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: 111-40-0; Chemical Formula: (NH2CH2CH2)2 NH

Formerly, OSHA had no limit for diethylene triamine (DETA). The ACGIH has a TLV-TWA of 1 ppm, with a skin notation, for this strongly alkaline, hygroscopic, and somewhat viscous yellow liquid that smells like ammonia. The proposed PEL was 1 ppm as an 8-hour TWA, with a skin notation, and NIOSH (Ex. 8-47, Table N1) concurs with this limit. The final rule promulgates this 1-ppm 8-hour TWA for diethylene triamine; however, the skin notation is not retained (see the discussion on skin notations in Section VI.C.18 of this preamble).

The acute intraperitoneal LD(50) values for DETA are reported to be 71 and 74 mg/kg for the mouse and rat, respectively (Hine, Kodama, Anderson et al. 1958/Ex. 1-511). In the rat, the reported oral and percutaneous LD(50) values are the same (1080 mg/kg); the dermal LD(50) for the rabbit is 1090 mg/kg (Smyth, Carpenter, and Weil 1949/Ex. 1-528). Exposure to 300 ppm of diethylene triamine vapor for 8 hours failed to kill any of a group of exposed rats (Savitt 1955/Ex. 1-663).

Sutton (1963/Ex. 1-1101) has reported that DETA causes severe corneal injury; solutions of 15 to 100 percent caused lasting corneal damage. If improperly controlled, the vapor and liquid cause sensitization of the respiratory tract and skin (American Industrial Hygiene Association 1960, as cited in ACGIH 1986/Ex. 1-3, p. 197). Dernehl (Ex. 1-728) demonstrated such sensitization in a study reported in 1951.

OSHA received no other comments on this substance. However, OSHA has carefully reviewed the health evidence on the percutaneous toxicity of DETA and has determined that a skin notation is not necessary for this substance (see the discussion on skin notations in Section VI.C.18). The final rule thus contains no skin notation for DETA.

In the final rule, OSHA is establishing an 8-hour TWA limit of 1 ppm for diethylene triamine. The Agency concludes that this limit will protect workers against the significant risk of skin and respiratory tract irritation and sensitization, all of which constitute material health impairments that are associated with exposure to diethylene triamine at levels above the new PEL.

Page last reviewed: September 28, 2011