Skip Navigation LinksSkip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Safer Healthier People
Blue White
Blue White
bottom curve
CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z spacer spacer
spacer
Blue curve MMWR spacer
spacer
spacer

The content on this page is being archived for historic and reference purposes only. The content, links, and pdfs are no longer maintained and might be outdated.

Publication of NEG and NIOSH Basis for an Occupational Health Standard: Ethyl Ether

CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recently released NEG and NIOSH Basis for an Occupational Health Standard: Ethyl Ether (1) *. This document was developed as the result of an agreement between NIOSH and the Nordic Expert Group for Documentation of Occupational Exposure Limits (NEG) to exchange occupational safety and health information and expertise.

The document presents a survey of the literature concerning occupational exposure limits for ethyl ether. This chemical has a wide range of uses in the chemical industry, mainly as a solvent and an extraction medium. Ethyl ether has also been used as an inhalation anesthetic for surgery, but it has largely been replaced in this role by more modern anesthetics. More than 125 million tons of ethyl ether are produced each year in the United States.

The acute and chronic toxicities of ethyl ether are low, and the principal exposure routes in the occupational setting are inhalation and skin contact. The critical effect of ethyl ether is irritation of the upper respiratory passages. Long-term exposure to low concentrations in air may produce central nervous system symptoms such as sleepiness, dizziness, irritability, headache, and psychic disturbances. Ethyl ether is a mild skin irritant, especially after repeated exposures.

Reference

  1. NIOSH. NEG and NIOSH basis for an occupational health standard: ethyl ether. Cincinnati: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, CDC, 1993; DHHS publication no. (NIOSH)93-103.

    • Single copies of this document are available without charge from the Publications Office, Division of Standards Development and Technology Transfer, NIOSH, CDC, Mailstop C-13, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998; telephone (800) 356-4674; fax (513) 533-8573.

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to mmwrq@cdc.gov.

Page converted: 09/19/98

HOME  |  ABOUT MMWR  |  MMWR SEARCH  |  DOWNLOADS  |  RSSCONTACT
POLICY  |  DISCLAIMER  |  ACCESSIBILITY

Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd, MailStop E-90, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A

USA.GovDHHS

Department of Health
and Human Services

This page last reviewed 5/2/01