Acute effects of ether on humans includes respiratory paralysis, intoxication and sedation, along with skin cracks and other dermatological problems, while long-term exposure induces fatigue, dizziness and nervous system disorders. Ether is classified as a toxic substance, producing adverse effects through contact and ingestion. It also causes irritation to the eyes and skin, but effects generally last temporarily and vanish upon cessation of exposure.
Ether contains no distinct color, but produces a strong odor. It features a high level of flammability and reacts readily with many substances. Its high level of reactivity makes proper handling and storage crucial. This substance warrants controlled and supervised use in laboratories, as it ranks among the most flammable and volatile chemical substances. Although potentially hazardous in laboratory settings, the highly explosive nature of ether makes it ideal for creating explosive substances like fireworks. Ether reacts with water and oxygen, and requires storage in tightly sealed containers. Ether does produce some harmful effects in humans, but generally only at high doses and with excessive exposure. No studies to date correlate ether exposure with development of cancer. Similarly, no studies link ether with reproductive problems. To avoid violent reactions and toxicity, people should take care when handling ether, following protocols and wearing protective gear.