Agent Name

Ethylene glycol

CAS Number

107-21-1

Formula

C2-H6-O2

Major Category

Other Classes

Synonyms

1,2-Dihydroxyethane; 1,2-Ethanediol; 146AR; 2-Hydroxyethanol; Aethylenglykol [German]; Dowtherm SR 1; Ethylene alcohol; Ethylene dihydrate; Ethylene glycol; Fridex; Glycol; Glycol alcohol; Glycol, ethylene-; Lutrol-9; Macrogol 400 BPC; Monoethylene glycol; Norkool; Ramp; Tescol; Ucar 17; Union Carbide XL 54 Type I De-icing Fluid; Zerex; [ChemIDplus] UN8027

Category

Ethylene Glycols

Description

Clear, colorless, syrupy, odorless liquid. [antifreeze] [Note: A solid below 9 degrees F.]; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used in antifreeze and deicing solutions for cars, boats, and aircraft; also used as a solvent for paints, plastics, photographic developing solutions, coolants, hydraulic fluids, and inks; [ATSDR ToxFAQs] Highest risk for exposure in deicing aircraft and runways; [Reference #2]

Comments

Ethylene glycol is a skin irritant and a poison by ingestion. No health effects have been reported in persons chronically exposed to levels of ethylene glycol found in the environment. [ATSDR Case Studies #30] "Toxic inhalation of ethylene glycol is unlikely at room temperature because of the chemical's low volatility, but can occur when the liquid is heated, agitated, or sprayed." Toxicity after ingestion includes inebriation, metabolic acidosis, and renal failure. [ATSDR Medical Management] Low toxicity by the dermal route; "The acute toxic effects of EG in laboratory animals an humans can include narcotic effects, metabolic acidosis and renal toxicity." Exposure below 1000 mg/kg/day results in developmental toxicity in animals only by oral route and only after rapid bolus; [Reference #2] Ethylene glycol is not significantly absorbed through the skin. Poisoning after inhalation exposure is "unlikely." [Ford, p. 758] Combined osmolar and anion gaps suggest poisoning by methanol or ethylene glycol, but also may occur in severe alcoholic ketoacidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis. [Olson, p. 33-4] A skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant; May cause effects on the kidneys and CNS; [ICSC] Causes acute tubular necrosis after ingestion but not after occupational exposures because of low vapor pressure; [Rosenstock, p. 1006]

Reference Link

ATSDR Medical Management - Ethylene glycol

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

Ceiling (ACGIH)

100 mg/m3

MAK

26 mg/m3

Vapor Pressure

0.09 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

0.08 mg/m3

Odor Threshold High

25 mg/m3

Lethal Concentration

LC (rat) > 200 mg/m3/4h

Explanatory Notes

Flash point = 232 deg F; Odor thresholds from CHEMINFO; See "2014 Notice of Intended Changes." [TLVs and BEIs]

Half Life

Serum: 2-3 hours; not detectable in urine or tissues after 24-48 hours (metabolites present for longer periods); [TDR, p. 659]

Reference Link

OECD SIDS: Ethylene Glycols - 2004

Flammability (NFPA)

1: Must be preheated

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

Other CNS Neurotoxin

ACGIH Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

Search PubMed

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: