|IDENTIFICATION: Ethylene glycol is a colorless, odorless, sweet tasting, relatively non-volatile liquid and is completely soluble in water. This chemical has numerous uses, in manufacturing of polyethylene terephthalate, in natural gas processing, and as an antifreeze agent. HUMAN EXPOSURE: In humans ethylene glycol has induced only minimal dermal irritation, Nasal and or throat irritation were reported in a small number of subjects inhaling ethylene glycol, while higher concentrations caused eye irritation. Available data from acute poisoning cases indicate that the kidney is the critical organ for the toxicity of ethylene glycol. Available data are inadequate to assess the potential adverse neurological or immunological effects associated with long term exposure to ethylene glycol, although neurobehavioral and neurological disorders have been reported in cases of acute ethylene glycol poisonings in humans. In the limited number of investigations examined, neurological effects have not been observed at doses below those that have induced renal toxicity.
ANIMAL STUDIES: Ethylene glycol has low acute toxicity in experimental animals following oral, inhalation and dermal exposure. Ethylene glycol exhibited no evidence of carcinogenicity based on a two year bioassay with rats and mice. Ethylene glycol induces developmental effects in rats and mice by all routes of exposure, although at doses greater than those associated with renal effects in male rats. Ethylene glycol is teratogenic, inducing primarily skeletal and external malformations, sometimes at doses less than those that are maternally toxic, with mice being more sensitive than rats. Reproductive studies with ethylene glycol show that in repeated dose toxicity studies, no evidence of an adverse impact on reproductive organs was observed. In special studies, including a three generation study in rats and continuous breeding protocols in mice, evidence of reproductive effects have been restricted to mice (but not rabbits or rats) exposed to doses considerably higher than those associated with developmental effects in this species or renal effects in rats. Consistent treatment related effects on the immune system related parameters have not be observed in repeated dose toxicity studies, in which several species have been exposed to ethylene glycol either orally or by inhalation.