1,2-Dichloroethylene, all isomers

Agent Name
1,2-Dichloroethylene, all isomers
Alternative Name
Acetylene dichloride
CAS Number
540-59-0; 156-59-2; 156-60-5
Major Category
1,2-Dichloroethylene, all isomers formula graphical representation
cis-Acetylene dichloride; trans-Acetylene dichloride; sym-Dichloroethylene; [NIOSH] 1,2-Dichloroethene; Dioform; [ChemIDplus] UN1150
Chlorinated Aliphatics
Colorless liquid (usually a mixture of the cis & trans isomers) with a slightly acrid, chloroform-like odor; [NIOSH]
Used as a solvent and chemical intermediate; [ACGIH] Used as a refrigerant, degreaser, dry cleaning agent, and solvent for perfumes, adhesives, lacquers, oils, and resins; [HSDB] Only the trans isomer is commercially available in the US--used for precision cleaning of electronic components and a small amount used as a blowing agent for specialty foams; [EPA Toxicological Review, 2010]
Liver injury observed in acute animal toxicology studies; [ACGIH] A skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant; Inhalation of high concentrations may cause CNS effects; [ICSC]1,2-Dichloroethylene (UN1150) has warning of explosive polymerization; [ERG 2016] See "trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene" and "cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene."
Biomedical References

Exposure Assessment

Skin Designation (ACGIH)
Insufficient data
200 ppm
200 ppm
200 ppm
1000 ppm
Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs
Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: Patty [1963] reported that rats exposed to the cis­isomer of dichloroethylene for 4 hours at 8,000 ppm were neither killed nor anesthetized, but at 16,000 ppm, anesthesia occurred in 8 minutes and death occurred in 4 hours [Smyth 1956]. Because Patty [1963] also reported that the trans­isomer was twice as toxic an anesthetic as the cis­isomer, an IDLH of 4,000 ppm is chosen. . . . Human data: It has been reported that exposure to the trans­isomer at 2,200 ppm caused burning of the eyes, vertigo, and nausea [von Oettingen 1955]. An exposure to the trans­isomer at 819 ppm for 30 minutes has been reported to cause no untoward effects, while inhalation of either 1,687 to 2,184 ppm for 5 minutes or 1,191 ppm for 10 minutes has resulted in vertigo, pressure in the head, and somnolence [von Oettingen 1937].
Vapor Pressure
201 mm Hg
Odor Threshold Low
0.08 ppm
Odor Threshold High
17 ppm
Lethal Concentration
LC50 (mice) = 21,723 ppm/6H (trans-isomer);
Explosive Polymerization
Explanatory Notes
Odor threshold from "Quick Guide: The Electronic NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards"; VP from HSDB; Flash point = 2 deg C;
may ignite at ambient temp

Adverse Effects

Acute solvent syndrome
Hepatoxic (a) from occupational exposure (secondary effect) or (b) in animal studies or in humans after ingestion

Diseases, Processes, and Activities Linked to This Agent


Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: