IAQUK Resources - Ethylbenzene
Source of pollution
It exists naturally in petroleum, and is also an
industrial chemical with a variety of uses, including as a precursor for the production of polystyrene
Ethylbenzene is often found in mixed Xylene
solvents (at up to 25%) which are used in paints, coatings, lacquers,
varnishes, adhesives, inks, insecticides, cleaning materials, dyes, perfumes,
pharmaceuticals, rubber and plastics.
At a vapour concentration of 200 ppm, it causes transient irritation
effects on the eyes; at 1,000 ppm, there is tearing and irritation; at 2,000
ppm, tearing and eye irritation are severe and nasal irritation is evident; at
5,000 ppm, there is intolerable irritation of the eyes and nose.
Chronic exposure to a concentration above 100 ppm causes fatigue,
headache, and mild eye and respiratory tract irritation. Symptoms
of fatigue, drowsiness, staggering gait, and incoordination. It is also
believed damage may occur to the kidneys.
Ethylbenzene is found in the blood, urine, breath, and some body tissues
of exposed people. The most common way to test for Ethylbenzene is
in the urine. This test measures substances formed by the breakdown of Ethylbenzene.
Because these substances leave the body very quickly, this test needs to be
done within a few hours after exposure occurs.
Technical - Ethylbenzene - C6H5CH2CH3
Belongs to BTEX a substance group
- Clear colourless, flmmable liquid
- Petrol odour
- Detectable in the air at 2.5ppm
- CAS Number: 100-41-4
LTEL - 100ppm (441mg/m³)
STEL - 125ppm (552mg/m³)
- Risk Phrases: R11, 20, 36, 37, 38
- Safety Phrases: S16, 24, 25, 29
Ethlybenzene (also known as phenylethane, EB, ethylbenzol).
Ethylbenzene is an aromatic hydrocarbon and associated with a substance group of Benzene, Toluene, (Ethylbenzene) and Xylene (BTEX) colourless liquid with a sweet petrol-like odour. It is only slightly soluble in water, but is soluble in ethanol and a range of other organic solvents.