Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 120127
CASRN 120-12-7
Analytical Methods EPA Method 525.2
EPA Method 610
EPA Method 625
EPA Method 8100
EPA Method 8270
EPA Method 8310
Molecular FormulaC14H10

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

Apparent Color MONOCLINIC PLATES FROM ALCOHOL RECRYSTALLIZATION; WHEN PURE, COLORLESS WITH VIOLET FLUORESCENCE ; When crystallized from benzene, colorless, lustrous plates are formed which exhibit a blue fluorescence ; YELLOW CRYSTALS WITH BLUE FLUORESCENCE
Odor Weak aromatic odor
Boiling Point 342 DEG C
Melting Point 218 DEG C
Molecular Weight 178.22
Density 1.25 @ 27 DEG C/4 DEG C
Sensitivity Data Skin damage and symptoms of burning, itching associated with irritation of the conjunctiva and upper airways. Anthracene may irritate the respiratory tract.
Environmental Impact Anthracene's release to the environment is quite general since it is a ubiquitous product of incomplete combustion and has extensive natural and antheopogenic sources. It is largely associated with particulate matter, soils, and sediments. If released to soil it will be expected to adsorb very strongly to the soil and will not be expected to leach appreciably to groundwater. It will not hydrolyze but may be subject to biodegradation in soils with reported half-lives of 3.3-139 days. It may be subject to evaporation from the soil and other surfaces. If released to water it will strongly adsorb to sediment and particulate matter, but will not hydrolyze. It may bioconcentrate in species which lack microsomal oxidase, the presence of which allows organisms to rapidly metabolize polyaromatic hydrocarbons. It will be subject to direct photolysis near the surface of waters and may be subject to significant biodegradation. It may be subjected to significant evaporation with an estimated range of half-lives of 4.3-5.9 days predicted for evaporation from a river 1 m deep, flowing at 1 m/sec with a wind velocity of 3 m/sec. If released to the atmosphere, Anthracene will be subject to direct photolysis and the estimated vapor phase half-life in the atmosphere is 1.67 days as a result of reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals. Adsorption of anthracene may retard the evaporation, biodegradation, bioconcentration, and photolysis processes. Human exposure will be from inhalation of contaminated air and consumption of contaminated food and water. Especially high exposure will occur through the smoking of cigarettes and the ingestion of certain foods (eg smoked and charcoal broiled meats and fish).
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: If released to soil, anthracene will be expected to adsorb very strongly to the soil and, therefore, will not be expected to leach through soil. It will not hydrolyze. It will be subject to biodegradation with reported range of half-lives of 108-139 days for biodegradation in soils, with one half-life of 3.3 days also reported. Evaporation from soil surfaces and other surfaces may be important. Adsorption to soil will be expected to retard both evaporation and biodegradation processes. AQUATIC FATE: If released to water, anthracene will be expected to adsorb very strongly to sediments and particulate matter. It will not hydrolyze but may bioconcentrate in aquatic organisms which lack microsomal oxidase (this enzyme enables the rapid metabolism of polyaromatic hydrocarbons). It will be subject to direct photolysis near the surface of natural waters and may be subject to significant biodegradation based on laboratory tests. It may be subject to significant evaporation with an estimated range of half-lives of 4.3-5.9 days for evaporation from a model river 1 m deep, flowing at 1 m/sec with a wind velocity of 3 m/sec. Adsorption of anthracene on suspended solids or sediments may retard photolysis, biodegradation, and evaporation processes. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Anthracene released to the atmosphere should be partially associated with particulate matter and may be subject to long distance transport, depending on the particle size distribution and climactic conditions which will determine the rates of wet and dry deposition. It may be subject to considerable direct photolysis and the estimated vapor phase half-life in the atmosphere is 1.67 days as a result of reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals. Adsorption of anthracene to particulates may considerably retard direct photolysis and reaction with vapor phase species. The fate and transport of anthracene in surface waters will depend on the nature of the water. In most waters, the loss of anthracene is mainly due to photolysis and biodegradation, however, in every shallow fast flowing clear water, volatilization and photolysis will play dominant roles in determining the fate of anthracene. In air, anthracene is expected to be present both in the vapor and the particle sorbed state. Over 78% of atmospheric anthracene may be present in the vapor state. Both chemical processes including ozone and hydroxide radical and photochemical reaction will degrade atmospheric anthracene. The degradation of vapor phase atmospheric anthracene is expected to be faster than particle sorbed anthracene. The atmospheric half-life of anthracene may vary from hours to days. The long range transport of anthracene indicates that particle sorbed anthracene may have a half-life of the order of days.
