ethylene

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ethylene

 [eth´ĭ-lēn]
a colorless, highly flammable gas with a slightly sweet taste and odor, used as an inhalation anesthetic to induce general anesthesia.
ethylene glycol a solvent with a sweet, acrid taste, used as an antifreeze. Acute poisoning by ingestion can result in central nervous system depression, vomiting, hypotension, coma, convulsions, renal damage, and death. While damage is thought to be due to the formed oxalic acid, ethanol is a good treatment because it competitively inhibits alcohol dehydrogenase. The unaltered ethylene glycol is then excreted in the urine.
ethylene oxide a gaseous, flammable alkylating agent with a broad spectrum of activity, capable of killing both spores and viruses; it must be mixed with CO2 or fluorocarbons because it is explosive above 3 per cent. It is used in hospitals, surgery, dentistry, and the pharmaceutical and other industries for disinfecting and sterilizing instruments and equipment that would be destroyed by heat or would be adversely affected by immersion in water or other media. Its optimal germicidal effect occurs after a 3-hour exposure at 30°C.ƒ

Ethylene oxide is toxic because it alkylates tissue constituents; it is carcinogenic and may produce adverse reproductive effects. Inhalation may cause nausea, vomiting, and neurological disorders, and severe exposure may be fatal. Before items exposed to ethylene oxide can be used they must be aired for 5 days at room temperature or for 8 hours at 120° C to remove any trace of the gas. This is also true for articles of clothing, such as gloves and shoes, that have been exposed, because chemical burns can occur when the contaminated clothing comes in contact with the skin.

eth·yl·ene

(eth'il-ēn),
An explosive constituent of ordinary illuminating gas; hastens ripening of fruit.

ethylene

(ĕth′ə-lēn′)
n.
A colorless flammable gas, C2H4, derived from natural gas and petroleum and also occurring as a natural plant hormone, used as a source of many organic compounds, in welding and cutting metals, to ripen citrus fruits, and as an anesthetic. Also called ethene.

eth′yl·e′nic (-ə-lē′nĭk, -lĕn′ĭk) adj.

ethylene

or

ethene

a simple hydrocarbon with the formula CH2=CH2 that can act as a PLANT HORMONE even when present in very low concentrations (down to 1 ppm). Ethylene inhibits elongation in most growing tissues and promotes leaf ABSCISSION and fruit ripening in some plants. Plant cells produce ethylene from the amino acid METHIONINE. A ripe banana or tomato in a bowl of unripe ones will speed up the ripening process by giving off ethylene.

eth·yl·ene

(eth'il-ēn)
An explosive constituent of ordinary illuminating gas.