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  • Ethers

1991

CIS 92-746 2,3-Epoxy-1-propanol
International chemical safety card. Synonym: glycidol. Short term exposure effects: skin absorption; irritation of skin, eyes and respiratory tract; neurotoxic effects (central nervous system). Long term exposure effects: dermatitis; skin sensitisation; neurotoxic effects (central nervous system); possibly carcinogenic in humans.
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1991. 2p.

CIS 92-742 Ethylene oxide
International chemical safety card. Short term exposure effects: skin absorption; irritation of eyes, skin and respiratory tract, pulmonary oedema; skin burns; frostbite; cataract (delayed effects). Long term exposure effects: dermatitis; skin sensitisation; neurotoxic effects; probably carcinogenic in humans; may cause genetic damage and impair female fertility.
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1991. 2p.

CIS 92-739 Diphenylol propane diglycidyl ether
International chemical safety card. Short term exposure effects: skin absorption; irritation of eyes and skin; neurotoxic effects. Long term exposure effects: dermatitis; skin sensitisation; asthma.
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1991. 2p.

CIS 92-408 Diethylene glycol diglycidyl ether
International chemical safety card. Short-term exposure effects: skin absorption; irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Long-term exposure effect: dermatitis; skin sensitisation.
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1991. 2p.

CIS 92-407 Di(2,3-Epoxypropyl)ether
International chemical safety card. Short-term exposure effects: skin absorption; irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Long-term exposure effects: dermatitis; skin sensitisation; may impair male fertility.
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1991. 2p.

CIS 92-398 o-Cresyl glycidyl ether
International chemical safety card. Short-term exposure effects: skin absorption; irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Long-term exposure effects: dermatitis; skin sensitisation.
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1991. 2p.

CIS 92-518 Jolanki R.
Occupational skin diseases from epoxy compounds - Epoxy resin compounds, epoxy acrylates and 2,3-epoxypropyl trimethyl ammonium chloride
This thesis is based on a survey of the literature and on investigations carried out between 1974 and 1990. Of a total of 3,731 patients examined for suspected occupational skin disease 142 (7.7%) had conditions caused by epoxy compounds (mostly, epoxy paints and their raw materials, epoxy resin compounds used in electrical insulation and epoxy glues). The study also found that contact allergy to epoxy hardeners and reactive diluents was common. It is concluded that all compounds containing an epoxy group, epoxy acrylates or polyamine hardeners include a sensitisation risk, the highest risk being associated with the handling of products in the liquid form. The thesis also reprints 10 articles on the subject that appeared in the scientific literature between 1986 and 1991.
Acta dermato-venereologica, 1991, (Suppl. 159), 162p. 189 ref.

CIS 92-47 n-Butyl glycidyl ether
International chemical safety card. Short-term exposure effects: skin absorption; irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract; neurotoxic effects. Long-term exposure effects: dermatitis, skin sensitisation; pulmonary diseases; male antifertility effects.
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1991. 2p.

CIS 92-41 1,4-Butanediol diglycidyl ether
International chemical safety card. Short-term exposure effects: skin absorption; irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract; pulmonary oedema; neurotoxic effects. Long-term exposure effects: dermatitis; skin sensitisation.
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1991. 2p.

CIS 92-28 Allyl glycidyl ether
International chemical safety card. Short-term exposure effects: skin absorption; corrosive to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract; pulmonary oedema; neurotoxic effects (central nervous system). Long-term exposure effects: dermatitis; skin sensitisation; risk of genetic and male antifertility effects.
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1991. 2p.

CIS 91-1788 Dicloroetil éter
Chemical safety data sheet published by the Consejo Interamericano de Seguridad, 33 Park Place, Englewood, NJ 07631, USA. This data sheet is an adaptation in Spanish of the corresponding data sheet from the NIOSH publication "Occupational Safety and Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards" (DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 89-104).
Noticias de seguridad, 1991, Vol.52, No.6, 4p. Insert.

CIS 91-1926 Szopinski F.G., Puskar M.A., Hecker L.H.
Field validation of three passive dosimeters for excursion limit monitoring of ethylene oxide
The 3 ethylene oxide excursion limit (EtO EL) dosimeters tested were: 3 M 3550/3551, Crystal Diagnostics Air Scan, and Assay Technology EO CHEM CHIP. A specially designed field exposure chamber exposed 12 dosimeters of each type concurrently at each sampling location while collecting 6 Tedlar bag samples from locations surrounding the dosimeter array. The bag samples were analysed on-site by gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection (GC-FID). Using the Tedlar bag/GC-FID sample data to calculate the "actual concentration" during exposure of the dosimeters, the precision, bias, and accuracy were calculated for each method at exposures bracketing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) EL. The Assay Technology method did not meet the OSHA accuracy requirement at any concentration level studied. The Crystal Diagnostics method did not meet the requirement at EtO concentrations above 2.12ppm. The 3 M method was analysed by the manufacturer and by an outside laboratory. The latter samples did not meet the requirement at concentrations below 9.41ppm.
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, Apr.1991, Vol.52, No.4, p.151-157. 15 ref.

CIS 91-1925 Puskar M.A., Szopinski F.G., Hecker L.H.
Development and validation of a protocol for field validation of passive dosimeters for ethylene oxide excursion limit monitoring
The protocol uses a field exposure chamber with concurrent sampling using Tedlar air-sampling bags. The bags are analysed after sampling by gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection (GC-FID). The chamber design allows all dosimeters to be exposed at the same time in the field. The sampling and analysis procedure determines the actual concentration of ethylene oxide (EtO) present during the dosimeter's exposure, and estimates if EtO concentrations vary from point to point in the dosimeter array during the exposure. In chamber operation, the accuracy of the standard generator used to calibrate the GC-FID was independently verified in the field by the standard additions method. The study reports the sampling biases and estimates the stability of collected EtO samples in Tedlar bags.
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, Apr.1991, Vol.52, No.4, p.145-150. Illus. 10 ref.

CIS 91-1672 Bickley A.M.
Safety and Reliability Directorate
Calculations of the effect of thermal radiation on a vessel containing propylene oxide
This report gives details of the data used in calculations to find probable times to failure for a spherical vessel containing propylene oxide, subjected to incident thermal radiation from a distant pool fire of 38kW/m2 at the nearest point. Calculations were made using the ENGULF computer code and showed that for a 100,000kg mass of propylene oxide the tank would still be intact after nearly 14 hours.
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Wigshaw Lane, Culcheth, Warrington WA3 4NE, United Kingdom, 1991. 9p. 10 ref.

CIS 91-1479 García Herrera A., Puig Troncoso J.
Oxido de etileno: Riesgos y medidas de prevención en las operaciones de esterilización
Training manual and information note. Contents: properties and uses of ethylene oxide (EO); effects on health; medical surveillance of workers exposed to EO; fire and explosion hazards; chemical reactivity of EO; exposure limits (40-hr ACGIH limit adapted to a Chilean work-week of 48hrs: 0.8ppm = 1.4mg/m3); use of EO in sterilisation (environmental factors, gas concentration, stages of the sterilisation process, ventilation, consequences of insufficient ventilation); preventive methods, first aid and emergencies.
Asociación Chilena de Seguridad, Casilla 14565, Correo Central, Santiago, Chile, Aug. 1991. 40p. Illus. 25 ref.

1990

CIS 94-647 Imbriani M., Ghittori S., Pezzagno G., Capodaglio E.
Occupational exposure to inhalation anaesthetics: Metabolism, toxicity, monitoring
Esposizione professionale ad anestetici per inalazione: Metabolismo, tossicità, monitoraggio [en italiano]
This review monograph covers the problems of occupational exposure to inhalation anaesthetics in a hospital setting. The principal substances concerned are enflurane (ethrane), halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane and nitrous oxide. Examined are: metabolism of these substances; health effects of exposure; environmental and biological monitoring; correlations between environmental and biological levels; environmental and biological exposure limits; health surveillance. In annex: technical notes on the determination in air and in urine of volatile anaesthetics; other chemical contaminants in the hospital environment; use of Equivalent Biological Limits in longitudinal studies.
Fondazione Clinica del Lavoro, IRCCS, Via Severino Boezio, 24-26, 27100 Pavia, Italy, 1990. 95p + 20p. annex. Illus. 202 ref.

CIS 93-1156 Oxido de etileno en hospitales
The use for sterilisation purposes of ethylene oxide (EO) is analysed from various points of view: adequate design of locales; types of equipment; correct installation of equipment; methods of work where EO is used; environmental controls; gas detection apparatus; personal protection; emergency plans.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, C/Torrelaguna, 73 - 28027 Madrid, Spain, ca.1990. Videotape (17min).

