What is BIS(2-chloroethyl) ether?
Bis(chloroethyl) ether is an organic compound with the formula O(CH₂CH₂Cl)₂. It is an ether with two 2-chloroethyl substituents. It is a colorless liquid with the odor of a chlorinated solvent.
BIS(2-chloroethyl) ether is primarily used as a chemical intermediate for the manufacture of pesticides. A small amount of BIS(2-chloroethyl) ether is used as a solvent. In the past, BIS(2-chloroethyl) ether was used as a solvent for fats, waxes, greases, and esters. It has also been used as a constituent of paints and varnishes, as a cleaning fluid for textiles, and in the purification of oils and gasoline.
Sources & Potential Exposure
Dichloroethyl ether is mainly used as a chemical intermediate in industry. Limited health effects information is available on this chemical. The major effect from acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to BIS(2-chloroethyl) ether in humans is extreme irritation of the respiratory tract and skin. BIS(2-chloroethyl) ether has been shown to be carcinogenic in animal studies; an increased incidence of liver tumors in mice has been reported.
EPA has classifiedBIS(2-chloroethyl) ether as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen.