Helmut Greim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ethane (CAS 74-84-0) is an aliphatic compound that is derived from crude oil as a gas. Ethane is used in the production of fuels (e.g., ethylene), as a refrigerant and as a feedstock in the production of synthetic organic chemicals (e.g., pharmaceutical and chemical industry). It is colorless liquid and sparingly soluble in water. Because of its volatility, it would have a propensity to migrate to the atmosphere following an environmental release and does not pose a hazard to the food web. Human exposure would most likely occur by inhalation, particularly in occupational settings that use it as a solvent. It is practically nontoxic and would exert its principal effect by the displacement of oxygen (i.e., as an asphyxiant). Ethane is not mutagenic and there is no evidence that it would cause cancer in either experimental animals or humans. Clinical management following exposure would consist of moving the victim away from the source and into fresh air (e.g., outdoors). Regulatory standards are available for occupational exposure to ethane (as aliphatic hydrocarbon gases). The ecotoxicity of ethane is insignificant.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Toxicology, Fourth Edition
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-9
ISBN (Electronic)9780128243152
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Aliphatic
  • Ethane
  • Hydrocarbon


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