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Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals
LABORATORY CHEMICAL SAFETY SUMMARY: ETHYLENE DIBROMIDE
(1,2-Dibromoethane, ethylene bromide, EDB)
bp 131 °C, mp 9 °C
Slightly soluble in water (0.4 g/100 mL at 20 °C)
Mild, sweet odor detectable at 10 ppm
6.5 (air = 1.0)
12 mmHg at 25 °C
LD50 oral (rat)
LD50 skin (rabbit)
LC50 inhal (rat)
14,300 mg/m3 (30 min)
20 ppm (150 mg/m3)
Suspected human carcinogen (OSHA "select carcinogen"); moderate acute toxicity; severe skin and eye irritant.
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).