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Emergency and Continuous Exposure Limits for Selected Airborne Contaminants: Volume 2
remain for 1.5 h. There is little other information on the effects of ethanolamine in man. An anonymous report in Bioenvironmental Safety News Letter (1972) described a case in which “a drop of amine fell” into the right eye of a sailor aboard a submarine. Within a minute, he was able to get to an eye bath, and he flushed his eye for 30 min. He had prompt medical attention, but vision in his right eye deteriorated from 20/20 to 20/200. The report stated that “he will have partial permanent disability.” The same report referred to an earlier, similar incident.
Paustovskaia et al. (1977) stated that “persons working in conditions of increased concentrations of derivatives of cyclo- and dicyclohexylamine and MEA inhibitors of atmospheric corrosion of metals frequently showed changes of the central nervous system, myocardium and hepatobiliary system. Changes in the heart and liver result from the toxic effect of amine derivations on the tissues and also of indirect influence via the central nervous system. Estimation of lactic dehydrogenase isoenzymes is a valuable differential-diagnostic index of myocardial and hepatic pathology due to the effect of amines of the polymethylene series.”*
The maximal permissible concentration of ethanolamine suggested by Sidorov and Timofeevskaya (1979) was 0.5 mg/m3 (approximately 0.2 ppm). They stated that workers exposed to ethanolamine at concentrations of greater than 1 mg/m3 suffer from chronic bronchitis, disorders of the liver, asthenic syndrome, and dystonia.
No controlled-exposure or epidemiologic studies with ethanolamine have been reported.
EFFECTS ON ANIMALS
LD50 values are given in Table 4. Grant (1962) referred to Carpenter and Smyth (1946) and stated that a drop of ethanolamine applied to rabbit eyes causes injury similar to that caused by ammonia, but slightly less severe (graded 9 on a scale of 1–10 after 24 h). Union Carbide Corporation (1970) reported that the dermal LD50 of ethanolamine in rabbits is 1.00 ml/kg (24-h covered exposure). It was judged a moderate primary skin irritant, on the basis of the response to application of 0.01-ml amounts to uncovered rabbit skin 24 h later. Hinglais (1947) reported that ethanolamine had considerable necrotic action on the skin.
In a study of inhalation toxicity, Sidorov et al. (1968) exposed mice and cats to vapors of ethanolamine (heated to 80°C) for 2 h. The maximal vapor and condensation aerosol concentration achieved was 970 ppm. The cats “displayed vomiting tendencies.”* No other signs were noted. A single 8-h exposure to “concentrated vapors” did not kill any of six rats (Union Carbide Corporation, 1970). Guinea pigs survived a 15-min exposure to ethanolamine at 193 ppm, but four of six died after 1-h exposure at 233 ppm (Treon et al., 1957).