LABORATORY CHEMICAL SAFETY SUMMARY: ETHYLENE DIBROMIDE

Substance

Ethylene dibromide

(1,2-Dibromoethane, ethylene bromide, EDB)

CAS 106-93-4

 

Formula

BrCH2CH2Br

 

Physical Properties

Colorless liquid

bp 131 °C, mp 9 °C

Slightly soluble in water (0.4 g/100 mL at 20 °C)

 

Odor

Mild, sweet odor detectable at 10 ppm

 

Vapor Density

6.5 (air = 1.0)

 

Vapor Pressure

12 mmHg at 25 °C

 

Flash Point

Noncombustible

 

Toxicity Data

LD50 oral (rat)

108 mg/kg

 

LD50 skin (rabbit)

300 mg/kg

 

LC50 inhal (rat)

14,300 mg/m3 (30 min)

 

PEL (OSHA)

20 ppm (150 mg/m3)

Major Hazards

Suspected human carcinogen (OSHA "select carcinogen"); moderate acute toxicity; severe skin and eye irritant.

Toxicity

Ethylene dibromide is moderately toxic by inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact and is a severe irritant of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Symptoms of overexposure by inhalation may include depression of the central nervous system, respiratory tract irritation, and pulmonary edema. Oral intake of 5 to 10 mL can be fatal to humans owing to liver and kidney damage. Skin contact with EDB can produce severe irritation and blistering; serious skin injury can result from contact with clothing and shoes wet with EDB. This compound can be absorbed through the skin in toxic amounts. EDB vapors are severely irritating to the eyes, and contact with the liquid can damage vision.

EDB is listed in IARC Group 2A ("probable human carcinogen") and is classified as a "select carcinogen" under the criteria of the OSHA Laboratory Standard. Chronic inhalation may cause pulmonary, renal, and hepatic damage. EDB is a suspected reproductive toxin implicated in reduction in male fertility. Ethylene dibromide is considered to be a compound with poor warning properties due to potential chronic and carcinogenic effects.

Flammability and Explosibility

Ethylene dibromide is a noncombustible substance (NFPA rating = 0).



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