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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Diphenyl ether; Diphenyl oxide; Geranium Crystals; Phenoxy benzene; Phenyl oxide

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2047

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 101-84-8

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: KN8970000

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Phenyl ether (vapor): chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 1 ppm, 7 mg/m3 TWA

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 1 ppm, 7 mg/m3 TWA

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 1 ppm, 7 mg/m3 TWA

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 1 ppm, 7 mg/m3 TWA; 2 ppm, 14 mg/m3 STEL

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 1 ppm, 7 mg/m3 TWA

Health Factors

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 100 ppm

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

Health Effects: Nausea (HE7); Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Bronchi, Lungs---Mild (HE16); Intolerable obnoxious odor (HE20)

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system


  1. In rats, radiolabeled diphenyl ether (10 mg/kg, intragastrically) is extensively metabolized and most radioactivity (>80% of the dose) is excreted in the urine as conjugated mono-hydroxy and dihydroxy derivatives, including two that also have a 4-methoxy group. Unidentified reactive intermediates of these metabolites, however, were thought to be responsible for irreversible binding of radioactivity to proteins in liver, kidney and lung tissues.
  2. A 6-hour topical administration of radiolabeled diphenyl ether (diluted in a diethyl phthalate vehicle) to rats in amounts of 10, 100 and 1000 mg/kg body weight resulted in systemic absorption of 19-23% of the radioactivity applied, most of which was excreted in the urine.
  3. The inhalational NOAEL in rats exposed to diphenyl ether 7 hours/day, 5 days/week, for a total of 20 exposures, was reported to be 4.9 ppm. A concentration of 10 ppm caused mild eye and nasal irritation.

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Phenyl ether (vapor).
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Diphenyl ether.
  • Api, A.M. and Ford, R.A.: Evaluation of the dermal subchronic toxicity of diphenyl ether in the rat. Food Chem. Toxicol. 41(2): 259-264, 2003.
  • Hefner, R.E., Leong, B.K.J., Kociba, R.J. and Gehring, P.J.: Repeated inhalation toxicity of diphenyl oxide in experimental animals. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 33(1): 78-86, 1975.
  • Law, F.C. and Chakrabarti, S.: Irreversible binding of 14C-diphenyl ether-derived radioactivity to liver microsomes in vitro and tissue proteins in vivo. Drug Chem. Toxicol. 6(3): 285-294, 1983.
  • Law, F.C., Song, Y.Y. and Chakrabarti, S.: Disposition and metabolism of diphenyl ether in rats. Xenobiotics 13(10): 627-633, 1983.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Diphenyl oxide. Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 979-980.

Date Last Revised: 11/15/2006

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: XAD-7 Tube (100/50 mg sections, 15/50 mesh)
    analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
    maximum volume: 20 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2022)
    method classification: Partially Validated

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