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

CAS number: 141–43–5

NIOSH REL: 3 ppm (8 mg/m3) TWA, 6 ppm (15 mg/m3) STEL

Current OSHA PEL: 3 ppm (6 mg/m3) TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: 3 ppm (8 mg/m3) TWA, 6 ppm (15 mg/m3) STEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 3 ppm (7.5 mg/m3) TWA, 6 ppm (15 mg/m3) STEL

Description of Substance: Colorless, viscous liquid or solid (below 51 F) with an unpleasant, ammonia-like odor.

LEL(@284 F): 3.0% (10% LEL(@284 F), 3,000 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 1,000 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the statement by AIHA [1968] that the saturated concentration (less than 1,316 ppm) at room temperature should not be immediately hazardous to life. However, AIHA [1968] also reported that sprays and mists evolving from these compounds at elevated temperatures may be dangerous.

Existing short-term exposure guidelines: National Research Council [NRC 1984] Emergency Exposure Guidance Levels (EEGLs):

1-hour EEGL: 50 ppm

24-hour EEGL: 3 ppm


Lethal concentration data:

Species Reference LC50(ppm) LCLo(ppm) Time Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF) Derivedvalue
G. pig Treon et al. 1957 LC67: 233 —– 1 hr 291 ppm (1.25) 29 ppm


Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50(mg/kg) LDLo(mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derivedvalue
RatG. pig







Hartung and Cornish 1968Sidorov et al. 1968

Sidorov et al. 1968

Sidorov et al. 1968

Sidorov et al. 1968

Sidorov and Timofievskaya 1979

Timofievskaya 1962

Vernot et al. 1977






















9,150 ppm1,709 ppm

5,650 ppm

4,065 ppm

2,776 ppm

2,756 ppm

1,920 ppm

4,740-5,429 ppm

915 ppm171 ppm

565 ppm

407 ppm

278 ppm

276 ppm

192 ppm

474-543 ppm


Other animal data: Cats exposed for 2 hours to vapors of ethanolamine at concentrations reaching 970 ppm displayed vomiting tendencies; mice had no adverse effects from the same exposures [Sidorov et al. 1968]. A single 8-hour exposure to “concentrated vapors” did not kill any of six rats [UCC 1970]. Guinea pigs survived a 15-minute exposure to ethanolamine at 193 ppm [Treon et al. 1957].

Human data: None relevant for use in determining the revised IDLH.

Revised IDLH: 30 ppmBasis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for ethanolamine is 30 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in animals [Treon et al. 1957].



1. AIHA [1968]. Ethanolamines. In: Hygienic guide series. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 29:312-315.

2. Hartung R, Cornish HH [1968]. Cholinesterase inhibition in the acute toxicity of alkyl-substituted 2-aminoethanol. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 12:486-494.

3. NRC [1984]. Emergency and continuous exposure limits for selected airborne contaminants. Vol. 2. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, Committee on Toxicology, Board on Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, pp. 17-25.

4. Sidorov KK, Gorban GM, Tikhonova GP [1968]. Comparative toxicological characteristics of some regenerable absorbers of carbon dioxide. Kosm Biol Aviak Med 2:289-292 (in Russian).

5. Sidorov KK, Timofievskaya LA [1979]. Data for use in setting the MAC for monoethanolamine in the working environment. Gig Tr Prof Zabol 23(9):55 (in Russian).

6. Timofievskaya LA [1962]. Toxicological characteristics of monoethanolamine. Toksikol Nov Prom Khim Vesh 4:81-91 (in Russian).

7. Treon JF, Cleveland FP, Stemmer KL, Cappel J, Larson EE, Shaffer F [1957]. Toxicity of monoethanolamine in air. Cincinnati, OH: Kettering Laboratory.

8. UCC [1970]. Ethanolamines. New York, NY: Union Carbide Corporation, Chemicals and Plastics, p. 30.

9. Vernot EH, MacEwen JD, Haun CC, Kinkead ER [1977]. Acute toxicity and skin corrosion data for some organic and inorganic compounds and aqueous solutions. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 42:417-423.