Repeated inhalation exposure to acetaldehyde damaged the respiratory tract of rats and hamsters and there were also suggestions of liver, kidney, central nervous system and blood effects. Acetaldehyde has produced tumours in the respiratory tract of rats and hamsters following repeated inhalation and was active in a large range of short-term genotoxicity assays, including tests for chromosomal effects in human cells in culture and in rodents treated by injection. Forestomach damage developed in rats given repeated oral doses. The incidences of embryo and foetal deaths and of foetal malformations were increased in rats and mice treated by injection. Acetaldehyde (a metabolite of ethanol) has also been implicated in the development of foetal alcohol syndrome (seen occasionally in the children of alcoholic mothers). It was of moderate acute oral toxicity in the rat and dog and was of low acute inhalation toxicity in rats, with central nervous system effects being seen by either route. Both the liquid and the vapour are skin, eye and respiratory tract irritants in man.

Date of Publication: 1989

Number of Pages: 11

CAS Number*: 75-07-0

Format: PDF available for immediate download

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