Probable human carcinogen (OSHA "select carcinogen"); other nitrosamines should also be regarded as carcinogenic.
The acute toxicity of diethylnitrosamine is classified as moderate. Other nitrosamines of higher molecular weight are somewhat less toxic. Harmful exposure to nitrosamines can occur by inhalation and ingestion and may cause nausea, vomiting, and fever. This substance does not have adequate warning properties.
Chronic exposure to nitrosamines can cause severe liver damage. Diethylnitrosamine is listed in IARC Group 2A ("probable human carcinogen") and is classified as an OSHA "select carcinogen." Nitrosamines are suspected of causing cancers of the lung, nasal sinuses, brain, esophagus, stomach, liver, bladder, and kidney. Diethylnitrosamine is mutagenic and teratogenic.
Diethylnitrosamine is decomposed by strong acids, liberating nitrous acid. Nitrosamines are incompatible with strong oxidizing agents.
Storage and Handling
Because of its carcinogenicity, diethylnitrosamine should be handled using the "basic prudent practices" of Chapter 5.C, supplemented by the additional precautions for work with compounds of high chronic toxicity (Chapter 5.D). In particular, work with diethylni-