The toxic effect of ethylene chlorohydrin and ethylene glycol on experimental animals and human cell cultures
Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie Mikrobiologie und Hygiene. 1. Abt. Originale B Hygiene 171(1): 25-32
ISSN/ISBN: 0932-6073 PMID: 7434998 Accession: 044766950
Ethylene chlorohydrin (2-chlorethanol) and ethylene glycol can originate as by-products during ethylene oxide sterilization. We studied the effect of these subsdtances upon human HeLa cells as well as the conjunctiva and the epithelium of the external genitalia of 35 rabbits. - We found ethylene chlorohydrin to be considerably more toxic than ethylene glycol. 2-chloroethanol did not cause any reactions at our cell cultures in dilutions of 1:100 after 4 h action upon the cells and 24 h observation time. In our experimental animals this concentration had only minimal irritating effects at the external genitalia. Ethylene glycol produced cellular damages in dilutions of 1:10 after 5 d only. Our experimental animals showed no reactions to these concentrations. At the conjunctiva of rabbits dilutions of 1:100 ethylene chlorohydrin and 1:10 ethylene glycol had no effect. After application of 2-chloroethanol 1:100 to the external genitalia minimal irritations were observed. Ethylene glycol in dilutions of 1:5 caused irritations of the conjunctiva and the genitalia of our rabbits. Ethylene chlorohydrin- and ethylene glycol concentrations which had a damaging effect upon our cell cultures of our experimental animals were many times higher than those which might be expected to originate during ethylene oxide sterilization.