(Science: chemical) 1,2-dibromoethane. An effective soil fumigant, insecticide, and nematocide. In humans, it causes severe burning of skin and irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract. Prolonged inhalation may cause liver necrosis. It is also used in gasoline. Members of this group have caused liver and lung cancers in rodents. According to the fourth annual report on carcinogens (ntp 85-002, 1985), 1,2-dibromoethane may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen.