Ethylene Dibromide - Chemical Profile 12/84
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
EDB AGRICULTURAL USES POUNDS USED EPA DECISION
_____________________ ___________ ____________
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
2. Stored Grain Less than .5 Immediate suspension of
Fumigation million lbs. sale, distribution and
levels proposed on food
3. Spot Fumigation Less than .5 Immediate suspension of
(grain milling million lbs. sale, distribution and
machinery) use. Cancellation
levels proposed on food
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).
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
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).
ACGIH RECOMMENDED LIMIT:
A. ACUTE TOXICITY
DERMAL: Dermal applications, if confined, will cause severe
ORAL: LD50 = 146 mg/kg (male rat) (26)
INHALATION: Acute vapor toxicity 200 ppm (56).
B. SUB-CHRONIC AND CHRONIC TOXICITY:
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).
V. EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID PROCEDURES
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
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
VI. FIRE AND EXPLOSION INFORMATION
GENERAL: Not combustible (14).
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
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL, DAY OR NIGHT
PESTICIDE TEAM SAFETY NETWORK/CHEMTREC
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.