PMEP Home Page --> Pesticide Active Ingredient Information --> Fumigants --> Ethylene Dibromide --> Ethylene Dibromide - Chemical Profile 12/84

Ethylene Dibromide - Chemical Profile 12/84

                                 ethylene dibromide

      CHEMICAL NAME:      1,2-Dibromoethane (56)

      TRADE NAME(S):      Bromofume, Celmide, Dowfume, E-D-Bee, Kopfume,
                          Nephis, Soilbrom (56)

      FORMULATION(S):     20-85% solutions.  Also sold in combination with
                          other fumigants (59).  Examples are Dowfume W-85,
                          W-90, and W-100; Soilbrom-40, Soilbrom-85,
                          Soilbrom-90, Solbrom-90 EC, Soilbrom-100, E-D-Bee

      TYPE:               Fumigant (insecticide, miticide)

      BASIC PRODUCER(S):  The Dow Chemical Company
                          Agricultural Products Dept.
                          P.O. Box 1706
                          Midland, MI 48640

                          Great Lakes Chemical Corp.
                          P.O. Box 2200
                          West Lafayette, IN 47906

      _____________________       ___________              ____________

      1.  Soil Fumigation       Over 20 million      Immediate suspension of
          (soybeans, cotton     lbs.                 sale and distribution of
          peanuts, pine-                             products.  Cancellation
          apples, 30 other                           action initiated
          fruit and vege-                            9/30/83.  Quantities on
          table crops.)                              hand prior to action may
                                                     be used.

      2.  Stored Grain          Less than .5         Immediate suspension of
          Fumigation            million lbs.         sale, distribution and
                                                     use.  Cancellation
                                                     action initiated
                                                     9/30/83.  Tolerance
                                                     levels proposed on food
                                                     products 2/22/84.

      3.  Spot Fumigation       Less than .5         Immediate suspension of
          (grain milling        million lbs.         sale, distribution and
          machinery)                                 use.  Cancellation
                                                     action initiated
                                                     9/30/83.  Tolerance
                                                     levels proposed on food
                                                     products 2/22/84.

      4.  Fumigation of         Less than 100,000    Administrative hearings
          Felled Logs           lbs.                 on cancellation.

      5.  Quarantine            Less than 100,000    Cancellation action
          Fumigation            lbs.                 initiated 9/30/83.
          (citrus/other                              Initial tolerance levels
          fruits and                                 on citrus and papayas
          vegetables)                                proposed 3/2/84 with
                                                     zero tolerance proposed
                                                     to be effective by
                                                     Sept. 1, 1984.

      6.  Minor uses            Less than 100,000    Retain use, with
          (beehive supers,      lbs.                 additional precautions
          storage vaults,                            and restricted to
          termite control).                          certified applicators
                                                     and data requirements.

                                                         March 2, 1984 (68)

      PRINCIPAL USES:  As a soil fumigant  on asparagus, broccoli, carrots,
      cauliflower, corn, cotton, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, lima beans,
      melons, okra, parsnips, peanuts, peppers, potatoes, soybeans, sweet
      potatoes, squash, strawberries, tobacco, tomatoes, pineapples, fruit
      tree planting sites and ornamentals.  As a commodity fumigant on beans,
      bananas, buttermelon, cantaloupes, cherries, citrus, corn, cucumbers,
      grains, guavos, honeycomb, Litchi, mangoes, papayas, peppers,
      pineapple, plums and zucchini squash.  Also used to control bee moths
      or wax worms in bee combs and hives (59).

                                   I.  EFFICACY

      Important Pests Controlled:

           1.  Nematodes - soil nematodes except the cyst forming species.
           2.  Insects - most species as well as subterranean termites.
           3.  Rodents - mice, moles and rats (59).

      Will not control flea beetle larvae, maggots, and certain other soil
      insects (59).

                             II.  PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

      MOLECULAR FORMULA:  C2 H4 Br2 (26)

      MOLECULAR WEIGHT:   187.9 (26)

      PHYSICAL STATE:     Colorless liquid (pure compound) (26)

      ODOR:               Mild, sweet odor (14)

      MELTING POINT:      9.3 C (pure compound) (26)

      BOILING POINT:      131.5 C (pure compound) (26)

      VAPOR PRESSURE:     11.0 mmHg at 25 C (pure compound) (26)

      SOLUBILITY:         4.3 g/kg water at 30 C (pure compound) (26)

                          III.  HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION

      OSHA STANDARD:  20 ppm in air averaged over an 8-hour work shift, with
      a ceiling level of 30 ppm and a maximum peak of 50 ppm for 5 minutes
      during an 8-hour work shift (14).

