1,4-Dioxane

CAS RN: 123-91-1

Toxicity Summary

IDENTIFICATION AND USE: 1,4-Dioxane is a colorless liquid or solid. It is used as a stabilizer for chlorinated solvents, particularly, 1,1,1-trichloroethane. 1,4-Dioxane is used as a solvent for cellulose acetate, ethyl cellulose, benzyl cellulose, resins, oils, waxes, and fats; in spectroscopic and photometric measurements; and in the pulping of wood. Other uses of 1,4-dioxane include the manufacture of adhesives, cements, deodorant fumigants, cosmetics, drugs, cleaning preparations, magnetic tape, plastic, rubber, insecticides, and herbicides, and as a chemical intermediate, as a polymerization catalyst, in the purification of drugs, and in the extraction of animal and vegetable oils. In the laboratory, it is used in the preparation of histological sections for microscopic examination and as a liquid scintillation counting medium. HUMAN EXPOSURE AND TOXICITY: Short-term inhalation exposure to 1,4-dioxane may cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Symptoms of acute exposure include coughing, drowsiness, vertigo, headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, coma, and death. There is a report of a fatal case of acute poisoning by inhalation that led to hepatic and renal lesions, and demyelination and edema of the brain. Workplace exposures to high concentrations of 1,4-dioxane have resulted in death. The deaths occurred 5-8 days after the initial symptoms of illness. Postmortem evaluation revealed extensive liver and kidney damage and in three out of five cases described in one study, kidney disease was considered to be the direct cause of death. A small prospective study of 165 U.S. workers exposed intermittently to low levels of 1,4-dioxane found no excess of death from cancer; however, the study was limited by the small number of cancer deaths (3) among the exposed workers. ANIMAL STUDIES: Oral exposure to 1,4-dioxane caused tumors in several species of experimental animals and at several different tissue sites. Inhalation exposure of male rats to 1,4-dioxane caused benign liver tumors (hepatocellular adenoma), nasal cancer (squamous-cell carcinoma), and mesothelioma of the peritoneum. 1,4-Dioxane was not mutagenic to Salmonella typhimurium with and without metabolic activation. 1,4-Dioxane has a non-genotoxic, yet unknown, mode of action. 1,4-Dioxane induced meiotic non-disjunction in mature oocytes from 3- and 6-day-old Drosophila melanogaster females. ECOTOXICITY STUDIES: A long-term static renewal test (7 days) with Ceriodaphnia dubia has been carried out. A NOEC of 625 mg/L(nominal) was found in this test.
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