Safety Information

The following comments are general and are not a substitute for the detailed safety information found in the Safety Data Sheet.


ETHOCEL cellulose ether products are thermoplastic polymers having a polymer ‘backbone’ obtained from cellulose, a naturally occurring carbohydrate polymer.

Dusts from ETHOCEL cellulose ether products could conceivably cause temporary mechanical irritation to the eye under extreme conditions. They are considered as nuisance dusts when inhaled. However the products are considered to present no significant or unusual health hazard to personnel in normal industrial handling. As a result, no special precautions need be observed to handle the products other than the possible need for a local exhaust system to control dust during opening and dumping of bags.


Caution: Dusts or fine powders of ETHOCEL products in air can reach explosive levels and care must be taken to prevent this.

ETHOCEL products are organic materials and will burn under the right conditions of heat and oxygen supply. ETHOCEL polymers will melt upon exposure to an open flame. Once melted and ignited, these polymers will support combustion. Fires can be extinguished by any available extinguishing agent.


To prevent accidents, good housekeeping requires that spills of ETHOCEL products should be thoroughly vacuumed or swept up. For small spills of liquid formulations of ETHOCEL polymers, a solid absorbent should be used to absorb the liquid. Any solvents should then be allowed to evaporate and the absorbent containing the ETHOCEL polymer should be disposed of via approved landfill or incineration. For large liquid spills, appropriate diking precautions should be taken until the solution can be collected for proper disposal. In liquid solution spills, solvents may present significant health and fire hazards.


ETHOCEL cellulose ethers are not water-soluble and do not biodegrade in aquatic environments. The polymers should, therefore, present no ecological hazard to aquatic life. ETHOCEL products present no significant ecological problems and therefore can be disposed of by burning in an adequate incinerator or by burial in an approved landfill. Incineration should be done under carefully controlled conditions to avoid the possibility of a dust explosion.

If it is necessary to dispose of a formulation that includes ETHOCEL products, it is recommended that the suppliers of all formulation ingredients be consulted before deciding on a suitable disposal method.

In disposal of any wastes, be certain all applicable federal/national, state and local regulations are met.


The shelf life for all standard industrial and standard premium grade EHTOCEL products is 36 months. All non-standard ETHOCEL products have a 24-month shelf life. ETHOCEL products should be stored at temperatures not exceeding 90ºF (32ºC) in a dry area away from all sources of heat.

In storage or use, good housekeeping is required to prevent dusts or fine powders of ETHOCEL polymer from reaching explosive levels in air. When handling ETHOCEL cellulose ethers in large quantities or in bulk, general precautions outlined in NFPA No. 63, "Fundamental Principles for the Prevention of Dust Explosions in Industrial Plants," are recommended. For additional information, see NFPA Nos. 68, 69 and 654.

As with any organic chemical material, ETHOCEL polymers should not be stored next to peroxides or other oxidizing agents.

Premium grades of ETHOCEL products are intended for use in foods, in food contact applications or in pharmaceuticals. As such, these products are subject to the "Good Manufacturing Practices" (21 CFR 110, 21 CFR 210 and 21 CFR 211) of the Food and Drug Administration. Materials in this use should not be stored near hazardous or non-food chemicals.

To prevent odor transference, ETHOCEL Premium polymers should not be stored adjacent to any foul-smelling material.