SPECTRUM

Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 100-51-6
SynonymsBenzyl alcohol
Benzenemethanol
Analytical Method EPA Method 8270

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

Molecular FormulaC7H8O
Use MANUFACTURE OF OTHER BENZYL CMPD; SOLVENT FOR CELLULOSE ACETATE; IN PERFUMERY & IN FLAVORING; SOLVENT FOR GELATIN, CASEIN (WHEN HOT), & SHELLAC; IN MICROSCOPY AS EMBEDDING MATERIAL MEDICATION (VET): HAS BEEN USED FOR RELIEF OF PRURITUS AS A LACQUER SOLVENT & PLASTICIZER Photographic developer for color movie films; dyeing nylon filament, textiles & sheet plastics; heat-sealing polyethylene films; intermediate for benzyl esters and ethers; ball point pen inks; stencil inks PRESERVATIVE IN OPHTHALMIC PREPN Medication: It is used as a preservative in newborn medication such as bacteriostatic saline, heparin, phenobarbital injection, pancuronium, aquamephyton, and neonatal trace metal soln. Degreasing agent in rug cleaners. Used for the preservation of aqueous and oily parenteral drugs, in cough syrups, ointments, ophthalmic, burn, and dental solutions, insect ointments and repellents, and dermatological aerosol sprays. It is used as a solvent for dyestuffs. Benzyl alcohol is used in cosmetics, such as nail lacquers and hair dyes.
Consumption Patterns 60% IS USED IN THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY AS A DYE ASSISTANT (MOSTLY FOR DYEING NYLON CARPETING); AND 40% IS USED IN OTHER APPLICATIONS (1972)
Apparent Color WATER-WHITE LIQ
Odor FAINT AROMATIC ODOR
Boiling Point 204.7 DEG C
Melting Point -15.19 DEG C
Molecular Weight 108.13
Density 1.04535 @ 20 DEG C/4 DEG C
Odor Threshold Concentration 5.5 ppm
Sensitivity Data It is slightly irritating to the skin . Vapor: Irritating to eyes, nose and throat. Liquid: Irritating to skin & eyes.
Environmental Impact Benzyl alcohol may enter the environment through fugitive emissions during its production, and during its formulation and use in commercial products. It may also enter the environment from the exhaust of motor vehicles. If released to soil, benzyl alcohol is expected to display high mobility and readily leach through soil. Volatilization from dry soil to the atmosphere may be an important fate process; however, it is not expected to be an important process in moist soils. Microbial degradation in soil may occur, based on limited data. If released to water, benzyl alcohol is expected to undergo microbial degradation under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Neither volatilization to the atmosphere, hydrolysis, direct photolytic degradation, chemical oxidation, bioconcentration in fish and aquatic organisms, nor adsorption to sediment and suspended organic matter are expected to be significant processes in environmental waters. In the atmosphere, benzyl alcohol is expected to exist almost entirely in the vapor phase. The estimated half-life for the vapor phase reaction of benzyl alcohol with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals is 2 days. Its water solubility suggests that benzyl alcohol may undergo deposition to the surface by rain washout and other wet deposition processes. Occupational exposure to benzyl alcohol may occur by dermal contact and inhalation during its production or formulation. Benzyl alcohol finds use in numerous consumer products which may result in exposure by dermal contact, inhalation, or ingestion during their use.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: If released to soil, benzyl alcohol is expected to display high mobility and readily leach through soil(1,2,3). Microbial degradation in soil may occur, based on limited data(4,5). Volatilization from dry soil to the atmosphere may be an important fate process(6,SRC); however, it is not expected to be a significant process in moist soils(7,SRC). AQUATIC FATE: If released to water, benzyl alcohol is expected to undergo microbial degradation under aerobic(1-7) and anaerobic(8,9,10) conditions. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Based on a vapor pressure of 0.11 mm Hg at 25 deg C , benzyl alcohol is expected to exist almost entirely in the vapor phase in the ambient atmosphere . The estimated half life for the vapor phase reaction of benzyl alcohol with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere is 2 days(3,SRC). Based on its water solubility, 40 g/l, it may undergo dissolution into clouds and subsequently be removed from the atmosphere in precipitation.
Drinking Water Impact GROUNDWATER: Benzyl alcohol was found in a groundwater sample taken at an unauthorized waste site, at a concn of 170 ug/L . EFFL: Benzyl alcohol has been identified in the waste water effluent from the photographic processing industry and in the effluent from Kraft paper mills in 6 out of 8 samples at a concentration up to 0.025 mg/l . Benzyl alcohol has been qualitatively determined in the secondary effluent from wastewater treatment plants in Illinois . The effluent from a Los Angeles county waste water treatment plant contained 500 ug/l of benzyl alcohol . Benzyl alcohol has been detected in the leachate from a Barcelona, Spain, sanitary landfill and from a municipal refuse disposal site in the Netherlands(6). Benzyl alcohol was qualitatively detected in the wastewater of a petrochemical company producing olefins and oxygenated hydrocarbons(7). Benzyl alcohol was found in the effluent of 1 out of 4 test waste incinerators(8).

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