Ethylene (C2H4) – also known as ethene – is used for many applications in the chemical industry. It is the basis of petrochemistry, particularly for plastics production. Its derivatives – such as ethylene oxide or ethanol – are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for their disinfectant properties. This gas is also used to stimulate and grow climacteric fruits (kiwis, bananas…).
|CAS||TWA (8 hours)||STEL (15 minutes)||LEL||IP||Density / Air||Filter / SCBA|
|74-85-1||–||–||2.7 %||10.51 eV||0.98||A|
Ethylene effects on health
Ethylene (C2H4) is a colorless gas hardly detectable through smell. Highly flammable, its explosive limits are set between 2.70 and 36% volume. At high concentrations, it may irritate the breathing system or cause dizziness. Even if ethylene is not toxic, it can transform into ethylene oxide in the human body, and this toxic substance is classified as carcinogenic by the IARC*.
*IARC: International Agency for Research on Cancer (depends on the WHO World Health Organization)