Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 100447
CASRN 100-44-7
SynonymsBenzyl chloride
Benzene, (chloromethyl)-
Analytical Methods EPA Method 8010
EPA Method 8260
Molecular FormulaC7H7Cl

Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details on this compound.

Use MFR BENZYL COMPOUNDS, PERFUMES, PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS, DYES, SYNTHETIC TANNINS, & ARTIFICIAL RESINS AS AN IRRITANT GAS IN CHEMICAL WARFARE (FORMER USE) MFR OF PHOTOGRAPHIC DEVELOPER; PENICILLIN PRECURSORS CHEM INT FOR N-BUTYL BENZYL PHTHALATE; OTHER BENZYL PHTHALATES; PHARMACEUTICALS-EG, PENICILLIN G; BENZYL QUATERNARY AMMONIUM SALTS; BENZYL ALCOHOL; OTHER BENZYL ESTERS-EG, ACETATE & BENZOATE; BENZYL AMINES; TRIPHENYLMETHANE DYES; DIBENZYL DISULFIDE (AN ANTIOXIDANT); RUBBER ACCELERATORS & GASOLINE GUM INHIBITOR; PICKLING INHIBITORS Benzyl chloride may be used as a blocking agent to prepare monoalkylated piperazine. After blocking one nitrogen, it is alkylated by alkyl halide. The blocking agent is removed by catalytic hydrogenation. Reacts with aromatic compounds such as naphthalene and toluene to produce the Electron-Beam-Sensitive Fluid Media Mfr bactericides and fungicides, flavors and odorants, insecticides, lubricants, plastics, and plasticizers Benzyl chloride and tin metal are used in the synthesis of tribenzyltin chloride. Benzyl chloride is used to convert a variety of tertiary amines to quaternary ammonium chlorides. The most important of these, made from dimethyl alkyl amines containing long chain (C10-C18) alkyl groups, are bactericides used widely in industries and institutions.
Consumption Patterns CHEM INT: BENZYL PHTHALATE, 62%; BENZYL ALCOHOL, 11%; BENZYL QUATERNARY AMMONIUM SALTS, 10%; & PHARMACEUTICALS, 8% (1978) CHEM INT FOR N-BUTYL BENZYL PHTHALATE, 60%; CHEM INT FOR PHARMACEUTICALS, 12%; CHEM INT FOR QUATERNARY AMMONIUM SALTS, 10%; CHEM INT FOR OTHER BENZYL PHTHALATES, 7%; CHEM INT FOR BENZYL ALCOHOL, 6%; OTHER USES, 5% (1981) Butyl benzyl phthalate, 60%; benzyl alcohol, 12.5%; quaternary ammonium compounds, 11%; benzyl cyanide, 3%; other, including benzyl acetate, benzyl salicylate and benzyl cinnamate, 13.5% (1985) CHEMICAL PROFILE: Benzyl Chloride. Butyl benzyl phthalate, 65%; benzyl quaternary ammonium compounds, 15%; benzyl alcohol, 10%; miscellaneous, including benzyl acetate, salicylate, propionate and cinnamante, 10%. CHEMICAL PROFILE: Benzyl chloride. Demand: 1986: 65 million lb; 1987: 67 million lb; 1991 /projected/: 72 million lb (In addition, 1.3 million lb were imported in 1986; exports are minimal).
Odor RATHER UNPLEASANT, IRRITATING ODOR ; Pungent, aromatic odor
Boiling Point 179 DEG C
Melting Point -43 TO -48 DEG C
Molecular Weight 126.58
Density 1.100 @ 20 DEG C/20 DEG C
Odor Threshold Concentration Low: 0.235 mg/cu m, High: 1.55 mg/cu m, Irritation Level: 41 mg/cu m from table Odor recognition in air= 4.7x10-2 ppm chemically pure
Sensitivity Data Vapors are intensely irritating to all mucous membranes, particularly to the eye. Unbearable eye irritation is produced by 31 ppm in air. IRRITANT TO EYES & RESPIRATORY TRACT IN CONCN ABOVE THE THRESHOLD LIMIT. Vapors irritate skin . CONCN OF 6-8 MG/CU M CAUSE A SLIGHT CONJUNCTIVITIS AFTER 5 MIN OF EXPOSURE. AIRBORNE CONCN OF 50-100 MG/CU M CAUSE WEEPING & TWITCHING OF EYELIDS & IN CONCN OF 160 MG/CU M IT IS UNBEARABLY IRRITATING TO THE EYES & MUCOUS MEMBRANES OF THE NOSE.
Environmental Impact Benzyl chloride is released to the environment by emissions involved with its production and use, by emissions from waste incineration, and by emissions from floor tile manufactured with butyl benzyl phthalate. Due to its rapid transformation in environmental media, benzyl chloride is not expected to be a persistent environmental contaminant. If released to water, hydrolysis will be the dominant removal mechanism as the hydrolysis half-life ranges from 19.1 to 0.58 days at respective temperature ranges of 0.1 to 25 deg C. The rate of volatilization from water in shallow, rapidly moving streams may be similar in magnitude to the rate of hydrolysis. If released to soil, benzyl chloride can be expected to hydrolyze under moist conditions. Leaching is likely to occur, although hydrolytic decomposition may occur at rates sufficent to minimize the importance of leaching. Evaporation from dry surfaces will probably occur. If released to the atmosphere, the dominant removal mechanism will be reaction with hydroxyl radicals. The atmospheric residence time, with respect to hydroxyl radical reactions, has been estimated to be approximately 3 days. Monitoring of ambient outdoor air in seven USA cities between 1980 and 1981 found benzyl chloride levels generally below detection limits of 5 ppt, although concentrations as high as 111 ppt were detected. Indoor inhalation exposure may occur due to emissions from floor tile made with butyl benzyl phthalate.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: Benzyl chloride can be expected to hydrolyze quite rapidly in moist soils based on its relatively rapid hydrolysis in aqueous solutions. Significant leaching in soil is likely to occur; however, hydrolytic decomposition may occur in moist soil at rates sufficient to significantly minimize the importance of leaching. Screening tests have shown that benzyl chloride is readily biodegradable; therefore, biodegradation in various soils may be important. The relatively high vapor pressure of benzyl chloride suggests that evaporation from dry surfaces may be relatively rapid. AQUATIC FATE: In water, the dominant removal mechanism for benzyl chloride will be hydrolysis which has half-lives ranging from 19.1 to 0.58 days at respective temperature ranges of 0.1 to 25 deg C. Volatilization from shallow, rapidly moving streams may be a competitive removal mechanism with hydrolysis; however, in most environmental bodies of water, hydrolysis should be dominant. Screening tests have shown that benzyl chloride is readily biodegradable; therefore, biodegradation may have some importance in various natural waters. Bioconcentration in aquatic organisms and adsorption to sediment and suspended matter is not expected to be important. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: The dominant removal mechanism of benzyl chloride in the atmosphere is its reaction with hydroxyl radicals . The atmospheric residence time of benzyl chloride, with respect to hydroxyl radical reactions, has been estimated to be approximately 3 days. The atmospheric half-life with respect to ozone reaction is in excess of 200 days and is therefore not competitive with hydroxyl radical reaction. Physical removal of benzyl chloride from the atmosphere is not likely to be important compared with hydroxyl reactions .
Drinking Water Impact BENZYL CHLORIDE HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED IN SURFACE WATER IT HAS ALSO BEEN IDENTIFIED IN WATER SAMPLES TAKEN FROM THE DELAWARE RIVER IN PENNSYLVANIA & IN NEW JERSEY. SURFACE WATER: Benzyl chloride was positively detected in one of 17 samples (no concentration reported) collected from the Delaware river in October 1976 . EFFL: BENZYL CHLORIDE HAS BEEN IDENTIFED IN OIL REFINERY EFFLUENTS & OTHER INDUSTRIAL EFFLUENTS. Benzyl chloride has been detected in various unidentified industrial effluents . It has also been detected in stack effluents from waste incinerators .

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