CIS 93-426 Ethylene oxide handling in hospital
Ethylenoxid im Krankenhaus [en alemán]
Safety guide intended to hospital workers handling ethylene oxide. Contents: identification and hazard classification, chemical and toxicological properties, sterilisation processes, safe work practices, periodic control and maintenance of the installations, storage of containers, fire prevention, first aid.
Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Abteilung für Unfallverhütung und Berufskrankheitenbekämpfung, Adalbert-Stifter-Strasse 65, 1200 Wien, Austria, 1990. 12p. Illus.

CIS 91-1640 Payne M.P., Delic J.I., Bell G.M.
Ammonia; 1-Chloro-2,3-epoxypropane (Epichlorohydrin); Carcinogenicity of cadmium and its compounds
Toxicity review of ammonia (NH3): main effect is concentration-dependent irritation or corrosion of mucous membranes; at concentrations above 1000ppm NH3 may be lethal in animals; chronic exposure at 100ppm or more may produce severe lesions in animals; in humans accidental exposure to high concentrations (>200ppm) may lead to severe respiratory tract, lung and eye damage and even death; at <200ppm reported effects in humans include skin, eye and upper respiratory tract irritation; no clear evidence of genotoxic, carcinogenic or embryotoxic effects. Toxicity review of 1-chloro-2,3-epoxypropane (epichlorohydrin, ECH), a colourless, volatile liquid at room temperature with a chloroform-like odour: moderate toxicity and irritation effects, with little or no evidence for genotoxic, carcinogenic or reproductive effects. Carcinogenicity review of cadmium and its compounds (update of a previous review, see CIS 84-505): though cadmium fume and aerosols can be highly toxic, there is no conclusive evidence of an association between cadmium exposure and cancer.
HMSO Books, P.O. Box 276, London SW8 5DT, United Kingdom, 1990. 12p. + 30p. + 14p. 90 + 122 + 26 ref. Price: GBP 9.00.

CIS 91-1250
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Toxicological profile for ethylene oxide
The main health effects following inhalation exposure are central nervous system depression and irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes. Dermal contact results in skin burns, and corneal burns and cataracts have also been reported. Ethylene oxide is clearly a carcinogen in animals, and human epidemiological studies have shown limited evidence of carcinogenic effects in occupationally exposed populations. Adverse reproductive effects have been observed in animal studies but there is no clear evidence of these in humans. Glossary.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA, Dec. 1990. 109p. Illus. 276 ref.

CIS 91-905 Tsai S.P., Cowles S.R., Tackett D.L., Barclay M.T., Ross C.E.
Morbidity prevalence study of workers with potential exposure to epichlorohydrin
This study examined the morbidity experience from 1981 to 1988 of two cohorts (Shell and Enterline) of workers who had potential exposure to epichlorohydrin (ECH). For both cohorts, the standardised morbidity ratios (SMRs) for all causes and all neoplasms were similar to an internal comparison group. There were no increases in heart disease morbidity for either of the cohorts. Morbidity from skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders, however, was found to be significantly increased in the Shell cohort. A review of the original morbidity reports for each case suggested that factors unrelated to exposure to ECH may be of greater importance than exposure to ECH.
British Journal of Industrial Medicine, June 1990, Vol.47, No.6, p.392-399. 8 ref.

CIS 91-383 Epichlorohydrin
International chemical safety card. Danger symbols: toxic. Short term exposure effects: skin absorption; corrosive to eyes, skin and respiratory tract; pulmonary oedema; neurotoxic effects (central nervous system). Long term exposure effects: dermatitis; skin sensitisation; asthma; may have effects on kidneys, liver, adrenals and reproductive system; probably carcinogenic in humans; may cause heritable genetic damage; temporary male antifertility effects. EC identification number and labelling codes: 603-026-00-6; T; R45-10-23/24/25-34-43; S53-9-44. United Nations number and hazard class: UN 2023 (6.1: II).
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1990. 2p. Illus.

CIS 91-381 1,4-Dioxane
International chemical safety card. Danger symbols: highly flammable, harmful. Short term exposure effects: irritation of skin, eyes and respiratory tract; chemical pneumonitis; neurotoxic effects (central nervous system). Long term exposure effects: dermatitis; brain; hepatic and renal damage; suspected human carcinogen. EC identification number and labelling codes: 603-024-00-5; F, Xn; R11-36/37-40; S16-36/37. United Nations number and hazard class: UN 1165 (3.2; II).
Official Publications of the European Communities, 2985 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), World Health Organization, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 1990. 2p. Illus.

