LyondellBasell is a leading producer of ethylene. Ethylene and its co-products and derivatives are fundamental to many segments of the economy, including the production of consumer products, packaging, housing and automotive components and other durable and non-durable goods.
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Benefits and Applications
Ethylene is used to manufacture polyethylene for food packaging films and trash bags; polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for pipe, flooring, siding and wall coverings; ethylene glycol for anti-freeze; polyester resins for soft drink bottles and polystrene for drink cups.
The acute toxicity of ethylene is low, but very high concentrations may cause anesthesia and asphyxia. There is no evidence to suggest that ethylene is a skin or eye irritant, but evaporating liquid may cause frost injuries. No adverse systemic effects have been reported in rodents following repeated exposure to high concentrations. There were no signs of reproductive or developmental toxicity observed in a screening inhalation test of rats exposed to high concentrations. Ethylene was negative for genotoxicity in vitro and in vivo and for carcinogenicity in a chronic study conducted in rats. Ethylene is metabolized in the body to ethylene oxide, a carcinogen and genotoxicant; however, this conversion is of doubtful toxicologic significance given ethylene's lack of demonstrated genotoxicity and carcinogenicity.
Storage and Handling
Do not handle near heat, sparks or flame. Avoid contact with incompatible agents. Use only with adequate ventilation/personal protection. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Do not enter storage area unless adequately ventilated. Metal containers involved in the transfer of this material should be grounded and bonded.
Compressed gases should be stored in a separate safety storage cabinet or room.