Drinking Water Impact DRINKING WATER: Tap water, 1.1-59.7 parts per trillion(8). U.S., 9 cities, 78% pos, <1-<2 parts per trillion(12). Great Lakes, 12 municipalities, Jan (Aug), 1980, 2.4-570.8 parts per trillion (0.6-1269 parts per trillion), avg 62.9 parts per trillion (avg 126.1 parts per trillion) . New York State, 1979, public drinking water wells, anthracene and phenanthrene 39 wells, 18% pos, 12.0 ppb . Identified, not quantified, drinking water concentrates(9). Identified, not quantified, in drinking water(11). The Netherlands, drinking water from bankfiltered Rhine water, 30 parts per trillion . Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, May-July, 1980, 0.04-9.7 parts per trillion(6). Norwegian tapwater, 0.35 parts per trillion(10). Ottawa, Canada, Jan-Feb, 1978, >0.52-2.2 ppb . Kitakyushu, Japan, 1.7 ppm . Eastern Ontario, Canada, 5 municipal treatment plants, 0.1-4.8 parts per trillion, avg 1.6 parts per trillion(7). SURFACE WATERS: USEPA STORET database. 776 samples, 4.0% pos, median <10.0 ppb(7). Delaware River, 30 samples, 3% pos . Lower Tennessee River, water and sediments, 12.1 ppb . U.S., 114 heavily industrialized river basins, 204 sites, 1 pos, detected, not quantified(6). Dohkai Bay, Japan, Oct, 1977 identified (not quantified) . Tamar Estuary, UK, 4.9 parts per trillion . Rhine River, 1981, 15 parts per trillion, 1982, 13 parts per trillion . Trace quantities of anthracene were detected in Lakes Michigan(8), Erie(12) and Ontario(12). Anthracene was found in 2 of 4 Mississippi River water samples at concn of 3 and 4 ng/L(9). Anthracene was detected in Baltic waters off the coast of Poland(10); and in the Yellow River, Peoples Republic of China in March, August, and October at concn of 7.7, 0.8, and 9.5 ng/L, respectively(11). RAINWATER: Portland, OR, Feb-April, 1984, 7 sample periods, 2-5 days long: Anthracene dissolved in rainwater, 2.0-7.9 parts per trillion, avg 5.1 parts per trillion ; anthracene concn of particulate matter in rain, 1.3-10.0 parts per trillion . Great Lakes, 1.3-2.3 parts per trillion, avg 2.0 parts per trillion . Southern Norway, Nov 1974-March 1975, detected, not quantified . OTHER WATER: Lakes near Mt. St. Helens, WA, sampled beginning 15 months after the first major eruption, samples from Aug, 1981-Aug, 1982, Spirit Lake, epilimnion, 1.5 ppb, hypolimnion, 1.8 ppb, Coldwater Lake, epilimnion, 1.8 ppb . In general, anthracene occurs in ambient waters at a frequency of 4% and at a median concentration of <10 ug/l. Anthracene has been reported to be present in groundwater from a few contaminated sites. The detection of up to 168.6 ug/l of anthracene was reported in groundwater from a creosote waste site in Conroe, TX. The detection of anthracene in drinking waters throughout the world have been reported. The highest concentration of combined anthracene/phenanthrene at 1269 ng/l was reported in drinking water in Sault Ste. Marie. Finished waters from 13 different locations throughout the United States, however, failed to show the presence of any anthracene. DRINKING WATER: Anthracene was detected in drinking water in Norway and Philadelphia, PA . In New York State, 7 of 39 drinking water wells tested positive for anthracene with a maximum concn of 21 ug/L . GROUNDWATER: Groundwater near closed coal-tar distillation and wood-treating plant, St. Louis Park, MN, 68 ppb . Conroes, TX, near creosote waste site, Oct 1981-March, 1983, 13 wells, 54% pos, 1.7-205.9 ppt; soil cores, ppm (depth, feet). 2.16 (0.7-1.8), 0.14 , 0.03 (10) not detected (20), 0.04 (24-25), 0.03 (26.5) . USEPA STORET database, 1268 samples, 5.0% pos, median <10.0 ppb . Industrial wastewater, avg ug/l, raw (treated), iron/steel manufacturing, 15 samples, 80% pos, <200 (15 samples, 93% pos, <46); aluminum forming, 5 samples, 60% pos, <100 (25 samples, 8% pos, <6.5); foundries, 11 samples, 100% pos, 2400 (10 samples, 100% pos, 12); photography, 9 samples, 22% pos (2 samples, 0% pos), nonferrous metals, 59 samples, 15% samples, >10 ug/l, 160 (55 samples, 1.8% >10 ug/l, 3.8); organic chemicals, 8 detections, 390 (4 detections, 10) . Fly ash from municipal incinerator, 8 samples, 100% pos, 4-380 ppb, avg 148 ppb . U.S. urban runoff, up to July, 1982, 15 cities, 27% pos, 86 samples, 8% pos, 1-10 ppb . Coke plant waste water, 70.2-101 ppb . Exhaust emissions from gasoline engines, 534-642 ug/l fuel burned(6). EFFL: Anthracene at a concentration range of <13-105 ng/l was reported in the effluent from a sewage treatment plant in Norway. It was also reported in the concentration range of <0.03-0.84 ug/l in the effluent from coal oven plants It has been reported to be present in several surface waters. Coal tar which contains phenanthrene/anthracene mixtures at an average concn of 25 mg/g is commonly used as a coating to prevent corrosion of storage tanks in water distribution systems in New York State . The phenanthrene/anthracene concn of influent and effluent of 125 tanks averaged 0.019 and 0.210 ug/L, respectively . Leachate from these tanks also contained anthracene . Anthracene was detected in coal dust from a transfer operation in VA at concn ranging from 2571 to 16231 ng/g with an average concn of 8169 ng/g . Runoff from coal piles in IL contained anthracene at an average concn of 0.6 ug/L . Coal-fired plants emitted anthracene to the air at concn ranging from 0.4 to 100 ng/cu m . Anthracene was identified as a stack emission and in grate and fly ash from coal combustion . Anthracene was detected in the waste water of a coal gasification plant at a concn of 0.2 mg/L(6). Anthracene was also detected as a stack emission and in grate ash of waste incinerators . Incinerator fly ash contained anthracene at concn ranging from 10 to 500 ng/g with an average from 5 samples of 146 ng/g(7). A sludge incinerator emitted anthracene to the air at concn ranging from 0.2-7.7 ug/sample . Diesel fueled engines emit anthracene to the atmosphere(1-3). Anthracene/phenanthrene was emitted from a gasoline power turbine to the air at concn ranging from 0.53-106.00 ng/cu m, with an average from 8 samples of 17.31 ng/cu m . Anthracene was found in 4 gasoline fuels at undetectable levels and 0.33, 2.6, and 2.7 mg/L and was released to the air by automobiles in the gaseous phase at and average concn of 5.3, 12, 21, and 28 ug/km and as particulates at an average concn of 0.11, 0.08, 0.24 ug/km and undetectable levels, respectively . Anthracene/phenanthrene was contained in the dissolved air flotation (DAF) waste water effluent of a class B refinery at a concn of 168 ng/g(6). Anthracene was emitted from a simulated rubber combustion operation at a concn of 85000 ug/kg of rubber(7). Soil was found to contain anthracene after the spreading of sewage sludge . Smoke from wood burning stoves contain anthracene . The concn of anthracene in the soil surrounding waste pits for natural gas production and processing ranged between 260 and 670 ug/kg and 36 to 105 ug/g . The concn of anthracene in the soil water of the same pits ranged from undetectable levels to 2200 ug/L . Anthracene was emitted at an average concn of 240 and 140 ug/kg during the pouring, cooling, and shakeout of aluminum and iron castings, respectively, made with the evaporative pattern casting process(6).

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