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Diss Factsheets

Administrative data

Description of key information

Standard irritation testing is not feasible for chloroethane since it is a gas. 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Skin irritation / corrosion

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Eye irritation

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Respiratory irritation

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Additional information

Standard protocols for irritation testing are not applicable to chloroethane as it exists as a gas.

One inadequate study by Kenig et al. (1965) reports the application of an unknown dose of chloroethane to the shaven thighs of white rats. Oedema of the subcutaneous fatty tissue and effects upon muscle and nerve fibres were observed. These effects of chloroethane are probably due to the cooling/icing properties as the chloroethane on the skin evaporated. 10 days after exposure nervous tissue became normal, coinciding with the reduction of the inflammatory reaction.

In another study, which does not meet important criteria of current testing protocols, Vannas (1954) placed chloroethane in the eye of a rabbit. The findings were corneal opacity which was attributed to chemically induced epithelial damage.

Histopathological examinations of the eyes of chloroethane-exposed rats and dogs (10000 ppm, 6h/day, 5 days/week for 2 weeks) or mice (5000 ppm, 23 hours/day for 11 days) did not reveal any effects (Landry et al., 1982, 1987 and 1989). Ophthalmoscopic examination of the eyes of the chloroethane-exposed dogs also did not reveal any effects (Landry et al., 1982).

Mild eye irritation occurred in volunteers exposed briefly to 40000 ppm chloroethane (Sayers et al., 1929), whereas no eye irritation was reported following exposure to 20000 ppm.

Gosslin et al. (1984) and US Coast Guard (1984) reported that exposure to chloroethane vapour is irritating to the eyes, nose and throat in humans; liquid being irritating to skin and eyes.

The available inhalation studies in animals showed no irritation to the mucosa of the respiratory tract (BUA, 1997).


Kenig, EE. (1956) Izv. Akad. Nauk Turkem. S.S.R.4 88; (Biol. Abstr., 35, 18811) (as cited in OECD SIDS, Chloroethane, 2006 and in BUA Report 60, Chloroethane, 1991)

Vannas, S. (1954) Acta Ophth. 32, 631 -632 (as cited in OECD SIDS, Chloroethane, 2006)

Gosselin, RE. et al. (1984). Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products. 5th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1984., p. II-163 (as cited in OECD SIDS, Chloroethane, 2006)

US Coast Guard, Department of Transportation. CHRIS - Hazardous Chemical Data. Volume II. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1984 -1985 (as cited in OECD SIDS, Chloroethane, 2006)

Sayers, R.R. et al.(1929) Physiological response attending exposure to vapors of methyl bromide, methyl chloride, ethyl bromide and ethyl chloride. U.S Public Health Bull No. 185:1-6 (as cited in ATSDR, 1998)

Justification for classification or non-classification

The data is inconclusive.