Toxicity of diethanolamine. 1. Drinking water and topical application exposures in F344 rats
ABSTRACT Toxicology studies of diethanolamine were conducted in male and female F344 rats for 13 weeks' duration to characterize and compare effects of exposure in the drinking water with those caused by topical application. Doses of diethanolamine ranged from 160 to 5000 ppm in the drinking water study (equivalent to daily doses of 25–440 mg kg−1 in males and 15–240 mg kg−1 in females) and from 32 to 500 mg kg−1 in the topical application study. Dose-dependent toxic effects due to exposure to diethanolamine included hematological changes (a poorly regenerative, microcytic anemia), as well as toxic responses in the kidney (increased weight, tubular necrosis, decreased renal function, and/or tubular mineralization), brain and spinal cord (demyelination), testis (degeneration of the seminiferous tubules) and skin (site of application: ulceration, inflammation, hyperkeratosis and acanthosis). A no-observed-adverse-effect level was not achieved for hematological changes, nephropathy or hyperkeratosis of the skin. Differences in dose-response between the drinking water and topical application exposures were attributed largely to the limited dermal absorption of this chemical.