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Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 108907
CASRN 108-90-7
SynonymsChlorobenzene
Benzene, chloro-
Benzene chloride
Monochlorobenzene
Analytical Methods EPA Method 502.2
EPA Method 503.1
EPA Method 524.2
EPA Method 601
EPA Method 602
EPA Method 624
EPA Method 8010
EPA Method 8021
EPA Method 8260
Molecular FormulaC6H5Cl

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

Use SOLVENT FOR PAINTS SOMETIMES USED IN DRY-CLEANING CHEM INT FOR PHENOL, O- & P-CHLORONITROBENZENE, DDT, & ANILINE USED IN MFR OF INSECTICIDES & AS INT IN MFR OF DYESTUFFS SOLVENT CARRIER FOR METHYLENE DIISOCYANATE Used as a fiber swelling agent and dye carrier in textile processing, a tar and grease remover in cleaning and degreasing operations, a solvent in surface coating and surface coating removers. Used as a solvent in the manufacture of adhesives, paints, polishes, waxes, diisocyanates, pharmaceuticals, and natural rubber.
Consumption Patterns 32% FOR O- AND P-CHLORONITROBENZENES; 27% FOR PHENOL; 5% FOR DDT; 36% FOR MISC APPLICATIONS INCLUDING SYNTHESIS OF ANILINE AND USE AS A SOLVENT (1972) Solvent (pesticide formulation, TDI processing, degreasing agent), 42%; Nitrochlorobenzenes, 32%; Diphenyl oxide and phenylphenols, 15%; Miscellaneous, 11% (1985) CHEMICAL PROFILE: Monochlorobenzene. Nitrochlorobenzenes, 40%; solvent (for pesticide formulations, TDI processing and degreasing), 27%; diphenyl oxide and phenylphenols, 20%; polysulfone polymers, 5%; miscellaneous, 8%. CHEMICAL PROFILE: Monochlorobenzene. Demand: 1986: 222 million lb; 1987: 220 million lb; 1991 projected/: 195 million lb.
Apparent Color COLORLESS LIQUID
Odor FAINT, NOT UNPLEASANT ODOR ; ALMOND-LIKE ODOR ; Mild amine odor ; Mild aromatic
Boiling Point 132 DEG C
Melting Point -45.6 DEG C
Molecular Weight 112.56
Density 1.1058 @ 20 DEG C/4 DEG C
Odor Threshold Concentration Odor recognition in air: 2.10x10-1 ppm. Odor Low, 0.98 mg/cu m; Odor High, 280.0 mg/cu m
Sensitivity Data If spilled on clothing and allowed to remain, may cause smarting and reddening of the skin. Irritation of the eyes and nose.
Environmental Impact Chlorobenzene will enter the atmosphere from fugitive emissions connected with its use as a solvent in pesticide formulations and as an industrial solvent. Once released it will decrease in concentration due to dilution and photooxidation. Releases into water and onto land will decrease in concentration due to vaporization into the atmosphere and slow biodegradation in the soil or water. Chlorobenzene would be expected to percolate into the ground water if soil is sandy and poor in organic matter. Little bioconcentration is expected into fish and food products. Primary human exposure is from ambient air, especially near point sources.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: Since chlorobenzene is fairly volatile, much of it will be lost to the atmosphere . It is relatively mobile in sandy soil and aquifer material and biodegrades very slowly or not at all in these soils(2-5). Therefore, it can be expected to leach into the groundwater. It has a moderate adsorption onto organic soil and if retained long enough it will biodegrade and even mineralize in soil(6). Degradation will generally be slow, but fairly rapid mineralization (20%/week) has been reported in one study(7). Acclimation of soil microorganisms is an important factor(8). AQUATIC FATE: The primary loss will be due to evaporation. The rate of evaporation will depend on the wind speed and water movement. The half-life for evaporation is approximately 4.5 hours with moderate wind speed . Biodegradation will occur during the warmer seasons and will proceed more rapidly in fresh water than in estuarine and marine systems(2,3). The rate will also depend on the acclimation of microbial communities to chlorobenzene or related chemicals. One reported half-life for an estuarine river with near natural conditions (22 deg C) is 75 days . A moderate amount of adsorption will occur onto organic sediments . ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Reaction with hydroxyl radicals is the dominant removal mechanism with an estimated half-life of 9 days with the formation of chlorophenols . Reaction in polluted air with nitric oxide is somewhat faster and produces chloronitrobenzene and chloronitrophenols . Photolysis would proceed at a much slower rate, with monochlorobiphenyl being produced .
Drinking Water Impact DRINKING WATER: 1975 USEPA National Organics Reconnaissance Survey (NORS) finished drinking water samples: Miami, FL - 1 ug/L; Seattle, WA - not detected (detection limit not reported); Cincinnati, OH - 0.1 ug/L; Ottumwa, IA - not detected; and Philadelphia, PA - <0.1 ug/L . Finished water in 9 of 10 supplies surveyed by the USEPA contained chlorobenzene with 5.6 and 4.7 ppb in Terrebonne Parish, LA and New York City, respectively(7). Chlorobenzene may be formed during chlorination(7). GROUNDWATER: As of June 30, 1984 - Wisconsin, 1174 community wells, 0% pos; 617 private wells, 0% pos, detection limit 1.0-5.0 ug/L . During 1981-1982, 945 wells scattered throughout the USA, 0.1% pos., concn detected 2.7 ug/L, detection limit 0.5 ug/L(8). 14 ppt (Zurich, 1973) under densely populated, partly industrial area . SURFACE WATER: Ohio River Basin (large survey, 1980-1981) detected in 9.6% of samples, but only 0.01% were >1 ppb. Maximum concentration was >10 ppb . In 14 Industrial River Basins (1975-76), only 5% of samples in the range 1-4 ppb . SEAWATER: Not detected in Raritan Bay (Lower Hudson)(6). Monochlorobenzenes were detected in groundwater in Miami, FL at a concn of 1.0 mg/l. Monochlorobenzenes were detected in raw water contaminated with municipal waste in Philadelphia, PA at concn of 0.1 mg/l. Monochlorobenzenes were detected in raw water contaminated with industrial discharge in Cincinnati, OH and Lawrence, MA at concn of 0.1-0.5 mg/l and 0.12 mg/l, respectively. EFFL: Monochlorobenzenes were detected in industrial discharge in Lawsons Fork Creek, SC at a concn of 8.0-17.0 mg/l. Monochlorobenzenes were detected in the municipal water in Coosa River, GA at a concn of 27.0 mg/l. The concentrations of volatile organic chemicals in the air of three wastewater treatment plants, were compared on the basis of samplings carried out with charcoal tubes during a period of 7 consecutive days. Combustible organic vapor content was determined with an organic vapor analyzer provided with a flame ionization detector. The highest organic vapor concentrations (300 ppm) in the air were recorded at the plant that was processing the highest proportion of industrial wastewater; at this plant, the air levels of methyl-isobutyl-ketone, chlorobenzene, toluene, and benzene were correlated significantly with the concentration of total organic vapors in the air. Significant correlations between waste water and air space were established only for the concentrations of trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and perchloroethylene; no such correlations were encountered for the concentrations of total aliphatic and nonaliphatic hydrocarbons or for total specific compounds. Comparison between the time weighted averages of 24 organics in the air obtained with the charcoal tubes and analyzed by gas chromatography and those obtained with the flame ionization detector and organic vapor analyzer system revealed that the total organics calculated according to the former method amounted to less than 10 percent of the time weighted average results from the flame ionization detector and organic vapor analyzer system.

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