Ethylene glycol caused some irritation to the skin of humans and eye irritation in one individual. The liquid was only mildly irritating to the eyes of rabbits but the vapour caused more severe eye irritation in rats and rabbits. Only a small number of cases of sensitization have been documented in man. The ingestion by individuals of large amounts of ethylene glycol produced kidney, brain, heart and liver damage, as well as effects on the nervous system. A low acute oral toxicity was indicated in several species of laboratory animal. A workforce repeatedly exposed to high atmospheric concentrations of ethylene glycol (and other chemicals) experienced effects on eye movement and on the blood, and a loss of consciousness. In repeated oral studies in various species of laboratory animal, the kidney was the main site of toxic attack. Oral and inhalation studies in rats and mice identified foetal toxicity and malformations generally at doses toxic or possibly toxic to mothers, although in one laboratory an oral study and a dermal study in mice did provide some evidence of a more selective foetal effect. Long-term oral carcinogenicity studies in rats and mice have given no convincing indications of activity. Inconclusive evidence of weak genotoxicity has been found in a number of assays involving a range of end-points.

Date of Publication: 1993

Number of Pages: 10

CAS Number*: 107-21-1

Format: PDF available for immediate download

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