SPECTRUM

Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 51796
CASRN 51-79-6
SynonymsUrethane
Ethyl carbamate
Carbamic acid, ethyl ester
Molecular FormulaC3H7NO2

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

Use MOLTEN URETHAN IS GOOD SOLVENT FOR VARIOUS ORG MATERIALS; PREPN & MODIFICATION OF AMINO RESINS; AS SOLUBILIZER & CO-SOLVENT FOR PESTICIDES, FUMIGANTS. MEDICATION (VET): ANESTHETIC, HYPNOTIC, SEDATIVE, DIURETIC SOLUBILIZER & CO-SOLVENT FOR COSMETICS. AS CHEMICAL INTERMEDIATE, PRIMARILY FOR REACTION WITH FORMALDEHYDE TO PRODUCE N-HYDROXYMETHYL DERIVATIVES, WHICH ARE USEFUL AS CROSS LINKING AGENTS IN TEXTILE TREATMENTS DESIGNED TO IMPART WASH AND WEAR PROPERTIES TO FABRICS. Intermediate for pharmaceuticals; biochemical research. ANTI-NEOPLASTIC AGENT; HYPNOTIC; AS ADJUNCT TO SULFONAMIDE THERAPY; AS COMPONENT (WITH QUININE) OF SCLEROSING SOLN FOR VARICOSE VEINS, & AS TOPICAL BACTERICIDE. FORMER USES MORE RECENT SOURCE STATES THAT LARGE DOSES OF URETHANE PRODUCE BONE MARROW DEPRESSION, & THAT FOR TIME IT WAS USED IN TREATMENT OF CHRONIC LEUKEMIA & MULTIPLE MYELOMA. NO EVIDENCE WAS FOUND THAT URETHANE PRESENTLY FINDS USE IN USA IN HUMAN MEDICINE. VET: REPORTED APPLICATIONS OF URETHANE INCL ITS INFREQUENT USE AS HYPNOTIC & ITS MORE FREQUENT USE AS ANESTHETIC FOR LAB ANIMALS. VET: HAS OCCASIONALLY BEEN USED WITH OTHER DRUGS, SINCE IT NOT ONLY AUGMENTS THEIR ACTION, BUT INCR THEIR AQUEOUS SOLUBILITY. WIDE MARGIN OF SAFETY IN FISH ANESTHESIA, BUT NOT POPULAR SINCE IT MAY BE CARCINOGENIC TO USER. A combination of urethane (95.2 g) & chloralose (9.25 g) in 150 ml normal saline has been used iv (1 mg/kg) for anesthesia in the dog. Urethane is not used clinically because there are safer anesthetics available.
Apparent Color COLORLESS, COLUMNAR CRYSTALS OR WHITE, GRANULAR POWDER; PRISMS FROM BENZENE & TOLUENE
Odor ALMOST ODORLESS
Boiling Point 182-184 DEG C
Melting Point 48-50 DEG C
Molecular Weight 89.09
Density 1.1
Environmental Impact The major uses of ethyl carbamate is as an intermediate in the synthesis of a variety of products and as a solubilizer and cosolvent for pesticides and fumigants. When released to soil, ethyl carbamate is expected to adsorb only weakly and to leach to groundwater. Biodegradation in soil is not expected to be significant. When released to water, ethyl carbamate will not adsorb strongly to soil and may leach into ground water. Biodegradation should be slow and while no information could be located concerning its rate of hydrolysis, the fact that monitoring data in water is available, indicated that it is also slow. Bioconcentration in aquatic organisms should not be important. When released to the air, ethyl carbamate is expected to be washed out by rain and react with photochemically generated hydroxyl radicals (estimated half-life 22.31 days). Human exposure will be primarily occupational although some exposure to the general population may occur from ingestion of contaminated drinking water.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: If released on land, ethyl carbamate will probably leach to groundwater. It may also biodegrade after an extended lag period. AQUATIC FATE: Ethyl carbamate is not expected to hydrolyze, biodegrade, adsorb to sediment, or volatilize. It is likely, therefore, to persist in water. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Using the Fate of Atmospheric Pollutants portion of GEMS, a half-life for the reaction of ethyl carbamate with photochemically generated hydroxyl radicals of 22.3 days was estimated(SRC,1). Ethyl carbamate is very soluble in water (2X10 6 mg/l ) and so may be subject to rainout.
Drinking Water Impact DRINKING WATER: Ethyl carbamate was detected in drinking water from Cincinnati, OH and Ottuma, IA . GROUNDWATER: Ethyl carbamate was detected but not quantified in groundwater samples taken near a landfill in Norman, Oklahoma (1,2). EFFL: Ethyl carbamate was detected at concentrations of 0.020 and 0.010 ppm in treated wastewater from 2 kraft mills in Georgia . The wastewater treatment in the first kraft mill consisted of a trickling biofilter and aerated lagoon, while that in the second consisted of lime treatment and holding in a storage basin .

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