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Dichloroethyl ether

May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

CAS number: 111–44–4

NIOSH REL: 5 ppm (30 mg/m3) TWA, 10 ppm (60 mg/m3) STEL [skin]; NIOSH considers dichloroethyl ether to be a potential occupational carcinogen as defined by the OSHA carcinogen policy [29 CFR 1990].

Current OSHA PEL: 15 ppm (90 mg/m3) CEILING [skin]

1989 OSHA PEL: 5 ppm (30 mg/m3) TWA, 10 ppm (60 mg/m3) STEL [skin]

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 5 ppm (29 mg/m3) TWA, 10 ppm (58 mg/m3) STEL [skin]

Description of Substance: Colorless liquid with a chlorinated solvent-like odor.

LEL:. . 2.7% (10% LEL, 2,700 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 250 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the statements by Patty [1963] that 250 ppm caused death in rats from a 4-hour exposure [Carpenter et al. 1949] and that 500 to 1000 ppm might cause death in guinea pigs from an exposure of only 30 to 60 minutes duration [Schrenk et al. 1933].

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal concentration data:






Adjusted 0.5-hr







G. pig

G. pig

Carpenter et al. 1949

Izmerov et al. 1982

Izmerov et al. 1982

Marhold 1986

Schrenk et al. 1933











4 hr

4 hr

2 hr

1 hr

5 hr

500 ppm (2.0)

154 ppm (2.0)

243 ppm (1.6)

625 ppm (1.25)

1,075 ppm (2.15)

50 ppm

15 ppm

24 ppm

63 ppm

108 ppm

Human data: Volunteers found brief (undefined) exposures to 100 to 260 ppm to be tolerable, although irritating [Schrenk et al. 1933].

Revised IDLH: 100 ppm

Basis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for dichloroethyl ether is 100 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Schrenk et al. 1933]. This may be a conservative value due to the lack of relevant acute toxicity data for workers exposed to concentrations above 100 ppm. [Note: NIOSH recommends as part of its carcinogen policy that the "most protective" respirators be worn for dichloroethyl ether at concentrations above 5 ppm.]


1. Carpenter CP, Smyth HF Jr, Pozzani C [1949]. The assay of acute vapor toxicity, and the grading and interpretation of results on 96 chemical compounds. J Ind Hyg Toxicol 31:343-346.

2. Izmerov NF, Sanotsky IV, Sidorov KK [1982]. Toxicometric parameters of industrial toxic chemicals under single exposure. Moscow, Russia: Centre of International Projects, GKNT, p. 45.

3. Marhold J [1986]. Prehled Prumyslove Toxikologie, Organicke Latky. Prague, Czechoslovakia: Avicenum, p. 541 (in Czechoslovakian).

4. Patty FA, ed. [1963]. Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 1675.

5. Schrenk HH, Patty FA, Yant WP [1933]. Acute response of guinea pigs to vapors of some new commercial organic compounds. VII. Dichloroethyl ether. Public Health Rep 48(46):1389-1398.