Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)
CAS number: 60–29–7
NIOSH REL: The 1989 OSHA PEL may not be protective to workers.
Current OSHA PEL: 400 ppm (1,200 mg/m3) TWA
1989 OSHA PEL: 400 ppm (1,200 mg/m3) TWA, 500 ppm (1,500 mg/m3) STEL
1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 400 ppm (1,210 mg/m3) TWA, 500 ppm (1,520 mg/m3) STEL
Description of Substance: Colorless liquid with a pungent, sweetish odor.
LEL:. . 1.9% (10% LEL, 1,900 ppm)
Original (SCP) IDLH: 19,000 ppm [LEL]
Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the lower explosive limit (LEL) of 19,000 ppm [NFPA 1975]. The toxicological data do not indicate that exposure to this concentration for 30 minutes would impede escape or cause irreversible health effects. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources , the inhalation of 3.5% by volume (35,000 ppm) causes loss of consciousness within 30 to 40 minutes, and concentrations above 7.5% (75,000 ppm) are dangerous to life.
Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed
ACUTE TOXICITY DATA
Lethal concentration data:
|Flury and Zernik 1935
Flury and Zernik 1935
Schwetz and Becker 1970
Schwetz and Becker 1970
116,800 ppm (1.6)
9,685 ppm (1.49)
Human data: The lowest anesthetic limit is 19,000 ppm [Clayton and Clayton 1981]. It has been stated that the inhalation of 2,000 ppm if continued to equilibrium in the blood would cause dizziness in some persons [Henderson and Haggard 1943]. Concentrations in the workplace of 500 to 1,000 ppm or more have not resulted in demonstrable injury to health [Cook 1945]. It has been reported that the inhalation of 35,000 ppm causes loss of consciousness within 30 to 40 minutes, and concentrations above 75,000 ppm are dangerous to life [Pennsylvania 1973].
|Revised IDLH: 1,900 ppm [LEL]
Basis for revised IDLH: Based on health considerations and acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Clayton and Clayton 1981; cook 1945; Henderson and Haggard 1943], a value between 2,000 and 19,000 ppm would have been appropriate. However, the revised IDLH for ethyl ether is 1,900 ppm based strictly on safety considerations (i.e., being 10% of the lower explosive limit of 1.9%).
1. Clayton GD, Clayton FE, eds. . Patty's industrial hygiene and toxicology. 3rd rev. ed. Vol. 2A. Toxicology. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 2491-2511.
2. Cook WA . Maximum allowable concentrations of industrial atmospheric contaminants. Ind Med 14:936-949.
3. Flury F, Zernik F . Zusammenstellung der toxischen und letalen dosen für die gebräuchlichsten gifte und versuchstiere. Abder Hand Biol Arbeitsmethod 4:1289-1422 (in German).
4. Henderson Y, Haggard HW . Noxious gases. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, p. 195.
5. NFPA . Fire protection guide on hazardous materials. 6th ed. Boston, MA: National Fire Protection Association, p. 325M-79.
6. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources . Hygienic information guide no. 44: ethyl ether. Harrisburg, PA: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Occupational Health ER7220.88P REV. 8-73.
7. Schwetz BA, Becker BA . Embryotoxicity and fetal malformations of rats and mice due to maternally administered ether. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 17:275 [Abstract].
- Page last reviewed: December 4, 2014
- Page last updated: December 4, 2014
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