CIS 91-546 Deschamps D., Leport M., Laurent A.M., Cordier S., Festy B., Conso F.
Toxicity of ethylene oxide on the lens and on leucocytes: an epidemiological study in hospital sterilisation installations
An epidemiological study was conducted in 55 subjects (mean age: 41) in hospitals to determine the prevalence of lens opacities and cataracts in workers exposed to ethylene oxide in six sterilisation units. The relation between occupational exposure to ethylene oxide and white blood cell concentrations was also investigated. Lens opacities were observed in 19 of the 55 exposed. No link was found between the characteristics of the lens opacities and the characteristics of exposure. For cataracts, their prevalence differed significantly between the exposed (six of 21) and the non-exposed (0 of 16); there was no relation between their existence and overexposures. The risk of lens opacifications by ethylene oxide could also exist during chronic exposure to low concentrations. Linear relations were found between the logarithm of the cumulative exposure index and the logarithms of blood concentrations of polymorphoneutrophils.
British Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 1990, Vol.47, No.5, p.308-313. Illus. 13 ref.

CIS 91-563 Delic J.I., Fairhurst S.
Health and Safety Executive
Bis(chloromethyl)ether
Literature review of data on the identity of bis(chloromethyl)ether (BCME) and its toxicity in animals and man. Data on the acute toxic effects of BCME in man are sparse. It is highly irritating and corrosive to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract and can be fatal when inhaled. Several studies have clearly indicated an excess incidence of lung cancer among workers with potential occupational exposure to BCME. It is therefore considered to be a human carcinogen.
HMSO Books, P.O. Box 276, London SW8 5DT, United Kingdom, 1990. 38p. 81 ref. Price: GBP 7.25.

CIS 91-202 Klees J.E., Lash A., Bowler R.M., Shore M., Becker C.E.
Neuropsychologic "impairment" in a cohort of hospital workers chronically exposed to ethylene oxide
Ethylene oxide is widely used to sterilise heat-sensitive materials. Acute and chronic neurogenic effects to the central and peripheral nervous system in man and animals have been described. A cross-sectional study of 25 hospital central sypply workers exposed to low levels of ethylene oxide and 24 unexposed control workers was conducted. Subjects were tested with a neuropsychological screening battery by examiners blinded to exposure status. Results were reviewed independently by 2 neuropsychologists without knowledge of exposure. Subject status was categorized as normal, "impaired," or disagreement (between the two neuropsychologists). There were more subjects concordantly judged as impaired in the exposed group than in the control group. Although limited by the cross-sectional study design and the global categorisation, these findings suggest that central nervous system dysfunction and cognitive impairment may result from chronic ethylene oxide exposure in hospital central sypply units.
Clinical Toxicology, 1990, Vol.28, No.1, p.21-28. 9 ref.

CIS 91-201 Estrin W.J., Bowler R.M., Lash A., Becker C.E.
Neurotoxicological evaluation of hospital sterilizer workers exposed to ethylene oxide
Ethylene oxide is used to chemically sterilise heat-sensitive materials in hospitals. Neurotoxic effects of ethylene oxide have been described in animals and humans; cognitive deficits may be associated with chronic low-level ethylene oxide exposure. In this study, hospital workers with chronic ethylene oxide exposure were compared with a non-exposed control group to detect neurological and neuropsychological abnormalities. Ethylene oxide breathing zone levels of up to 250ppm in exposed subjects were reported. The exposed group had lower P300 amplitude in electroencephalographic (EEG) tests, bilaterally hypoactive distal deep tendon reflexes and poorer performance on neuropsychological tests involving psychomotor speed. Exposed subjects acknowledged more symptoms and higher levels of depression and anxiety. Nerve conduction velocities and EEG spectral analysis were similar in both exposed and control groups as were scores on most psychological tests. Thus, ethylene oxide should be considered in a differential diagnosis of neuropsychological, peripheral and central nervous system dysfunction in workplace settings associated with ethylene oxide exposure.
Clinical Toxicology, 1990, Vol.28, No.1, p.1-20. 28 ref.

