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Ethanol
Last updated: 30/09/2021
(Also known as: absolute alcohol; hydroxyethane ; grain alcohol; ethyl hydrate; methylcarbinol; ethyl alcohol)

SUMMARY
Data alerts

The following alerts are based on the data in the tables below. An absence of an alert does not imply the substance has no implications for human health, biodiversity or the environment but just that we do not have the data to form a judgement.

Environmental fate Ecotoxicity Human health
Environmental fate
High alert:
Drainflow: Very mobile
Ecotoxicity
Low alert:
Fish acute ecotoxicity: Low; Daphnia acute ecotoxicity: Low
Warning:
Significant data are missing
Human health
High alert:
Reproduction/development effects; Neurotoxicant
GENERAL INFORMATION
Description
Substance used, post-harvest, as a catalytic generator for the production of ethylene gas for fruit ripening. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant.
Availability status
Current
Introduction & key dates
-
UK regulatory status
UK COPR regulatory status
Not approved
Date COPR inclusion expires
Not applicable
UK LERAP status
Not applicable
EC Regulation 1107/2009 (repealing 91/414)
EC Regulation 1107/2009 status
Not approved
Dossier rapporteur/co-rapporteur
UK
Date EC 1107/2009 inclusion expires
Not applicable
EU Candidate for substitution (CfS)
Not appliable
Listed in EU database
Yes
Approved for use (✓) under EC 1107/2009 in the following EU Member States
ATAustria
BEBelgium
BGBulgaria
CYCyprus
CZCzech Republic
DEGermany
DKDenmark
EEEstonia
ELGreece
                 
ESSpain
FIFinland
FRFrance
HRCroatia
HUHungary
IEIreland
ITItaly
LTLithuania
LULuxembourg
                 
LVLatvia
MTMalta
NLNetherlands
PLPoland
PTPortugal
RORomania
SESweden
SISlovenia
SKSlovakia
                 
Additional information
Also used in
-
Chemical structure
Isomerism
None
Chemical formula
C₂H₅OH
Canonical SMILES
CCO
Isomeric SMILES
No data
International Chemical Identifier key (InChIKey)
LFQSCWFLJHTTHZ-UHFFFAOYSA-N
International Chemical Identifier (InChI)
InChI=1S/C2H6O/c1-2-3/h3H,2H2,1H3
2D structure diagram/image available?
Yes
General status
Pesticide type
Metabolite, Other substance, Plant growth regulator precursor, Additive, Insecticide
Metabolite Type
Soil, Groundwater
Other constituent type
Gas generator, Preservative
Substance group
Aliphatic alcohol
Minimum active substance purity
950 g kg⁻¹
Known relevant impurities
EU dossier - None declared
Substance origin
Synthetic
Mode of action
Chemical reaction
CAS RN
64-17-5
EC number
200-578-6
CIPAC number
None
US EPA chemical code
001501
PubChem CID
-
Molecular mass
46.07
PIN (Preferred Identification Name)
-
IUPAC name
ethanol
CAS name
ethyl alcohol
Other status information
EC 2232/96 Annex 1 registered as food flavouring agent, UK registered Commodity Substance
Relevant Environmental Water Quality Standards
-
Herbicide Resistance Classification (HRAC)
Not applicable
Herbicide Resistance Classification (WSSA)
Not applicable
Insecticide Resistance Classification (IRAC)
Not applicable
Fungicide Resistance Classification (FRAC)
Not applicable
Examples of recorded resistance
-
Physical state
Clear colourless liquid
Can be a metabolite of:
Parent
Formation medium
Estimated maximum occurrence fraction
1107/2009 relevancy
fosetyl-aluminium Soil, Groundwater - Not relevant
Formulations
Property
Value
Example manufacturers & suppliers of products using this active now or historically
  • Catalytic Generators UK
Example products using this active
  • Ethy-Gen
Formulation and application details
Not applied directly to the crop. Usually used via immersion in a tank enclosed in a fume cupboard
ENVIRONMENTAL FATE
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Solubility - In water at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
Miscible
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Miscible
Solubility - In organic solvents at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
Miscible
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Acetone
-
Miscible
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Ethyl acetate
-
Miscible
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Benzene
-
Miscible
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Methanol
-
Melting point (°C)
-115
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Boiling point (°C)
78.3
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Degradation point (°C)
- - -
Flashpoint (°C)
13
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7, 20 °C
P
4.90 X 10-01 Calculated -
Log P
-0.31
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Low
Density (g ml⁻¹)
0.79
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Dissociation constant pKa) at 25 °C
15.9
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Strong base
Vapour pressure at 20 °C (mPa)
7.87 X 1006
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Highly volatile
Henry's law constant at 25 °C (Pa m³ mol⁻¹)
5.2 X 10-06
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Non-volatile
Maximum UV-vis absorption L mol⁻¹ cm⁻¹
210nm = 0.5, 220nm = 0.25, 230nm = 0.10, 250nm = 0.03, 270nm = 0.005
A3 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Surface tension (mN m⁻¹)
22.75
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Degradation
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
General biodegradability
-
Soil degradation (days) (aerobic)
DT₅₀ (typical)
0.11
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (lab at 20 °C)
0.11
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (field)
- - -
DT₉₀ (lab at 20 °C)
0.43
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Non-persistent
DT₉₀ (field)
- - -
DT₅₀ modelling endpoint
- - -
Note
EU 2017 Dossier DT₅₀ range 0.07-0.144 days, DT₉₀ range 0.2-0.58 days, Soils=6
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on plant matrix
Value
- - -
Note
-
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on and in plant matrix
Value
- - -
Note
-
Aqueous photolysis DT₅₀ (days) at pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Aqueous hydrolysis DT₅₀ (days) at 20 °C and pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Water-sediment DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Water phase only DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Soil adsorption and mobility
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Linear
Kd
-
CA2 CA = Medical and toxicological databases and information systems e.g. TOXNET (click here )
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
Very mobile
Koc
1.0
Notes and range
Estimated
Freundlich
Kf
- - -
Kfoc
-
1/n
-
Notes and range
-
pH sensitivity
-
Fate indices
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
GUS leaching potential index
-3.83 Calculated Low leachability
SCI-GROW groundwater index (μg l⁻¹) for a 1 kg ha⁻¹ or 1 l ha⁻¹ application rate
Value
7.67 X 10-04 Calculated -
Note
-
Potential for particle bound transport index
Low Calculated -
Potential for loss via drain flow
Very mobile Calculated -
Bio-concentration factor
BCF (l kg⁻¹)
- - -
CT₅₀ (days)
- -
ECOTOXICOLOGY
Terrestrial ecotoxicology
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 6000
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat
Low
Mammals - Short term dietary NOEL
(mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
(ppm diet)
- -
Mammals - Chronic 21d NOAEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
> 2400
P4 P = Other governments and regulators
4 = Verified data
Rat
Low
Birds - Acute LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Birds - Short term dietary (LC₅₀/LD₅₀)
- - -
Birds - Chronic 21d NOEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
- - -
Earthworms - Acute 14 day LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Earthworms - Chronic NOEC, reproduction (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Soil micro-organisms
- - -
Collembola
Acute LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Chronic NOEC (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Non-target plants
- - -
- - -
Honeybees (Apis spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Unknown mode acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Chronic
- - -
Bumblebees (Bombus spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Mason bees (Osmia spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Other pollinators (1)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
- - -
Mode of exposure
-
Other pollinators (2)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
- - -
Mode of exposure
-
Beneficial insects (Ladybirds)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Lacewings)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Parasitic wasps)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Predatory mites)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Ground beetles)
- - -
Aquatic ecotoxicology
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Fish - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
13200
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Low
Fish - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic invertebrates - Acute 48 hour EC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
12340
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Daphnia magna
Low
Aquatic invertebrates - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic crustaceans - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
25100
F4 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
4 = Verified data
Chironomus tentans 48hr
Low
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, static, water (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, sediment (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic plants - Acute 7 day EC₅₀, biomass (mg l⁻¹)
4816
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Lemna gibba
Low
Algae - Acute 72 hour EC₅₀, growth (mg l⁻¹)
50
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Selenastrum capricornutum 120 hour
Low
Algae - Chronic 96 hour NOEC, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Mesocosm study data
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
HUMAN HEALTH AND PROTECTION
General
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Threshold of Toxicological Concern (Cramer Class)
Low (class I) - -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 6000
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat
Low
Mammals - Dermal LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹ body weight)
20000
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat
-
Mammals - Inhalation LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
39
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat 4 hr
-
Other Mammal toxicity endpoints
- - -
ADI - Acceptable Daily Intake (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
None allocated
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
ARfD - Acute Reference Dose (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
None allocated
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
AAOEL - Acute Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
AOEL - Acceptable Operator Exposure Level - Systemic (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
None allocated
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Dermal penetration studies (%)
100
A3 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
3 = Unverified data of known source
default
-
Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464
- - -
Exposure Routes
Public
Exposure unlikely for authorised applications
Occupational
Not thought to be a significant risk for operators or other workers
MRLs
European
EU MRL pesticide database 
Great Britain
GB MRL Register 
Notes
-
Drinking Water Standards
- - -
Drinking Water MAC (μg l⁻¹)
- - -
Mammalian dose elimination route and rate
- - -
Health issues
Specific human health issues
Carcinogen
Genotoxic
Endocrine disruptor
XNo, known not to cause a problem
A0 A = Chromosome aberration (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
B0 B = DNA damage/repair (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
C0 C = Gene mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
D0 D = Genome mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
E0 E = Unspecified genotoxicity type (miscellaneous data source)
0 = No data
?Possibly, status not identified
Reproduction / development effects Acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor Neurotoxicant
Yes, known to cause a problem
No data found
Yes, known to cause a problem
Respiratory tract irritant Skin irritant Skin sensitiser
Yes, known to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
No data found
Eye irritant Phototoxicant  
Yes, known to cause a problem
No data found  
General human health issues
Liver and kidney toxicant
CNS depressant
Handling issues
Property
Value and interpretation
General
Highly flammable
Not explosive or oxidising
Hygroscopic
IMDG Transport Code is usually 3
CLP classification 2013
-
WHO Classification
None - not a ppp
UN Number
Usually 1170
Waste disposal & packaging
Packaging Group II (medium danger)
TRANSLATIONS
Language
Name
English
ethanol
French
alcool ethylique
German
Aethylalkohol
Danish
-
Italian
alcool etilico
Spanish
-
Greek
-
Polish
alkoholu etylowego
Swedish
-
Hungarian
-
Dutch
ethylalcohol

Record last updated: 30/09/2021
Contact: aeru@herts.ac.uk
Please cite as: Lewis, K.A., Tzilivakis, J., Warner, D. and Green, A. (2016) An international database for pesticide risk assessments and management. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 22(4), 1050-1064. DOI: 10.1080/10807039.2015.1133242