Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

1,2-Dichloroethane
Identification Number: CASRN | 107-06-2

  Substance Attributes


  • Known Human Carcinogen

    This is a serious nasty substance. Exposure to this substance leads to cancer in Humans. Exercise extreme caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and very seriously consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Carcinogenic Properties

    Accumulating evidence points to cancer potential. Exercise caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Food Toxin | Synthetic Toxin | EAFUS (Everything Added to Food in the United States) | PESTICIDE active ingredient | organic | insecticide | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Organohalogen Compounds | Organochlorides | | Alkyl Chlorides
  • SYNONYMS: 1,2-DCE | a,b-Dichloroethane | alpha,beta-Dichloroethane | DCE | EDC | Ethane dichloride | Ethylene chloride | Ethylene dichloride | Glycol dichloride
  • DESCRIPTION: 1,2-Dichloroethane is a solvent used in food processing.The chemical compound 1,2-dichloroethane, commonly known by its old name of ethylene dichloride (EDC), is a chlorinated hydrocarbon, mainly used to produce vinyl chloride monomer (VCM, chloroethene), the major precursor for PVC production. It is a colourless liquid with a chloroform-like odour. 1,2-Dichloroethane is also used generally as an intermediate for other organic chemical compounds, and as a solvent. 1,2-Dichloroethane belongs to the family of Organochlorides. These are organic compounds containing a chlorine atom.
  • COMMENTS: Residues of this pesticide are tested for on Australian Foods even though this pesticide is NOT approved for use in Australia

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia:

    Highly flammable liquid and vapour. May cause cancer. Harmful if swallowed. Causes serious eye irritation. May cause respiratory irritation. Causes skin irritation | Chronic Health Hazard General Health Hazard | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C2H4Cl2
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: T3DB | PubChem | IARC | NTP | EPA_IRIS | OEHHA | EAFUS | Consolidated Pesticide Information Dataset (CPI) from the USA EPA | Compendium of Pesticide Common Names | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: 1,2-Dichloroethane exposure causes abdominal pain, coughing, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, sore throat, diarrhea, unconsciousness, and vomiting, depending on the contact surface and the intensity. Redness of the eyes or skin occurs upon contact. (L157)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Breathing or swallowing large amounts of 1,2-dichloroethane can produce nervous system disorders, kidney diseases, or lung effects. This can also lead to heart failure. Skin lesions and benign pulmonary tumors were reported in animals exposed dermally to liquid 1,2-dichloroethane. 1,2-dichloroethane can cause death from cardiac arrhythmia, bronchitis, hemorrhagic gastritis and colitis, hepatocellular damage, renal tubular necrosis and calcification, central nervous system depression, and histological changes in brain tissue after a sufficient single oral dose. (L156) | Due to its physical properties such as its lipophilicity, 1,2-dichloroethane is likely to be absorbed across the alveolar membranes of the lung, mucosal membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, and the skin by passive diffusion. Once in the body, it is widely distributed, with the greatest amounts accumulating in the more lipophilic tissues. The primary route of biotransformation involves conjugation with glutathione to yield nonvolatile urinary metabolites. The other route, a cytocrome P-450-mediated oxidation is responsible for the formation of chloroacetaldehyde. Metabolic saturation appears to occur sooner after oral (gavage) administration than after inhalation exposure. Following inhalation or oral exposure, elimination of 1,2-dichloroethane occurs primarily via excretion of soluble metabolites in the urine and excretion of unchanged parent compound and carbon dioxide in the expired air. (L156)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: 1,2-Dichloroethane is metabolized to 2-chloroacetaldehyde, S-(2-chloroethyl)glutathione by conjugation with glutathione, and to other putative reactive intermediates capable of binding covalently to cellular macromolecules in the liver, kidney, and other tissues. The conjugation of 1,2-dichloroethane with glutathione is catalyzed primarily by glutathione S-transferases. 1,2-Dichloroethane appears to be activated to mutagenic species to a lesser extent by the hepatic microsomal cytochrome P-450 enzyme system. Reactive metabolites of 1,2-dichloroethane produced by hepatic microsomal cytochrome P-450 can bind to cellular proteins and DNA. It has been suggested that 1,2-dichloroethane-induced toxicity occurs when the biotransformation processes are saturated, thereby allowing higher levels of 1,2-dichloroethane to circulate throughout the body and conjugate with glutathione instead of being detoxified and eliminated. (L156, A113) | S-(2-chloroethyl)glutathione, one of the glutathione conjugates of 1,2-dichloroethane, is known to irreversibly inhibit protein disulfide-isomerase via alkylation. (A132)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: The most common use of 1,2-dichloroethane is in the production of vinyl chloride which is used to make a variety of plastic and vinyl products including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, furniture and automobile upholstery, wall coverings, housewares, and automobile parts. It is also used as a solvent and is added to leaded gasoline to remove lead. Exposure occurs mainly by breathing air or drinking water contaminated with 1,2-dichloroethane. Humans can be exposed to low levels of 1,2-dichloroethane through the skin or air by contact with old products made with 1,2-dichloroethane. (L156)

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  Exposure Routes

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