CIS 90-1288 Enterline P.E., Henderson V., Marsh G.
Mortality of workers potentially exposed to epichlorohydrin
An epidemiological study was undertaken to determine whether the animal carcinogen, epichlorohydrin (ECH), produces cancer in man. A total of 863 workers with probable exposure to ECH at 2 chemical plants during 1948-65 were followed up for deaths up to 1983. Twenty years or more after first exposure the all-cancer SMR was 112.2 (22 deaths) and the SMR for leukaemia was 500.0 (3 deaths), which is statistically significant. All cancer, leukaemia, and most other causes of death were related to estimated levels of exposure to ECH, except violence. The most consistent (both plants) relation was between exposure level and heart disease. Overall, the heart disease SMR 20 years or more after 1st exposure was 39.2 (5 deaths) for low exposure and 105.4 (17 deaths) for high exposure. Limited evidence of a cardiovascular disease relation to ECH production in 1 other epidemiological study is supported by this study. Allyl chloride used in the production of ECH may play a part. The relation of heart disease and exposure does not appear to be an artifact, although the fact that many other causes of death were also related to exposure argues against a causal relation.
British Journal of Industrial Medicine, Apr. 1990, Vol.47, No.4, p.269-276. 23 ref.

CIS 90-1287 Greenberg H.L., Ott M.G., Shore R.E.
Men assigned to ethylene oxide production or other ethylene oxide related chemical manufacturing: A mortality study
Retrospective cohort study on 2174 men employed between 1940 and 1978 by a large chemical company, who had been assigned to a chemical production department that used or produced ethylene oxide (EO). Comparisons were made with the general US population, the regional population, and with a group of 26,965 unexposed men from the same plants. Comparisons with general US deaths rates showed fewer deaths than expected in the EO group due to all causes and for total cancers. Seven deaths each due to leukaemia and pancreatic cancer were observed with 3.0 and 4.1 deaths expected. The relative risk of death due to each disease was strongly related to duration of assignments to that department. When men who worked in the chlorohydrin department were excluded, there was no evidence for an association of exposure to EO with pancreatic cancer or leukaemia. Together with the failure to show independent EO associations, the chlorohydrin department results suggest that leukaemia and pancreatic cancer may have been associated primarily with production of ethylene chlorohydrin or propylene chlorohydrin, or both.
British Journal of Industrial Medicine, Apr. 1990, Vol.47, No.4, p.221-230. 44 ref.

CIS 90-940 Kiesselbach N., Ulm K., Lange H.J., Korallus U.
A multicentre mortality study of workers exposed to ethylene oxide
The cohort consisted of 2,658 men from 8 chemical plants of 6 chemical companies in the Federal Republic of Germany who had been exposed to ethylene oxide for at least 1 year between 1928 and 1981. By the closing date of the study (31 Dec. 1982) 268 had died, 68 from malignant neoplasms. For 63 employees who had left the plant (2.4%) the vital status remained unknown. The standardised mortality ratio (SMR) for all causes of death was 0.87 and for all malignancies 0.97 compared with national rates. When local state rates were used the SMRs were slightly lower. Two deaths from leukaemia were observed compared with 2.35 expected. SMRs for carcinoma of the oesophagus (2.0) and carcinoma of the stomach (1.38) were raised but not significantly. In 1 plant an internal "control group" was selected matched for age, sex, and date of entry into the factory and compared with the exposed group. In both groups a "healthy worker effect" was observed. The total mortality and mortality from malignant neoplasms was higher in the exposed than in the control group; the differences were not statistically significant.
British Journal of Industrial Medicine, Mar. 1990, Vol.47, No.3, p.182-188. Illus. 22 ref.

CIS 90-419 Clorometil metil éter
Chemical safety information sheet published by the Consejo Interamericano de Seguridad, 33 Park Place, Englewood, NJ 07631, USA. Exposure limit: none established; ACGIH A2 carcinogen. Toxicity: powerful irritant to skin, eyes and mucous membranes; pulmonary oedema; lung cancer.
Noticias de seguridad, Mar. 1990, Vol.52, No.3, 5p. Insert.

1989

CIS 91-1616 Deschamps D., Laurent A.M., Festy B., Conso F.
Study of six ethylene oxide sterilisation installations of Paris public hospitals
Etude de six installations de stérilisation à l'oxyde d'éthylène à l'Assistance publique de Paris [en francés]
The technical characteristics of 6 ethylene oxide sterilisation installations were studied by occupational physicians who also noted the occasional overexposures of 55 exposed workers. Static atmosphere samples and personal samples were analysed according to the AFNOR standard. Ethylene oxide concentrations determined in air samples taken at these installations varied between 0.06-2.8ppm; personal samples varied between 0.2-39ppm; the exposure limit for occupational exposure of 10ppm was exceeded in 2 units (27 and 39ppm). The high levels of exposure in these 2 units seemed to be related to the absence of rinsing after the sterilisation cycle, the use of CO2 as the diluting gas (necessitating high pressures) and the smallness of the premises.
Archives des maladies professionnelles, 1989, Vol.50, No.7, p.641-649. Illus. 14 ref.

