Chronic exposure


Chronic inhalation of ethanol is not thought to be significant in the occupational setting. Dermal

A 21-day continuous patch test on human volunteers did not show any adverse effects until day 13. Erythema, and hardening were the worst effects reported over the 21-day test period (Phillips et al., 1972). Therefore, prolonged dermal contact with ethanol may cause erythema, drying and hardening of the skin.

No information available. Ingestion

The effects of chronic ingestion of ethanol are widely known and well documented. Alcohol abuse may reslt in physical dependence, malnutrition, neurological effects including amnesia and dementia, cardiac myopathy, hepatoxicity, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding and oesophageal varices. Chronic ethanol ingestion is not an occupational route of exposure. For more information see Charness et al. (1989); Regan (1990); Weatherall et al. (1996) and Ashworth and Gerada (1997).


Allergic responses to ethanol are rare. Przybilla and Ring (1983) report a case of anaphylaxis following exposure to beverage ethanol. Provocation tests determined that the patient was allergic to acetic acid, a metabolite of ethanol.

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