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

CAS number: 109–89–7

NIOSH REL: 10 ppm (30 mg/m3) TWA, 25 ppm (75 mg/m3) STEL

Current OSHA PEL: 25 ppm (75 mg/m3) TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: 10 ppm (30 mg/m3) TWA, 25 ppm (75 mg/m3) STEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 5 ppm (15 mg/m3) TWA, 15 ppm (45 mg/m3) STEL [skin]

Description of Substance: Colorless liquid with a fishy, ammonia-like odor.

LEL:. . 1.8% (10% LEL, 1,800 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 2,000 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: Patty [1963] made the statement that a 4-hour exposure to 4,000 ppm killed 3 of 6 rats. However, because of the severe eye and lung irritation that occurs as a result of exposure to high concentrations of diethylamine, an IDLH of 2,000 ppm is chosen.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal concentration data:

Species Reference LC50(ppm) LCLo(ppm) Time Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF) Derivedvalue
Rat Hine et al. 1960 4,000 —– 4 hr 8,000 ppm (2.0) 800 ppm


Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50(mg/kg) LDLo(mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derived value
RatMouse Hine et al. 1960Patel et al. 1985 oraloral 540500 ———- 1,243 ppm1,151 ppm 124 ppm115 ppm


Other animal data: RD50 (mouse), 184 ppm [Nielsen and Yamagiwa 1989].

Human data: It has been stated that the simple alkyl amines are generally more toxic than ammonia [ACGIH 1991]. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists TLV for diethylamine (10 ppm TWA, 25 ppm STEL) was based on an analogy to ammonia (25 ppm TWA, 35 ppm STEL) [ACGIH 1991].

Revised IDLH: 200 ppmBasis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for diethylamine is 200 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in animals [Nielsen and Yamagiwa 1989] and an analogy to ammonia [ACGIH 1991].



1. ACGIH [1991]. Diethylamine. In: Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological exposure indices. 6th ed. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, pp. 460-461.

2. Hine CH, Kodama JK, Guzman RJ, Loquvam GS [1960]. The toxicity of allylamines. Arch Environ Health 1:343-352.

3. Nielsen GD, Yamagiwa M [1989]. Structure-activity relationships of airway irritating aliphatic amines, receptor activation mechanisms and predicted industrial exposure limits. Chem Biol Interact 71(2/3):228-244.

4. Patel VK, Venkatakrishna-Bhatt H, Patel NB, Jindal MN [1985]. Pharmacology of new glutarimide compounds. Biomed Biochim Acta 44(5):795-803.

5. Patty FA, ed. [1963]. Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 2044.