CIS 91-1232 Bruze M., Almgren G.
Occupational dermatoses in workers exposed to epoxy-impregnated fiberglass fabric
In a plant producing printed circuit boards 84 of 143 employees complained of dermatoses. Of these 79 were examined by patch tests with products from the work environment. In 35 (22%) evidence of occupational dermatoses was found. Contact allergy to bisphenol A diglycidyl ether was diagnosed in six persons.
Dermatosen, 1989, Vol.37, No.5, p.171-176. Illus. 18 ref.

CIS 91-1115
National Board of Labour Protection (Finland)
Ethylene oxide
Translation into English of the chemical safety information sheet described in CIS 87-818. Ethylene oxide is an extremely flammable, very toxic gas (LD50 = 330mg/kg; TLV = 90mg/m3). The gas is very irritating to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes. It causes coughing, nausea, vertigo, eczema and damage to the eyes. The liquid can cause chemical burns. The gas is very explosive. Mandatory European labelling: F, T, R13, R26, S9, S16, S33, S45.
International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre (CIS), International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 1989. 2p.

CIS 91-771
National Board of Labour Protection (Finland)
Propylene oxide
Translation into English of the chemical safety information sheet described in CIS 87-854. Propylene oxide is a harmful, flammable liquid (LD50 = 1140mg/kg, TLV 8h = 100ppm). The vapour irritates the skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Inhalation has narcotic effects. The liquid is an irritant. Forms extremely flammable compounds with air. Mandatory European labelling: F, Xn, R12, R20, R21, R22, S9, S16, S26, S29.
International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre (CIS), International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 1989. 2p.

CIS 91-164 Szadkowski D.
New problems at workplaces arising from the combination of familiar substances with new production methods
Neue Probleme bei der Kombination bekannter Arbeitsstoffe mit neuen Arbeitstechniken [en alemán]
New technologies can pose new problems as is illustrated by the production of semiconductors. Workers are exposed to 60 different gaseous pollutants in clean rooms with about 43 air exchanges per hour. Experimental studies are being conducted to gain information on the harmfulness of that exposure. As an example, preliminary results of the exposure of rabbits to various mixtures of 1,1,2-trichloroethane and 1,4-dioxane are summarised. They reveal a dependence of enzyme activity on the mixing ratio and on the duration of exposure.
Information für den Betriebsarzt, 1989, No.3, p.2-5. Illus. 14 ref.

CIS 91-224 NIOSH Current Intelligence Bulletin No.51 - Carcinogenic effects of exposure to propylene oxide
This document summarises results of animal studies which demonstrate that propylene oxide is a direct-acting carcinogen. Human health effects of propylene oxide exposure include corneal burns, contact dermatitis, and a reduced capacity to repair DNA lesions. Epidemiological data are not available for workers exposed to propylene oxide, but as a result of findings of cancer and other tumors in experimental animals, NIOSH recommends that propylene oxide be considered a potential occupational carcinogen. Guidelines are given for minimising worker exposure including exposure monitoring, and control measures such as product substitution, use of closed systems and ventilation, worker isolation, provision of personal protective equipment, decontamination and adequate waste disposal methods.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA, July 1989. 14p. 53 ref.

CIS 90-1125 Ethylene oxide
Oxyde d'éthylène [en francés]
Chemical hazard summary. Toxicity: strong irritation of eyes, skin and respiratory tract; cataracts; pulmonary oedema; chemical burns; dermatitis; neurotoxic effects (peripheral nerves); suspected human carcinogen (leukaemia, stomach cancer).
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 250 Main Street East, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 1H6, Canada, 1989. 12p. 23 ref.

