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- Ethylene dibromide
was used as a soil fumigant and pesticide. These uses have been banned
by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) since 1984. Another main
use was as a scavenger for lead in gasoline.
- Ethylene Dibromide is
used as a pesticide and fumigant for grains and fruit, a solvent for
resins, gums and waxes, In water-proofing preparations, In anti-knock
gasoline mixtures, in dye making, In making drugs. it is a colorless,
heavy organic liquid with a mildly sweet chloroform-like odor.
Other names for EDB
include 1,2-dibromoethane, ethylene bromide, and glycol dibromide.
The compound is slightly
soluble in water, and soluble in ethanol, ether, acetate, and benzene.
1,2-Dibromoethane is noncombustible but may decompose upon heating to
produce corrosive and/or toxic fumes. It also reacts as an
alkylating agent and liberates bromide.
Ethylene dibromide reacts
with hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere, with a half-life for this
reaction of approximately 40 days. In water, its half-life ranges
from 2.5 to 13.2 years, and in soil it was detected 19 years after it
had been applied.
- Use in antiknock
fluids and fuels; as a scavenger for lead in gasoline.
Use in production of
waterproofing agents, fire extinguishing agents, and gauge fluids during
manufacture of measuring instruments.
Use in organic synthesis
in production of dyes, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, vinyl bromide, and
ethylene oxide; used as a specialty solvent for resins, gums, waxes,
celluloid, fats, and oils .
- It is also used in
control of nematodes and moths in beehives. Use as a fumigant in
preplanting operations, and on grains, fruits, tobacco, seeds, seed
beds, and vegetables; in mills and warehouses.
It was used for
post-harvest application to a variety of vegetable, fruit, and grain
- It was also used to
kill fruit flies on citrus fruits and in the soil to protect grasses in
environments such as golf courses.
It is used sparingly
today as a [fumigant] to kill termites and cockroaches.
- Ethylene Dibromide is
a DOT Poison Inhalation Hazard(PIH).
Ethylene dibromide is a
severe eye, mucous membrane, and skin irritant, and a liver, kidneys,
and lungs toxin.
dibromide has been shown to cause significant increases in tumors of the
respiratory tract, mammary gland, spleen, and nasal cavity when
administered to animals by skin application, gavage, or inhalation.
EDB contact may damage
the lung, skin, and eyes. Acute and chronic systemic effects may be seen
in the liver, kidneys, and heart, and other internal organs and systems.
Lung injury can also lead to secondary effects such as pneumonia and
respiratory tract infections.
- Ethylene dibromide is
toxic through inhalation, dermal exposure, ingestion or ocular
absorption. It is metabolized both by cytochrome P450 and GST enzymes.
The chronic effects
of exposure to ethylene dibromide have not been extensively documented
in humans. In one case in which a worker breathed ethylene dibromide for
several years, he developed bronchitis, headache, and depression. His
health improved after he stopped breathing air contaminated with
- EDB was removed from use as a soil
fumigant in the United States in 1983.It is still used in other
EHC 177 also indicates that legislation banning the use of lead in
petrol and controlling the agricultural use of EDB has reduced world
demand for this substance by 75 % to approximately 30000 tonnes.
- Groundwater contamination of EDB has
been confirmed at levels up to 0.3 mg/L. Usual levels of EDB found in
groundwater were approximately 0.001 to 0.02 mg/L, which are similar to
levels found in stored grain products.
The fastest degradation of EDB occurs at
or near the soil surface. EDB is moderately persistent in the soil
environment; a representative field half-life was estimated to be 100
- The cases of ethylene
dibromide poisoning are observed for the last 5 years in the state of
Madhya Pradesh especially in Bhopal region. The trend however found in
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