Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 106934
CASRN 106-93-4
Ethylene dibromide
Ethane, 1,2-dibromo-
Ethylene bromide
Analytical Methods EPA Method 502.2
EPA Method 504
EPA Method 524.2
EPA Method 618
EPA Method 8010
EPA Method 8011
EPA Method 8021
EPA Method 8260
Molecular FormulaC2H4Br2

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

Use SRP: FORMER USE: TO SOME EXTENT AS CHEM INT & IN GAUGE FLUIDS Catalyst for the initiation of reaction in the preparation of Grignard reagents. CHEM INT FOR VINYL BROMIDE Used as a solvent for resins, gums, and waxes and as a chemical intermediate in the synthesis of dyes and pharmaceuticals. Fumigant, insecticide, nematicide. Former uses Scavenger for lead in gasoline, general solvent, water proofing preparations, organic synthesis . In antiknock gasolines
Consumption Patterns LEAD SCAVENGER, 83%; OTHER USES, 17% (1981)
Boiling Point 131-132 DEG C
Melting Point 9.8 DEG C
Molecular Weight 187.88
Density (Liquid) 2.172 g/ml
Odor Threshold Concentration Low: 76.80 mg/cu m; High: 62.50 mg/cu m.
Sensitivity Data It is an irritant to eyes, skin, & mucous membranes.
Environmental Impact Ethylene dibromide (EDB) will enter the atmosphere primarily from fugitive emissions and exhaust associated with its use as a scavenger in leaded gasoline. Another important but localized source is emissions from fumigation centers for citrus, grain, etc and soil fumigation operations. In the atmosphere, ethylene dibromide will degrade by reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals (half life 32 days). When spilled in water, EDB, will be removed by evaporation (half life 1-5 days). When spilled on land or applied to land during soil fumigation, ethylene dibromide will exhibit low to moderate adsorption and has been found in groundwater. Little bioconcentration into the food chain is expected. Humans are exposed to EDB from the air especially in areas of high traffic. Another source of exposure is from ingesting fumigated food (former use) which can contain ppm levels of EDB. With current restrictions on the use of leaded gasoline and EDB fumigation, exposure to this substance should decrease.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: Biodegradation can be a primary degradation process in soil. A review of available biodegradation data pertaining to ethylene bromide concluded that ethylene bromide is biotransformed fairly readily in the environment ; lifetimes can be as short as several days in surface soils and as long as many months in aquifer materials . Persistence can vary greatly from soil to soil. In one laboratory screening study using 100 soils, half-lives ranging from 1.5 to 18 weeks were determined . In one field, ethylene bromide was detected in soil 19 years after its last known application ; the long persistence was the result of entrapment in intraparticle micropores of the soil . Low Koc values and detection in various ground waters indicate that ethylene bromide will leach in soil. The relatively high vapor pressure (11.2 mm Hg ) indicates evaporation will occur from soil surfaces. AQUATIC FATE: The primary removal process for ethylene bromide in surface water is volatilization. Under normal conditions, the volatilization half-life from a typical river and lake are about one day and 5 days, respectively(2,SRC). A review of available biodegradation data pertaining to ethylene bromide concluded that ethylene bromide is biotransformed fairly readily in the environment, although the rate of biodegradation can be slow (half-life in months) in aquifer conditions . In ground waters (such as aquifers) where volatilization does not occur, ethylene bromide can be degraded by biodegradation and hydrolysis. Uncatalyzed hydrolysis is slow (half-life of 6 yr at 25 deg C ), but hydrolysis catalyzed by the presence of various natural substances (such as HS ion) may be competitive with biodegradation (half-life in 1-2 months)(4,SRC). ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Based upon a vapor pressure of 11.2 mm Hg at 25 deg C , ethylene bromide is expected to exist primary in the vapor-phase in the ambient atmosphere(2,SRC). Vapor-phase ethylene bromide will degrade in the ambient atmosphere by reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals (estimated half-life of 32 days) . Direct photolysis is not expected to be im ortant.
Drinking Water Impact DRINKING WATER: 3 drinking water wells in California and Hawaii 35-300 ppb . The Netherlands 0.1 ppb max . GROUNDWATER: Identified not quantified in ground water in New Jersey in a survey including 408 samples of well water . SURFACE WATER: stream near oil refining and manufacturing 1.05-1.13 ppb . USA-14 heavily industrialized river basins 2 of 204 sites > 1 ppb(6). RAIN: Samples near fumigation center 1 ppb . SEAWATER: Sampling conducted during August 1985 near the West African coast in the Atlantic Ocean found an ethylene bromide conc of 0.08 ng/L . EFFL: Oil refinery effluent < 0.2 ppb ; runoff water from area with several gasoline stations < 0.2 ppb ; runoff from fumigation center 2 ppb .

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