CIS 90-1292 Törnqvist M.Å., Almberg J.G., Bergmark E.N., Nilsson S., Osterman-Golkar S.M.
Ethylene oxide doses in ethene-exposed fruit store workers
Blood samples from 10 ethene-exposed fruit store workers and 10 referents were analysed for the level of hydroxyethyl adducts to N-terminal valine in haemoglobin (Hb). A statistically significant difference was obtained between the nonsmoking workers (N=7) and the nonsmoking referents (N=6). This finding demonstrates that ethene is metabolised to ethylene oxide in man. According to this preliminary study, ethene exposure at 0.3 (uncertainly range 0.1-1) ppm during workhours increases the adduct level by 23pmol/g Hb. This figure is compatible with a metabolic conversion of 3% (1-10%) of the inhaled ethene to ethylene oxide.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Dec. 1989, Vol.15, No.6, p.436-438. 17 ref.

CIS 90-1316 NIOSH Current Intelligence Bulletin 520 - Ethylene oxide sterilizers in health care facilities - Engineering controls and work practices
NIOSH recommended in 1981 that ethylene oxide be regarded as a potential occupational carcinogen and that appropriate controls be used to reduce worker exposure. This bulletin identifies potential sources of ethylene oxide exposure from gas sterilisers in health care facilities and describes recommended control measures. Exposure sources from both automatic general purpose sterilisers and sterilisers using glass ampules are described, together with specific control methods. General control methods include provision of adequate maintenance procedures, routine monitoring of the steriliser and the work environment, respiratory protection and labelling and posting of hazards. A table shows the NIOSH recommended respiratory protection for ethylene oxide at various concentrations.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Standards Development and Technology Transfer, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA, July 1989. 12p. Illus.

CIS 90-1304
Werkgroep van Deskundigen ter vaststelling van MAC-waarden (Dutch Expert Committee for Occupational Standards)
Report on a health-based occupational exposure limit for ethylene oxide
Rapport inzake grenswaarde ethyleenoxide [en holandés]
This report contains data on ethylene oxide: chemical and physical properties, occurrence and applications, environmental and biological monitoring, toxicokinetics; toxicity; current exposure limits in the Netherlands and other countries. In view of the genotoxic effects of ethylene oxide, no advice could be given on an occupational exposure level that would prevent all health hazards. Using a linear model of extrapolation the risk of cancer is calculated for various exposure levels (exposure during the whole working life): exposure level of 0.5ppm (8h TWA): risk 4 x 10-3; exposure level of 12.5ppb: risk 1 x 10-4; exposure level of 0.125ppb: risk 1 x 10-6.
Department of Social Affairs and Employment, Directorate-General of Labour (Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid, Directoraat-Generaal van de Arbeid), Postbus 69, 2270 MA Voorburg, Netherlands, 1989. 21p. 9 ref.

CIS 90-959 Mortimer V.D., Kercher S.L.
Control technology for ethylene oxide sterilization in hospitals
In this study nine steriliser control systems were evaluated in 8 hospitals in the USA. Three emission sources accounted for most of the ethylene oxide released into the environment: release from the air gap at the connection of the drain to the pump outlet; opening of the steriliser door at the completion of a cycle; load transfer procedures. Exposures can be controlled to a ceiling limit of 5ppm and to average less than 0.1ppm for a full shift. In-chamber aeration substantially eliminates any exposure and is considered the best control. Other control measures include cycle modification, local ventilation above the steriliser door, a ventilated enclosure around the drain and general ventilation.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA, Sep. 1989. 167p. Illus. Bibl.

CIS 90-564 Gardner M.J., Coggon D., Pannett B., Harris E.C.
Workers exposed to ethylene oxide: a follow up study
A cohort study has been carried out of 2876 men and women employees from four companies that have produced or used ethylene oxide since the 1950s and from eight hospitals which have had ethylene oxide sterilising units since the 1960s. Industrial hygiene data were not available before 1977, but since then time weighted average exposures have been less than 5ppm in almost all jobs and less than 1ppm in many. Past exposures were probably somewhat higher. In contrast to some previous studies, no clear excess of leukaemia (three deaths observed, 2.09 expected) and no increase in stomach cancer (five deaths observed, 5.95 expected) were found. This discrepancy with earlier reports may be due in part to differences in levels of exposure. Total cancer mortality was similar to that expected from national and local death rates. Some specific cancers showed small excesses but their relevance to ethylene oxide exposure is doubtful. Again, contrary to some earlier reports, no excess of cardiovascular disease was found.
British Journal of Industrial Medicine, Dec. 1989, Vol.46, No.12, p.860-865. 10 ref.

