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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

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Diss Factsheets

Administrative data

Description of key information

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

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Skin sensitisation

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available
Additional information:

Standard skin sensitisation testing is not applicable to chloroethane as it exists as a gas.

There are no data available of the sensitizing action of chloroethane in animals.

A case of sensitisation after use of a chloroethane spray was reported in a 66-year old woman, who showed severe and peculiar pattern of eczematous reactions after local anaesthesia with chloroethane spray to remove mollusca contagiosa. Patch tests were performed, examining that the patient suffered from a sensitisation to chloroethane (Aberer and Zonzits, 1989).

Van Ketel (1976) performed patch tests on two patients with eczema. The patch tests were strongly positive for chloroethane, while a third patient suffered an eczematous reaction after the use of chloroethane as a local anaesthetic, indicating that sensitisation to chloroethane can occur. Patch tests on 15 control volunteers were negative.

A punch biopsy taken from a woman with a positive patch test to chloroethane revealed observations consistent with a T-cell-mediated sensitisation reaction (Bircher et al., 1994). Microscopic examination showed marked spongiosis and a lymphohistocytic infiltrate. There was a marked dermal infiltrate of CD3+ T cells (pan T cells), with predominance of CD4+ T cells (helper/suppressor cell subtypes). Most of the cells expressed lymphocyte function-associated antigen. A considerable number of CD1+ Langerhans cells were also found in the epidermis.

However, in view of the frequent use of chloroethane in the past, these effects are probably rare cases.



Bircher, A.J. et al. (1994) Allergic contact dermatitis from ethyl chloride and sensitization to dichlorodifluoromethane. Contact Dermatitis31:41-44 (as cited in ATSDR, 1998)

Van Ketel, W.G. (1976) Allergic contact dermatitis from propellants in deodorant sprays in combination with allergy to ethyl chloride. Contact Dermatitis 2: 115-119 (as cited in ATSDR, 1998)

ATSDR (1998) Toxicological Profile for Chloroethane. U.S. Department of Health and human services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Respiratory sensitisation

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Justification for classification or non-classification

The data is inconclusive.