AEGL-2 is the airborne concentration (expressed as ppm or mg/m3) of a substance above which it is predicted that the general population, including susceptible individuals, could experience irreversible or other serious, long-lasting adverse health effects or an impaired ability to escape.
AEGL-3 is the airborne concentration (expressed as ppm or mg/m3) of a substance above which it is predicted that the general population, including susceptible individuals, could experience life-threatening health effects or death.
Airborne concentrations below the AEGL-1 represent exposure levels that could produce mild and progressively increasing but transient and nondisabling odor, taste, and sensory irritation or certain asymptomatic, non-sensory effects. With increasing airborne concentrations above each AEGL, there is a progressive increase in the likelihood of occurrence and the severity of effects described for each corresponding AEGL. Although the AEGL values represent threshold levels for the general public, including susceptible subpopulations, such as infants, children, the elderly, persons with asthma, and those with other illnesses, it is recognized that individuals, subject to unique or idiosyncratic responses, could experience the effects described at concentrations below the corresponding AEGL.
Sulfuryl chloride, a colorless to light yellow liquid with a pungent odor, is used as chlorinating, sulfonating, and chlorosulfonating agent in organic synthesis. It is generally used in closed systems, thereby limiting exposure potential.
No information is available regarding exposure of humans to sulfuryl chloride. Because it decomposes to hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid upon contact with water, it may assumed that exposure would result in notable irritation and corrosive action on the eyes and respiratory tract. Due to this decomposition, metabolism is irrelevant in the toxic response to sulfuryl chloride.
Inhalation exposure data in animals are limited to lethality studies in laboratory rats, all of which confirm toxic effects (dyspnea, ocular irritation, and respiratory tract irritation leading to pulmonary hemorrhage and death) consistent with severe irritation and /or corrosive activity. One-hour LC50 values of 59 to 242 ppm and a 4-h LC50 of 159 ppm have been reported for rats. There was some discrepancy regarding the lethal toxicity of sulfuryl chloride in rats exposed for one or four hours. However, all studies demonstrated that exposure of rats produces clinical signs of ocular and respiratory tract irritation, dyspnea, and body weight loss. Necropsy findings consistently indicated concentration-related pulmonary involvement. Although death may occur during exposure at higher concentrations, post-exposure observation has shown that lethality may be delayed for several days at lower concentrations.