International Chemical Safety Cards

ETHYLENE OXIDE ICSC: 0155
ETHYLENE OXIDE
1,2-Epoxyethane
Oxirane
Dimethylene oxide
(cylinder)
C2H4O
Molecular mass: 44.1
CAS # 75-21-8
RTECS # KX2450000
ICSC # 0155
UN # 1040
EC # 603-023-00-X

TYPES OF
HAZARD/
EXPOSURE
ACUTE HAZARDS/
SYMPTOMS
PREVENTION FIRST AID/
FIRE FIGHTING
FIRE Extremely flammable.
NO open flames, NO sparks, and NO smoking.
Shut off supply; if not possible and no risk to surroundings, let the fire burn itself out; in other cases extinguish with powder, alcohol-resistant foam, water spray, carbon dioxide.
EXPLOSION Gas/air mixtures are explosive. Risk of fire and explosion as a result of violent decomposition when heated.
Closed system, ventilation, explosion-proof electrical equipment and lighting. Use non-sparking handtools.
In case of fire: keep cylinder cool by spraying with water. Combat fire from a sheltered position.
EXPOSURE
STRICT HYGIENE! AVOID ALL CONTACT!
IN ALL CASES CONSULT A DOCTOR!
  • INHALATION
  • Cough. Dizziness. Drowsiness. Headache. Nausea. Sore throat. Vomiting. Weakness Symptoms may be delayed (see Notes).
    Closed system and ventilation.
    Fresh air, rest. Half-upright position. Refer for medical attention.
  • SKIN
  • MAY BE ABSORBED! Dry skin. Redness. Burning sensation. Pain. Blisters. ON CONTACT WITH LIQUID: FROSTBITE.
    Protective gloves. Cold-insulating gloves. Protective clothing.
    Remove contaminated clothes. ON FROSTBITE: rinse with plenty of water, do NOT remove clothes. Rinse skin with plenty of water or shower. Refer for medical attention.
  • EYES
  • Redness. Pain. Blurred vision.
    Eye protection in combination with breathing protection.
    First rinse with plenty of water for several minutes (remove contact lenses if easily possible), then take to a doctor.
  • INGESTION

  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke during work. Wash hands before eating.

    SPILLAGE DISPOSAL STORAGE PACKAGING & LABELLING
    Evacuate danger area! Consult an expert! Ventilation. NEVER direct water jet on liquid. Remove gas with fine water spray (extra personal protection: complete protective clothing including self-contained breathing apparatus).
    Fireproof. Cool.

    F+ symbol
    T symbol
    R: 45-46-12-23-36/37/38
    S: 53-45
    Note: E
    UN Hazard Class: 2.3
    UN Subsidiary Risks: 2.1
    SEE IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON BACK
    ICSC: 0155 Prepared in the context of cooperation between the International Programme on Chemical Safety & the Commission of the European Communities © IPCS CEC 1993

    International Chemical Safety Cards

    ETHYLENE OXIDE ICSC: 0155

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    PHYSICAL STATE; APPEARANCE:
    COLOURLESS COMPRESSED LIQUEFIED GAS.

    PHYSICAL DANGERS:
    The gas is heavier than air and may travel along the ground; distant ignition possible.

    CHEMICAL DANGERS:
    The substance may polymerize due to heating, under the influence of acids, bases, metal chlorides and metal oxides with fire or explosion hazard. The substance decomposes on heating above 500C , causing fire and explosion hazard. Reacts violently with many compounds. Metal fittings containing silver, copper, mercury, or magnesium should not be used since they may react with impurities in the gas to form explosive compounds.

    OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE LIMITS (OELs):
    TLV: 1 ppm; 1.8 mg/m3 (as TWA) A2 (Suspected Human Carcinogen) (ACGIH 1994-1995).


    ROUTES OF EXPOSURE:
    The substance can be absorbed into the body by inhalation and through the skin in water solution.

    INHALATION RISK:
    A harmful concentration of this gas in the air will be reached very quickly on loss of containment.

    EFFECTS OF SHORT-TERM EXPOSURE:
    The substance irritates the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract. Inhalation of very high concentrations may cause lung oedema (see Notes). Water solutions may cause skin burns. Rapid evaporation of the liquid may cause frostbite. The substance may cause effects on the eyes , resulting in delayed development of cataract.

    EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM OR REPEATED EXPOSURE:
    Repeated or prolonged contact with skin may cause dermatitis in water solutions. Repeated or prolonged contact may cause skin sensitization. The substance may have effects on the nervous system. This substance is carcinogenic to humans. May cause heritable genetic damage in humans.
    PHYSICAL
    PROPERTIES
    Boiling point: 11C
    Melting point: -111C
    Relative density (water = 1): 0.9
    Solubility in water: very good
    Vapour pressure, kPa at 20C: 146
    Relative vapour density (air = 1): 1.5
    Flash point: Flammable Gas
    Auto-ignition temperature: 429C
    Explosive limits, vol% in air: 3-100
    Octanol/water partition coefficient as log Pow: -0.3
    ENVIRONMENTAL
    DATA
    The substance is harmful to aquatic organisms.
    N O T E S
    The symptoms of lung oedema often do not become manifest until a few hours have passed and they are aggravated by physical effort. Rest and medical observation are therefore essential. Immediate administration of an appropriate spray, by a doctor or a person authorized by him/her, should be considered. The odour warning when the exposure limit value is exceeded is insufficient. Turn leaking cylinder with the leak up to prevent escape of gas in liquid state. UN numbers 1041, 1952, 2983, 3297, 3298, 3299, 3300 apply to mixtures with other gases.
    Transport Emergency Card: TEC (R)-16
    NFPA Code: H2; F4; R3
    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


    ICSC: 0155 ETHYLENE OXIDE
    © IPCS, CEC, 1993
    IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Neither the CEC or the IPCS nor any person acting on behalf of the CEC or the IPCS is responsible for the use which might be made of this information. This card contains the collective views of the IPCS Peer Review Committee and may not reflect in all cases all the detailed requirements included in national legislation on the subject. The user should verify compliance of the cards with the relevant legislation in the country of use.