Ethylene glycol dinitrate

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

CAS number: 628–96–6

NIOSH REL: 0.1 mg/m3 STEL [skin]

Current OSHA PEL: 0.2 ppm (1 mg/m3) CEILING [skin]

1989 OSHA PEL: 0.1 mg/m3 STEL [skin]

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 0.05 ppm (0.31 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

Description of Substance: Colorless to yellow, oily, odorless liquid.

LEL:. . Unknown

Original (SCP) IDLH*: 500 mg/m3 [*Note: “Effective” IDLH = 200 mg/m3 — see discussion below.]

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: No data on acute inhalation toxicity are available on which to base the IDLH for ethylene glycol dinitrate (EGDN) and/or nitroglycerin. The chosen IDLH, therefore, is based on chronic toxicity data concerning the physiological response of animals to EGDN. According to Patty [1963], rats and guinea pigs survived 6 months of exposure to 500 mg/m3 (80 ppm) EGDN with the only effect being slight drowsiness and some Heinz body formation [Stein 1956]. Although Patty [1963] stated that EGDN is more toxic for cats and rabbits, the chosen IDLH is still probably conservative because cats given 2-hour daily exposures to 21 ppm EGDN for 1,000 days exhibited only marked blood changes [von Oettingen 1946]. However, because of the assigned protection factor afforded by each device, 2,000 × the OSHA PEL of 0.1 mg/m3 (i.e., 200 mg/m3) is the concentration above which only the “most protective” respirators are permitted.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Animal data: Rats and guinea pigs have survived 6 months of exposure to 500 mg/m3 with the only effect being slight drowsiness and some Heinz body formation [NIOSH 1978]. Cats given 2-hour daily exposures for 1,000 days to 133 mg/m3 exhibited only marked blood changes [von Oettingen 1946].

Human data: Headaches have developed in workers exposed to 0.4 to 0.67 mg/m3 for 25 minutes; all workers had decreases in blood pressure [Trainor and Jones 1966]. Ethylene glycol dinitrate and nitroglycerine are vasodilators and initial exposures result in headache, dizziness, nausea, or decreases in blood pressure; however, workers became tolerant of the vasodilatory activity after 2 to 4 days of exposure [NIOSH 1978].

Revised IDLH: 75 mg/m3

Basis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for ethylene glycol dinitrate is 75 mg/m3 based on an analogy to nitroglycerine [NIOSH 1978] which has a revised IDLH of 75 mg/m3.



1. NIOSH [1978]. Criteria for a recommended standard: occupational exposure to nitroglycerine and ethylene glycol dinitrate. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Center for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 78-167.

2. Patty FA, ed. [1963]. Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 2094.

3. Stein W [1956]. Mechanism of action of chronic inhalation of nitroglycol. Arch Gewerbepath Gewerbehyg 15:23-26 (translated).

4. Trainor DC, Jones RC [1966]. Headaches in explosive magazine workers. Arch Environ Health 12:231-234.

5. von Oettingen WF [1946]. II. The nitric acid esters of monovalent and polyvalent aliphatic alcohols. Nitric acid esters of bivalent alcohols. In: The effects of aliphatic nitrous and nitric acid esters on the physiological functions with special reference to their chemical constitution. NIH Bulletin 186:27-32.

Page last reviewed: December 4, 2014