CIS 90-579 Jungwirth H.
Residues on thermally unstable materials - Ethylene oxide, a danger to the patient and to personnel
Rückstände auf thermolabilen Materialien - Ethylenoxid, eine Gefahr für Patient und Personal [en alemán]
Disinfection of plastic hospital equipment (e.g. endoscopes) with ethylene oxide does not always remove all pathogens. In addition, residual concentrations of ethylene oxide far in excess of the recommended value may remain on the equipment, as is shown by several examples. Therefore, it is recommended to sterilise plastic equipment using high-energy radiation.
Krankenhaustechnik, Oct. 1989, Vol.15, No.10, p.42-44. Illus.

CIS 89-1121 Ethylene oxide
Oxyde d'éthylène [en francés]
Chemical safety information sheet. Exposure limits (France, 1982): TWA = 10mg/m3; ceiling value = 20mg/m3. Extremely flammable gas. Acute toxicity: irritation of skin, eyes and respiratory tract; gastrointestinal and neurological disorders; delayed chemical burns. Chronic toxicity: genetic abnormalities; adverse effects on pregnancy. EEC identification number and labelling codes: No. 603-023-00-X; F+, T; R45, R46, R13, R23, R36/37/38, S53, S3/7/9, S16, S33, S44.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, 1989. 5p. Bibl.

CIS 89-1120 1,4-Dioxane
1,4-Dioxanne [en francés]
Chemical safety information sheet. Exposure limits (France, 1985): TWA = 35mg/m3; ceiling limit = 140mg/m3. Acute toxicity: skin absorption; strong irritation of eyes and respiratory tract. Chronic toxicity: hepatic and renal damage; carcinogenic in experimental animals. EEC identification number and labelling codes: No. 603-024-00-5; Xn, F; R11, R19, R36/37, R40, S16, S36/37.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, 1989. 4p. Bibl.

1988

CIS 90-1126 Ethylene oxide, potential human carcinogen
Chemical safety information sheet taken from the newly revised edition of the NIOSH publication "Occupational Safety and Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards". Exposure limits: OSHA PEL (8h-TWA) = 2mg/m3; NIOSH REL (10min ceiling value) = 9mg/m3; ACGIH TLV (8h-TWA; A2 carcinogen) = 2mg/m3. Odour threshold = 430ppm. Toxicity: irritation of skin, eyes and respiratory tract; neurotoxic effects (peripheral nerves); chemical burns; skin sensitisation; dermatitis; stomach cancer; leukaemia; miscarriage.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Divison of Standards Development and Technology Transfer, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati OH 45226, USA, 1988. 6p.

CIS 90-1123 1,4-Dioxane
1,4-Dioksan [en polonés]
Chemical safety information sheet. Exposure limit (Poland) = 10mg/m3.
Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy, 1 Ul. Tamka, 00-349 Warszawa 30, Poland, 1988. 2p.

CIS 90-731 bis-Chloromethyl ether, potential human carcinogen
Chemical safety information sheet taken from the newly revised edition of the NIOSH publication "Occupational Safety and Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards". Exposure limits: ACGIH TLV (8h-TWA, A1 carcinogen) = 0.005mg/m3. Toxicity: confirmed human carcinogen; lung cancer; highly irritating to skin, eyes and respiratory tract; pulmonary oedema; chemical burns.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Standards Development and Technology Transfer, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA, 1988. 6p. Bibl.

CIS 90-547 Van Joost T.
Occupational sensitisation to epichlorohydrin and epoxy resin
Sensitisation to epichlorohydrin (ECH) is reported in 6 patients with occupational contact allergy. In 2 cases, an isolated positive test to ECH was found. In the remaining 4 cases, concomitant positive reactions were seen to "EDCRG epoxy resin" (MW 385) and to liquid epoxy resin (MW 370). Allergy to bisphenol A was not seen in the patients. Five patients worked in an epoxy resin plant. Adequate preventive measures to avoid skin contact with ECH are required to prevent ECH sensitisation becoming a more serious industrial hazard.
Contact Dermatitis, Oct. 1988, Vol.19, No.4, p.278-280. 9 ref.

CIS 90-420 Chloromethyl methyl ether, potential human carcinogen
Chemical safety information sheet taken from the newly revised edition of the NIOSH publication "Occupational Safety and Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards". Toxicity: irritation and chemical burns (skin, eyes, mucous membranes); pulmonary oedema; pneumonia; lung cancer (ACGIH: A2 carcinogen).
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Standards Development and Technology Transfer, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati OH 45226, USA, 1988. 6p. Bibl.

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