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Ethyl chloride

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

CAS number: 75–00–3

NIOSH REL: Handle with caution in the workplace.

Current OSHA PEL: 1,000 ppm (2,600 mg/m3) TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 1,000 ppm (2,640 mg/m3) TWA

Description of Substance: Colorless gas or liquid (below 54 F) with a pungent, ether-like odor.

LEL:. . 3.8% (10% LEL, 3,800 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 20,000 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on human exposure data reported by Davidson [1926] in which 13,000 ppm caused no difficulty in walking or balancing after 21 minutes, but 19,000 ppm caused weak analgesia and slight dizziness after 12 minutes.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal concentration data:






Adjusted 0.5-hr






G. pig

Izmerov et al. 1982

Izmerov et al. 1982

Sayers and Yant 1929







2 hr

2 hr

45 min

95,522 ppm (1.6)

87,164 ppm (1.6)

45,600 ppm (1.14)

9,550 ppm

8,716 ppm

4,560 ppm

Human data: It has been reported that 13,000 ppm for 21 minutes caused no difficulty in walking or balancing but 19,000 ppm caused weak analgesia and slight dizziness after 12 minutes [Davidson 1926].

Revised IDLH: 3,800 ppm [LEL]

Basis for revised IDLH: Based on health considerations and acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Davidson 1926], a value of about 13,000 ppm would have been appropriate. However, the revised IDLH for ethyl chloride is 3,800 ppm based strictly on safety considerations (i.e., being 10% of the lower explosive limit of 3.8%).


1. Davidson BM [1926]. Studies of intoxication. V. The action of ethyl chloride. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 26:37-42.

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. 66.

3. Sayers RR, Yant VP [1929]. Physiological response attending exposure to vapors of methyl bromide, methyl chloride, ethyl bromide and ethyl chloride. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, Treasury Department, U.S. Public Health Service, Public Health Bulletin 185:1-56.

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