OSHA comments from the January 19, 1989 Final Rule on Air Contaminants Project extracted from 54FR2332 et. seq. This rule was remanded by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the limits are not currently in force.

CAS: 101-84-8; Chemical Formula: (C6H5)2O

OSHA is retaining its former 8-hour TWA limit of 1 ppm for phenyl ether, and NIOSH (Ex. 8-47, Table N1) supports this decision. The ACGIH recommends a TWA-TLV of 1 ppm and a 2-ppm 15-minute STEL for phenyl ether. Phenyl ether is a colorless liquid or solid with a low volatility; its vapor has a disagreeable odor.

The acute oral lethal dose is approximately 4 g/kg for rats and guinea pigs, and single doses of between 1 and 2 g/kg administered to various species have shown no liver, spleen, kidney, thyroidal, or gastrointestinal toxicities in surviving animals (Vogel, Snyder, and Schulman 1964/Ex. 1-681). Repeated inhalation studies in rats, rabbits, and dogs have shown that 20 exposures to 4.9 ppm for five days per week, seven hours per day produced no adverse effects. Eye and nasal irritation were observed in rats and rabbits exposed at 10 ppm (Hefner, Leong, Kociba, and Gehring 1975/Ex. 1-329). Skin and eye irritation have been reported only as a result of prolonged undiluted exposures. There is no evidence that skin absorption presents a health hazard (ACGIH 1986/Ex. 1-3, p. 475). The primary complaints associated with human exposures to phenyl ether vapor are of disagreeable odor and occasional nausea (Hake and Rowe 1963b, as cited in ACGIH 1986/Ex. 1-3, p. 475). NIOSH was the only commenter on this substance.

OSHA is retaining its former TWA limit of 1 ppm for phenyl ether; the Agency finds insufficient evidence to support the adoption of a STEL to complement the TWA.

Page last reviewed: September 28, 2011