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Halothane

General Description

  • Synonyms: 1-Bromo-1-chloro-2,2,2-trifluoroethane; 2-Bromo-2-chloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane; Fluothane; 1,1,1-Trifluoro-2-bromo-2-chloroethane; 2,2,2-Trifluoro-1-bromo-1-chloroethane
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0395
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 151-67-7
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: KH6550000
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Halothane: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 50 ppm, 404 mg/m3 TWA; Appendix A4 - Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 2 ppm, 16.2 mg/m3 Ceiling (60 Minutes) [Note: REL for exposure to waste anesthetic gas.]

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, respiratory system; confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, analgesia, anesthesia, cardiac arrhythmias; liver, kidney damage; decreased audio-visual performance; in animals: reproductive effects.
  • Health Effects: Liver injury (HE3); Narcosis (HE8)
  • Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, CNS, liver, kidneys, reproductive system
  • Notes:
    1. OSHA does not have a PEL for halothane.
    2. During halothane metabolism, liver proteins can become trifluoroacetylated to form haptens that trigger the production of IgG antibodies.
    3. Antibodies to liver proteins, including cytochrome P450 2E1 (which metabolizes halothane), have been found in serum from patients with halothane-induced hepatitis, as well as in serum from anesthesiologists occupationally exposed to halothane.
    4. A close correlation between the TWA concentration of halothane in the breathing zone of operating room personnel and the halothane in urine collected after 4 hours of exposure was reported, such that halothane concentrations of 3.9, 6.5, and 92 µg/liter of urine were estimated to correspond with TWA halothane exposures of 0.5, 2.0, and 50 ppm, respectively.
  • Date Last Revised: 04/18/2007
  • Literature Basis:
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Halothane.
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Halothane.
    • Imbriani, M., Ghittori, S., Zadra, P. and Imberti, R.: Biological monitoring of the occupational exposure to halothane (fluothane) in operating room personnel. Am. J. Ind. Med. 20(1): 103-112, 1991.
    • Kenna, J.G., Satoh, H., Christ, D.D. and Pohl, L.R.: Metabolic basis for a drug hypersensitivity: antibodies in sera from patients with halothane hepatitis recognize liver neoantigens that contain the trifluoroacetyl group derived from halothane. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 245(3): 1103-1109, 1988.
    • Njoku, D.B., et al.: Autoantibodies associated with volatile anesthetic hepatitis found in the sera of a large cohort of pediatric anesthesiologists. Anesth. Analg. 94(2): 243-249, 2002.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Halothane. In, Sittig’s Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1221-1223.
    • Sutherland, D.E. and Smith, W.A.: Chemical hepatitis associated with occupational exposure to halothane in a research laboratory. Vet. Hum. Toxicol. 34(5): 423-424, 1992.

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Anasorb 747 Tube (140/70 mg sections)
  • analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
  • maximum volume: 12 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 103)
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • Anasorb CMS Tube (150/75 mg sections)
  • analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
  • maximum volume: 12 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 103)
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • Two Charcoal Tubes in series (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
  • analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
  • maximum volume: 10 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.1 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 29)
  • method classification: Fully Validated

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