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Ethylene dibromide

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

CAS number: 106–93–4

NIOSH REL: 0.045 ppm TWA, 0.13 ppm 15-minute CEILING; NIOSH considers ethylene dibromide to be a potential occupational carcinogen as defined by the OSHA carcinogen policy [29 CFR 1990].

Current OSHA PEL: 20 ppm TWA, 30 ppm CEILING,

50 ppm 5-minute MAXIMUM PEAK

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: A2 [skin]

Description of Substance: Colorless liquid or solid (below 50 F) with a sweet odor.

LEL:. . Noncombustible Liquid

Original (SCP) IDLH: 400 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the maximum survival exposure for rats of 400 ppm for 36 minutes [Rowe et al. 1952] cited by Patty [1963].

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal concentration data:

Species Reference LC50(ppm) LCLo(ppm) Time Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF*) Derivedvalue

G. pig


Bakhishev 1973McCollister et al. 1956

Rowe et al. 1952

Rowe et al. 1952







30 min8 hr

3 hr

1 hr

1,831 ppm (1.0)2,020 ppm (10.1)

1,780 ppm (4.45)

1,230 ppm (1.78)

183 ppm202 ppm

178 ppm

123 ppm


*Note: Conversion factor (CF) was determined with “n” = 1.2 [ten Berge et al. 1986].

Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50(mg/kg) LDLo(mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derived value

G. pig




Kenaga and Morgan 1978Rowe et al. 1952

Rowe et al. 1952

Rowe et al. 1952

Rowe et al. 1952

Rowe et al. 1952
















97 ppm49 ppm

99 ppm

131 ppm

376 ppm

105 ppm

9.7 ppm4.9 ppm

9.9 ppm

13 ppm

38 ppm

11 ppm


Other animal data: It has been stated that ethylene dibromide is more toxic than carbon tetrachloride in inhalation exposures less than 7 hours [McCollister et al. 1956]. It has been reported that rats have survived a 36-minute exposure to 400 ppm [Rowe et al. 1952].

Human data: It has been stated that a concentration of 50 ppm (for an unstated time period) could be dangerous to exposed humans [Kochmann 1928]. Exposures above 100 ppm for an hour or less or by longer exposures at lower concentrations (e.g., 75 ppm) have resulted in gastrointestinal discomfort, vomiting, and respiratory involvement [Ott et al. 1980].

Revised IDLH: 100 ppmBasis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for ethylene dibromide is 100 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Ott et al. 1980] and animals [Rowe et al. 1952]. [Note: NIOSH recommends as part of its carcinogen policy that the “most protective” respirators be worn for ethylene dibromide at concentrations above 0.045 ppm.]



1. Bakhishev GN [1973]. Relative toxicity of aliphatic halohydrocarbons to rats. Farmakol Toksikol 8:140-143 (in Russian).

2. Kenaga EE, Morgan RW [1978]. Commercial and experimental organic insecticides. Entomological Society of America Special Publication 78-1:17.

3. Kochmann M [1928]. Possible industrial poisonings with ethylene dibromide. Muench Med Wochschr 75:1334-1336. [From ACGIH [1991]. Ethylene dibromide. In: Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological exposure indices. 6th ed. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, pp. 606-608.]

4. McCollister DD, Hollingsworth RL, Oyen F, Rowe VK [1956]. Comparative inhalation toxicity of fumigant mixtures. AMA Arch Ind Health 13:1-7.

5. Ott MG, Scharnweber HC, Langer RR [1980]. Mortality experience of 161 employees exposed to ethylene dibromide in two production units. Br J Ind Med 37:163-168.

6. Patty FA, ed. [1963]. Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 1285.

7. Rowe VK, Spencer HC, McCollister DD, Hollingsworth RL, Adams EM [1952]. Toxicity of ethylene dibromide determined on experimental animals. AMA Arch Ind Hyg Occup Med 6:158-173.

8. ten Berge WF, Zwart A, Appelman LM [1986]. Concentration-time mortality response relationship of irritant and systematically acting vapours and gases. J Haz Mat 13:301-309.