EGDN [ethylene glycol dinitrate]
Ethylene Glycol Dinitrate [SYNONYM(s): Glycol dinitrate; Nitroglycol; Dinitroglycol; EGDN; Glycerin trinitrate] is a colorless to yellow, oily, odorless liquid. It is an explosive ingredient (60-80%) in dynamite along with nitroglycerine (40-20%).
EGDN and NG are used with a mixture of sodium nitrate and an absorbent, often wood pulp, to produce dynamite. EGDN is added to lower the freezing point of the EGDN/NG mixture and is currently the major component. The EGDN/NG ratio is about 8/2 or 9/1. This is the only commercial use for EGDN. Because EGDN is more volatile than NG, there is usually more airborne EGDN than NG from the dynamite mixture. In 1976, about 250 million pounds of dynamite, containing 5 to 50% EGDN/NG, were produced by U.S. manufacturers.
Headaches have developed in workers exposed to 0.4 to 0.67 mg/m3 for 25 minutes; all workers had decreases in blood pressure [Trainor and Jones 1966]. Ethylene glycol dinitrate and nitroglycerine are vasodilators and initial exposures result in headache, dizziness, nausea, or decreases in blood pressure; however, workers became tolerant of the vasodilatory activity after 2 to 4 days of exposure.
Angina pectoris has been reported among workers who were exposed to EGDN and/or NG. In those affected, the angina usually occurred in periods away from work. Sudden deaths without any apparent cause have also been reported among these workers. The deaths, like the angina, occurred more frequently during periods away from work. In most cases, the workers who died suddenly had no symptoms other than angina during periods away from work. The deaths are thought to be related to compensatory vasoconstriction (tolerance) induced by repeated exposure to the substances. Vasoconstriction is thought to lead to spasms of the coronary arteries and then the related angina pectoris and sudden deaths.
No data on acute inhalation toxicity are available on which to base the IDLH for ethylene glycol dinitrate (EGDN) and/or nitroglycerin. The chosen IDLH, therefore, is based on chronic toxicity data concerning the physiological response of animals to EGDN. According to Patty , rats and guinea pigs survived 6 months of exposure to 500 mg/m3 (80 ppm) EGDN with the only effect being slight drowsiness and some Heinz body formation [Stein 1956]. Although Patty  stated that EGDN is more toxic for cats and rabbits, the chosen IDLH is still probably conservative because cats given 2hour daily exposures to 21 ppm EGDN for 1,000 days exhibited only marked blood changes [von Oettingen 1946]. However, because of the assigned protection factor afforded by each device, 2,000 × the OSHA PEL of 0.1 mg/m3 (i.e., 200 mg/m3) is the concentration above which only the "most protective" respirators are permitted.
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