AkzoNobel Functional
Chemicals AB
Ethylene Amines
Product Stewardship Summary (PSS)
Ethylene Oxide
Ethylene Oxide
This Product Safety Summary document is to provide product safety and end use
information on this product. It is not intended to provide emergency response, medical
or treatment information, or to provide a discussion of all safety and health information.
This document is not intended to replace the Material Safety Data Sheet or Safety Data
Sheet which should be consulted before use of the chemical.
Name: Ethylene Oxide
Synonyms: EO, Oxirane
Chemical name: Ethylene Oxide
CAS number: 75-21-8
Molecular formula: C2H4O
AkzoNobel manufactures EO and other ethylene amines at their facilities in Stenungsund,
Sweden and Ningbo, China. Ethylene Amines are particularly reactive molecules making them a
versatile tool for building new molecules for a wide range of applications. They have the ability to
change the properties of chemical products, making them softer, firmer, or more supple. They
can prevent coagulation or increase flow. Ethylene oxide is a key ingredient in the manufacturing
of ethylene amines. Ethylene amines are manufactured using main raw materials ethylene,
oxygen, and ammonia. They are produced when monoethanolamine and ammonia react under
high pressure and at a high temperature in the presence of hydrogen and a catalyst.
EO is a cyclic ether composed of two alkyl groups connected to an oxygen atom. Ethylene oxide
is used industrially to make many consumer products as well as non-consumer chemicals and
intermediates. It is industrially produced by direct oxidation of ethylene in the presence of a silver
EO has applications in the production of solvents, antifreeze, textiles, detergents, adhesives,
polyurethane foam, and pharmaceuticals. Other applications include manufacture of Ethylene
glycol, polyglycols, ethanolamines, and cellulose ethers. Smaller applications of EO include in
fumigants, sterilants for spices and cosmetics, as well as during hospital sterilization of surgical
EO is a clear colorless liquid with a sweet odor. EO is miscible in water, ethanol, acetone, ether,
benzene, and hexane. EO is an extremely flammable substance, even at room temperature.
Physical State
Boiling Point
Explosive Properties
Self-ignition temperature
Vapor pressure
Mol weight
Water solubility
Flash Point
Octanol-water partition coefficient (LogPow)
It is a clear colorless liquid with a sweet odor.
Clear Colorless
890 kg/m3 at 0°C
1,752 hPa (at 25°C)
Miscible at 20°C
Log Pow: -0.3
Primary routes of exposure are skin contact, eye contact, and inhalation. EO is a skin irritant and
may degrease the skin. It can be absorbed through the skin and may lead to dermatitis. This
product can cause serious eye irritation. EO is toxic through inhalation and is irritating to the
respiratory system. Inhalation of aerosols may cause irritation to the mucous membranes. If
ingested, this product can cause severe irritation of the throat, esophagus, and stomach.
Persons with pre-existing skin and/or respiratory disease may be at increased risk if exposed to
this material.
EO is listed as a category 2 carcinogen and is carcinogenic to man. EO is mutagenic according
to Ames test and has reproductive toxicity. EO may cause cancer and heritable genetic damage,
based on animal studies.
Consumer and worker exposure is very unlikely as this substance is manufactured and handled
in industrial settings in closed systems. AkzoNobel is dedicated to designing, constructing and
maintaining production and handling systems that eliminate exposure to EO.
The environmental exposure of EO is not harmful to the environment, but may be harmful to
aquatic life. EO breaks down rapidly when released into the environment and does not persist
long in the environment. EO is readily biodegradable and is not expected to bioaccumulate due
to the low log Pow value. EO will dissolve in water and absorption to the solid soil particles is not
expected. This substance is not considered to be a PBT or vPvB (Persistent, Bioaccumulative,
Toxic or very Persistent nor very Bioaccumulating).
As indicated, harmful exposure effects of EO to the body are worth noting. EO is extremely toxic
and flammable. Proper PPE should be used when handling EO.
Keep away from sunlight, sources of ignition, static discharge and don’t expose to temperatures
exceeding 50 °C.
Elevated temperatures can cause ignition leading to thermal decomposition and release of
hazardous gases.
For these reasons AkzoNobel provides training and information to users of EO and to emergency
Consumers will not come into contact with EO as it is manufactured in a closed process which
also minimizes employee exposure potential. Exposure to EO in the environment or personnel in
manufacturing facilities is also considered very low because the process, storage and handling
operations are enclosed.
In general, obtain medical attention immediately if there is any exposure to EO on the skin, eyes,
inhalation, or ingestion. AkzoNobel takes great effort to prevent accidents of any kind related to
Strict controls are in place to avoid worker exposure including the use of personal protective
equipment and redundant safety systems.
Any EO leaks or spills should only be handled by trained emergency response personnel wearing
the appropriate PPE (Protective suit and boots, Butyl rubber gloves, tightly fitted splash goggles,
and a NOISH approved positive-pressure demand, self-contained breathing apparatus).
Engineering Controls
EO must be handled and stored in a properly designed environment. Avoid contact with skin,
eyes, direct inhalation or ingestion. Sufficient natural or mechanical exhaust ventilation must be
provided at all times to help minimize exposure level. If ventilation is not adequate, use a NIOSH
approved organic vapor acid gas (OVAG) respirator with dust, mist, and fume filter to reduce
exposure. Containers should be kept tightly capped and stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area
away from incompatible materials, sources of heat, flame, or direct sunlight. Ensure that
eyewash stations and safety showers are easily assessable. Please consult MSDS for specific
control measures to be taken.
