Ethylene chlorohydrin




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Ethylene chlorohydrin is a toxic solvent

Time:2015/12/1 7:55:12

Simple and accurate method for determination of ethylene chlorohydrin in dried spices and condiments

ABSTRACT A simple and accurate method is described for the determination of ethylene chlorohydrin (ECH) by using capillary gas chromatography (GC) and flame ionization detection. Acetonitrile-methanol was chosen as the extraction solvent in preference to other solvents because its use reduced the number of compounds detected by the GC system, thus enabling easier identification and quantitation of ECH. The coefficient of variation for the method is 2.7% at 5 ppm, and recovery is good, even for the standard addition of 1 ppm. Fifteen different spices and condiments were analyzed using this method; 20% were identified as positive for ECH. The method also identifies the related compound ethylene bromohydrin (EBH).

Ethylene chlorohydrin intoxication with fatality.

A 23-month-old boy drank 1-2 ml. of ethylene chlorohydrin and died. The clinical course of his illness and the necropsy findings are described. The dangers of the chemical are discussed, and it is recommended that less toxic products should be sought as film-base solvents for amateur use.

Toxic Effects of Ethylene Chlorohydrin. Part II.-Experimental

Ethylene chlorohydrin is a toxic solvent from which risk may arise in its manufacture and use. References [see KOELSCH, this Bulletin, 1928, v. 3, 234] are first made to previously reported cases and to some animal experiments, in which the portal of entry was accepted to have been the respiratory tract; but the possibility of skin absorption cannot be dismissed in a case where a rag soaked in the drug was used as a cleansing agent. The new series of cases includes two fatalities which followed upon exposure to an immense concentration of chlorohydrin and ethylene dichloride in the form of hot vapour. Two men, in order to rectify a fault in the manufacturing plant, opened an inspection door in a tower and were exposed to risk for about 10.5 hours, one far more than the other. Soon after the work was done the man who had suffered the greatest exposure began to feel ill and vomited freely; he became worse and worse and was taken to hospital 11 0.5 hours later, where he died 14 hours after exposure. The exact "pathological change that caused death was uncertain; certain changes found in the lungs and liver were not sufficient to do so; it is possible that cerebral oedema was responsible. His companion was only slightly affected. In the second fatality the exposure was different; it was for some two months to concentrations of ethylene chlorohydrin (probably mixed with some sym-dichloroethane) which also produced symptoms in many other workers. The illness began when the patient collapsed in the street, complaining of headache, dizziness and vomiting; his mental condition was muddled; and he went into hospital, where haematuria developed and death occurred 10 days later. In this case the convoluted tubules of the kidneys were severely damaged, showing necrotic changes, and there was gross oedema of the basal ganglia of the brain. Clinical notes' are given on nine non-fatal cases among men working at the same factory as this patient. Vomiting and nausea were the outstanding symptoms, with epigastric pain and offensive stools; giddiness, inco-ordination and confusion were also present. Symptoms and signs were worst in men of poor physique; all recovered completely and, usually, rapidly. The route of absorption was the respiratory tract.
 Intoxication may be a matter of cumulative action and may occur some time after the exposure. Mice, rats and guineapigs were exposed experimentally to the vapour of ethylene chlorohydrin at a concentration of 280 p.p.m. with fatal results from 15 to 120 minutes after exposure. The guineapigs were less sensitive than the rodents. The drug was also administered orally and intravenously. It was tested on the perfused frog's heart, on the small intestine of the rabbit, on the transmission of nerve impulse, and by absorption through the intact skin. The results of all these experiments are stated in detail; they indicate that ethylene chlorohydrin is a powerful renal, hepatic, nerve and vascular poison, which can be absorbed by breathing, by the gut, or through the skin. Industrially the main hazard is probably the inhalation of vapour; but absorption through the skin must not be forgotten. Workers exposed to risk should be medically examined regularly, for the poisoning is subtle, and irreparable damage may develop before obvious clinical signs are manifest. E. L. Collis.