      NIOSH RECOMMENDED LIMIT:  NIOSH has recommended that the permissible
      exposure limit be changed to a ceiling level of 1 mg/m3 (0.13 ppm)
      averaged over a 15-minute period (14).



           A.  ACUTE TOXICITY

               DERMAL:  Dermal applications, if confined, will cause severe
                        burning (26).

               ORAL:    LD50 = 146 mg/kg (male rat) (26)

               INHALATION:  Acute vapor toxicity 200 ppm (56).


           Rats tolerated 7-hour exposures, 5 days/week, for 0.5 year at
      rates less than or equal to 210 mg/m3 (26).

           Animal mutagen and carcinogen (56).

           Prolonged or repeated exposure to ethylene dibromide may cause
      injury to the lungs, liver, or kidneys.  Adverse effects, including
      abnormalities in offspring, mutations, and stomach cancer, have been
      found in animals following exposure to ethylene dibromide.  The
      relevance to humans of these findings has not yet been established

           In a bioassay conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI),
      ethylene dibromide was found carcinogenic to rats and mice when fed by
      gavage.  The compound induced squamous cell carcinomas of the fore
      stomach in rats of both sexes, hepatocellular carcinomas in female
      rats, and hemangiosarcomas in male rats.  In mice of both sexes, the
      compound induced squamous cell carcinomas of the fore stomach and
      alveolar/broncheolar adenomas (14).

                        IV.  ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSIDERATIONS

           Don't apply near desired plants.  Onions are bromine sensitive so
      don't plant in treated soil.  May temporarily raise the ammonia
      nitrogen and soluble salts in the soil.  To avoid excessive bromine
      residues don't use on potatoes if harvested potatoes are to be
      fumigated with methyl bromide.  Don't use on extremely heavy soils or
      land to be planted in onions within the next two years.  Don't plant
      any crop within 7 days of treatment (59).


           The chemical information provided below has been condensed
      from original source documents, primarily from "Recognition and
      Management of Pesticide Poisonings", 3rd ed. by Donald P.  Morgan,
      which have been footnoted.  This information has been provided in
      this form for your convenience and general guidance only.  In
      specific cases, further consultation and reference may be required
      and is recommended.  This information is not intended as a sub-
      stitute for a more exhaustive review of the literature nor for the
      judgement of a physician or other trained professional.

           If poisoning is suspected, do not wait for symptoms to develop.
      Contact a physician, the nearest hospital, or the nearest Poison
      Control Center.

      Frequent Symptoms and Signs of Poisoning

      headACHE, DIZZINESS, NAUSEA, and vomiting are prominent early symptoms
      of excessive exposure to these gases.
      DROWSINESS, TREMORS, double vision, and weakness are the common early
      manifestations of central nervous system impairment.  Tremors may
      progress to myoclonic movements, then to generalized SEIZURES,
      UNCONSCIOUSNESS, and death.
      Injuries to the skin by liquid fumigants may be manifest as areas of
      redness or as BLISTERS which rupture, leaving raw skin or deep ulcers.
      If ingested, the LIQUID FORMS OF HALOCARBONS often cause pulmonary
      edema and SHOCK within a few moments.  If victim survives, injuries to
      the brain, liver and kidney are life-threatening (25).

           SKIN CONTACT:  Immediately wash the contaminated skin using soap
      or mild detergent and water.  If ethylene dibromide sinks through the
      clothing, remove the clothing immediately and wash the skin using soap
      or mild detergent and water.  If irritation persists after washing, get
      medical attention (14).

           INGESTION:  Get medical attention immediately.  If medical
      attention is not immediately available, get the afflicted person to
      vomit by having him touch the back of his throat with his finger or by
      giving him Syrup of Ipecac as directed on the package.  This
      nonprescription drug is available at most drug stores and drug counters
      and should be kept with emergency medical supplies in the workplace.
      Do not make an unconscious person vomit (14).

           INHALATION:  If a person breathes in large amounts of ethylene
      dibromide, move the exposed person to fresh air at once.  If breathing
      has stopped, perform artificial respiration.  Keep the affected person
      warm and at rest.  Get medical attention as soon as possible (14).