Personal Protective Equipment
Protective suit and boots, Butyl rubber gloves, and chemical safety splash goggles or face shield
are recommended. Use a NOISH approved organic vapor respirator with dust, mist, and fume
filters. If a higher level of protection is needed, use a NIOSH-approved positive pressure demand,
air-supplied respirator. When using respirator cartridges or canisters, they must be changed
frequently. Please contact AkzoNobel for specific recommendations on PPE.
AkzoNobel takes great care in the production, handling, and transport of this product. It is our
highest priority in making sure they are safe for our employees and for our neighbors.
We have been certificated in accordance with the ISO 14001 Environmental Management
System since 1999, certificated in accordance with ISO 9001, and SS 627750 Energy certified.
We offer safety data sheets containing information on properties, handling, precautions, and firstaid procedures. We offer an Ethylene Best Practices Manual, giving more detailed
recommendations on the proper use and handling of ethylene amine products. Life Cycle
Assessment documentation on our products is available on request.
We have also adopted the principles of the chemical industry’s Responsible Care program for
continuous improvement in the aspects of health, safety, and environment. Potential risks from
the plant and from transport of hazardous goods are investigated and monitored. These
investigations are followed up and risk reducing measures are implemented.
We employ intermodal transport to transport the load effectively, both from an environmental and
economic perspective. In addition, emissions to water from the site have been reduced
substantially as a result of a larger share of process water being incinerated, and by improving
procedures and equipment.
AkzoNobel Ethylene Amines Safety Data Sheets (Europe, Asia, South America, Africa)
AkzoNobel Ethylene Amines Product Information
EO is regulated for transport by the ADR, RID, IMDG, and IATA. It is classified as a toxic
flammable substance and is listed in the Hazardous Materials Table under UN number 1040.
Flammable and toxic labels are required for transport.
Worker Safety
Some Occupational Exposure Limits have been established by international organizations for the
safe handling of EO in the workplace. Proper engineering controls, personal protective
equipment and workplace exposure monitoring must be followed to adhere to these standards.
Use and Disposal
Do not dispose of waste in sewer systems. Do not contaminate ponds, waterways, or ditches
with chemical or used container. Remaining contents should be emptied accordingly and empty
drum shouldn’t be burned. The use and disposal of EO are subject to various international laws
and regulations. In the EU, EO is subject to REACH regulations.
Additional regulations may exist that govern the manufacture, sale, transportation, use and/or
disposal of EO. These regulations may vary by city, state, country or geographic region.
Additional helpful information may be found by consulting the relevant Material Safety Data Sheet.
EO has major applications in the manufacture of Ethylene glycol, polyglycols,
ethanolamines, and cellulose ethers among other applications.
EO is extremely toxic and flammable. Avoid ignition sources and elevated storage
temperatures which may lead to thermal decomposition and release of toxic gases.
Exposure to EO can cause harmful health effects and should therefore be avoided.
AkzoNobel goes above and beyond industry standards and regulations to help ensure
safe manufacture, transportation, and use of EO.
Via Telephone
For product and technical information: +4630385000
For Chemical Emergencies (Spill, Leak, Exposure, Fire, Accident):
 +31 570679211
For medical or handling emergencies: +31 570679211 (Fax +31 570679801)
AkzoNobel, Chemicals, Deventer, NL
Via the Internet
September 21, 2011
China: 0532 83889090
AkzoNobel is a member of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), which represents
the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC’s member
companies, through ACC’s participation with the International Council of Chemical
Associations (ICCA), are actively engaged with the Global Product Strategy (GPS).
GPS, which is designed to meet United Nation's Strategic Approach to Chemicals
Management, is an innovative program to improve product stewardship within the
chemical industry and with suppliers and customers throughout the chain of
commerce. Companies engaged in GPS, including AkzoNobel, are committed to
make relevant product stewardship information on chemicals in commerce publicly
available. The summaries provided here are AkzoNobel’s contributions to that effort.
ADR - European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road. The
ADR regulates the international transport of dangerous goods. A European directive means that the ADR
also applies to the domestic transport in the affiliated countries.
Hygroscopic – taken up and retained under some conditions of humidity and temperature.
IATA - International Air Transport Association is an international industry trade group of airlines
headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
IMDG - International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code is accepted as an international guideline to the
safe transportation or shipment of dangerous goods or hazardous materials by water on vessel.
MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheets, a form with data regarding the properties of a particular substance,
which includes but not limited to toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective
equipment, and spill handling procedures.
NIOSH - The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency
responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related
injury and illness.
REACH - the regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals of the
European Union (EU). REACH ensures a high level of protection of human health and the environment
from the risks that can be posed by chemicals.
RID - Regulation concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail. The RID applies to
the international transport of dangerous goods by rail. The affiliated countries come to a mutual
agreement as discussed above for the ADR.
SDS- Safety Data Sheet, a form with data regarding the properties of a particular substance, which
includes but not limited to toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective
equipment, and spill handling procedures. For Europe also include exposure scenario (e-SDS)

Name: Ethylene Oxide - International Council of Chemical