºC, air is saturated at a concentration of ~120 ppm.
  3. Disposition studies with radiolabeled 2-ethoxyethanol in rats indicated excretion of the label predominantly in the urine in the form of glucuronide conjugates of 2-ethyl-hexanoic acid, 2-ethyladipic acid, 5-hydroxy-2-ethylhexanoic acid and 6-hydroxy-2-ethylhexanoic acid.
  4. Exposure of rats to as much as 120 ppm of 2-ethylhexanol 6 hours/day for 90 days was reported to have no adverse effects.
  5. Studies of eye irritation by measuring eye blink rates in human volunteers exposed four hours to constant air levels of 2-ethylhexanol of 1.5, 10, or 20 ppm, or variable levels with 20 ppm or 40 ppm peaks, showed a dose-related increase in eye irritation.
  6. 2-Ethyl-1-hexanol is one of the 30 "predominant" VOCs identified by NIOSH in at least one area of a microwave popcorn plant which had eight former workers diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans. It is not known whether 2-ethylhexanol contributed to the cause of this lung disease.

Literature Basis:

  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): 2-Ethylhexanol.
  • NIOSH: Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances, 1-Hexanol, 2-ethyl-, RTECS # MP0350000.
  • Deisinger, P.J., Boatman, R.J. and Guest, D.: Metabolism of 2-ethylhexanol administered orally and dermally to the female Fischer 344 rat. Xenobiotica 24(5): 429-440, 1994.
  • Gomaa, A., et al.: NIOSH Investigation of Gilster Mary Lee, HETA #2000-0401, Technical Assistance to Missouri Department of Health. Interim Report, August 22, 2001, 46 pp.
  • Hill, S.S., Shaw, B.R. and Wu, A.H.: Plasticizers, antioxidants, and other contaminants found in air delivered by PVC tubing used in respiratory therapy. Biomed. Chromatogr. 17(4): 250-262, 2003.
  • Kiesswetter, E., van Thriel, C., Schäper, M., Blaszkewicz, M. and Seeber, A.: Eye blinks as indicator for sensory irritation during constant and peak exposures to 2-ethylhexanol. Environ. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 19(3): 531-541, 2005.
  • Klimisch, H.J., Deckardt, K., Gembardt, C. and Hildebrand, B.: Subchronic inhalation toxicity study of 2-ethylhexanol vapour in rats. Food Chem. Toxicol. 36(3): 165-168, 1998.
  • Nalli, S., Horn, O.J., Grochowalski, A.R., Cooper, D.G. and Nicell, J.A.: Origin of 2-ethylhexanol as a VOC. Environ. Pollut. 140(1): 181-185, 2006.

Date Last Revised: 05/18/2006

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
    analytical solvent: Methylene Chloride
    maximum volume: 60 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center In-House File
    method classification: Not Validated

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