Ethyl chloride is mildly irritating to the eyes and lungs. The acute (short-term) effects of chloroethane from inhalation exposure in humans consists of temporary feelings of drunkenness. Higher levels cause lack of muscle coordination and unconsciousness. Accidental death has resulted from its former medical use as an anaesthetic during major surgery. Death appears to be caused by effects on the heart, lungs, and central nervous system.
The chronic (long-term) health effects resulting from exposure to air containing chloroethane in humans is not known. Some animal studies indicate changes to the lungs, liver, and kidneys.
Rapid evaporation of the liquid may cause frostbite with skin contact.
Entering the body
Sources of possible chloroethane exposure include the inhalation of contaminated air and ingestion of contaminated drinking water or food (probably at very low levels) or by contact with the skin.
Exposure is primarily by using or being exposed to products that contain chloroethane.
Maximum time weighted average TWA exposure: 1,000 ppm 2,640 mg/m3
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