Agent Name

Ethane

CAS Number

74-84-0

Formula

C2-H6

Major Category

Toxic Gases & Vapors

Synonyms

Bimethyl; Dimethyl; Ethane; Ethyl hydride; Methylmethane; [ChemIDplus] UN1035; UN1961

Category

Simple Asphyxiants

Description

Colorless, odorless gas; [Merck Index]

Sources/Uses

Used to produce chlorinated derivatives; Used as a refrigerant and fuel gas; (Bottled gas is about 5% ethane, 5% butane, and 90% propane.) [Merck Index]

Comments

The "Critical Effects" for aliphatic hydrocarbon gases are CNS depression and cardiac sensitization. "From a toxicologic standpoint, methane and ethane are practically inert; however, at very high concentrations, they act as a simple asphyxiant and can cause suffocation by displacement of oxygen from breathing atmosphere, below the critical level of 16% oxygen that is required to sustain life." [ACGIH] Simple asphyxiant; Causes narcosis at high concentrations; [Merck Index] Evaporating liquid can cause frostbite; [ICSC]

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

No

Explanatory Notes

Flash point = -211 deg F; See "Appendix F: Minimal Oxygen Content." A simple asphyxiant and explosion hazard; [TLVs and BEIs]

Flammability (NFPA)

4: Burns readily

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

CNS Solvent Syndrome

Other Poison

Simple Asphyxiant

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

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Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: