|Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #)||
|Synonyms||Urethane||Ethyl carbamate||Carbamic acid, ethyl ester
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
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
|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
|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 .