           EYE CONTACT:  Wash eyes immediately with large amounts of water,
      lifting the lower and upper lids occasionally.  Get medical attention
      immediately.  Contact lenses should not be worn when working with this
      chemical (14).

                        VI.  FIRE AND EXPLOSION INFORMATION

      GENERAL:  Not combustible (14).

                                VII.  COMPATIBILITY

           Ethylene dibromide reacts with chemically active metals such as
      sodium, potassium, calcium, powdered aluminum, zinc, magnesium, liquid
      ammonia, and strong oxidizers.  Liquid ethylene dibromide will attack
      some forms of plastics, rubber, and coatings (14).

                            VIII.  PROTECTIVE MEASURES

      STORAGE AND HANDLING:  Do not store or ship with food, feeds or
      clothing.  Store in tightly closed container in a cool place away from
      dwellings.  Causes skin irritation and blisters on prolonged contact.
      Absorbed through the skin.  Do not get in eyes, on skin, or on
      clothing.  Use only with adequate ventilation.  Do not leave residual
      product in container, empty completely (56).

      PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT:  Minimum respiratory protection* required above
      20 ppm but below 40 ppm:  A chemical cartridge respirator with a full
      facepiece and an organic vapor cartridge(s); a gas mask with a
      chin-style or a front- or back-mounted organic vapor canister; any
      supplied-air respirator with a full facepiece, helmet, or hood; any
      self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece.

           Minimum respiratory protection required for vapor concentration
      greater than 400 ppm** or entry and escape from unknown concentrations:
      Self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece operated in
      pressure-demand or other positive pressure mode; a combination
      respirator which includes a Type C supplied-air respirator with a full
      facepiece operated in pressure-demand or other positive pressure or
      continuous-flow mode and an auxiliary self-contained breathing
      apparatus operated in pressure-demand or other positive pressure mode.

      *  Only NIOSH-approved or MSHA-approved equipment should be used.
      ** Use of supplied-air suits may be necessary to prevent skin contact
         while providing respiratory protection from airborne concentrations
         of ethylene dibromide; however, this equipment should be selected,
         used, and maintained under the immediate supervision of trained
         personnel.  Where supplied-air suits are used above a concentration
         of 400 ppm, an auxiliary self-contained breathing apparatus operated
         in positive pressure mode should also be worn (14).

                       IX.  PROCEDURES FOR SPILLS AND LEAKS

                                  (800) 424-9300

           Persons not wearing protective equipment and clothing should be
      restricted from areas of spills or leaks until cleanup has been
           If  ethylene dibromide is spilled or leaked, the following steps
      should be taken:

      1.   Ventilate area of spill or leak.
      2.   If in the liquid form, collect for reclamation or absorb in
           vermiculite, dry sand, earth, or a similar material.
      3.   If in the solid form, collect spilled material in the most
           convenient and safe manner for reclamation or for disposal in a
           secured sanitary landfill.  Liquids containing ethylene dibromide
           should be absorbed in vermiculite, dry sand, earth or a similar

      Waste disposal methods:

      1.   If in the liquid form, by absorbing it in vermiculite, dry sand,
           earth, or a similar material and disposing in a secured sanitary
      2.   If in the solid form, by disposing in a secured sanitary landfill

                               X.  LITERATURE CITED

      14.  U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute
               for Occuptational Safety and Health.  1981.  Occupational
               health guidelines for chemical hazards.  F. W. Mackinson, R.
               S. Stricoff, L. J. Partridge, Jr., and A. D. Little, Inc.,
               eds.  DHHS (NIOSH) Publ. No. 81-123.  Washington, DC.

      25.  Morgan, D.P.  1982.  Recognition and management of pesticide
               poisonings, 3rd ed.  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
               Washington, DC.  120 pp.

      26.  The Pesticide Manual:  A World Compendium, 6th ed.  1979.  C. R.
               Worthing, ed.  The British Crop Protection Council, Croydon,
               England.  655 pp.

      56.  Farm Chemicals Handbook, 70th ed.  1984.  R. T. Meister, G. L.
               Berg, C. Sine, S. Meister, and J. Poplyk, eds.  Meister
               Publishing Co., Willoughby, OH.

      59.  Thomson, W.T.  1980.  Agricultural chemicals - book III:  fumigants,
               growth regulators, repellents, and rodenticides.  1981 revised
               ed.  Thomson Publications, Fresno, CA.  182 pp.

      68.  United States Environmental Protection Agency.  March 2, 1984.
               EDB Facts.  Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC.