|Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #)||
|Synonyms||Nicotine||Pyridine, 3-(1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinyl)-, (S)-, and salts
Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details
on this compound.
Vet: ectoparasiticide; has been used as an anthelmintic
Greenhouse fumigant (former use)
|Apparent Color|| COLORLESS TO PALE YELLOW, OILY LIQUID ; thick, water-white, oil turning
|Odor|| Slightly fishy
|Boiling Point|| 246.7 DEG C @ 745 MM HG
|Melting Point|| -79 DEG C
|Molecular Weight|| 162.23
|Density|| 1.0097 @ 20 DEG C/4 DEG C
|Odor Threshold Concentration|| 1.90x10-5 moles/l taste detection in water (purity not specified)
3.00x10-3 g/l taste detection in water (purity not specified)
|Environmental Impact|| Nicotine is a natural constituent of the tobacco plants Nicotiana tabacum and N rustica
and it is released in the particulate phase of tobacco smoke. Nicotine may also be released to the
environment due to its use as an insecticide and use in formulations for painting surfaces in
poultry houses. If released to soil, nicotine may biodegrade to a variety of different products
including oxynicotine and 3-pyridylmethyl ketone. Under alkaline conditions this compound
should be extremely mobile. Nicotine is not expected to chemically hydrolyze or volatilize from
moist soil surfaces. If released to water, nicotine may biodegrade. Slight potential also exists for
photolysis. Chemical hydrolysis, bioaccumulation in the aquatic organisms, volatilization and
adsorption under alkaline conditions to suspended solids and sediments are not expected to be
significant fate processes. If released to air, nicotine is expected to degrade rather quickly in the
presence of light and air. In the ambient atmosphere, nicotine may react with photochemically
generated hydroxyl radicals (vapor phase half-life 1 day), be removed by wet deposition or
photolyze. The most probable route of human exposure is by inhalation of tobacco smoke. Some
people may also be exposed to nicotine in drinking water. Infants breast fed by women who
smoke are exposed to nicotine in mother's milk. Worker exposure may occur during formulation,
storage and application to pesticides and paints which contain this compound and during
processing and extraction of tobacco.
|Environmental Fate|| TERRESTRIAL FATE: If released to soil, nicotine may biodegrade to a variety of
different products including oxynicotine, 3-pyridylmethyl ketone, 2,3'-dipyridyl,
N-methylmyosmine and a purple crystalline pigment. In moist soil chemical hydrolysis and
volatilization are not expected to be important fate processes. Under alkaline condition, nicotine
should be highly mobile.
AQUATIC FATE: If released to water, nicotine may biodegrade. This compound is not expected
to undergo chemical hydrolysis, bioaccumulate significantly in aquatic organisms or volatilize.
Under alkaline conditions adsorption to suspended solids and sediments is not expected to be
significant. Slight potential exists for photolysis.
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: If released to air nicotine is expected to degrade rather quickly in the
presence of light and air. A resinous product may form. In the ambient atmosphere, nicotine may
react with photochemically generated hydroxyl radicals (vapor phase t 1/2 1 day) or be removed
by wet deposition. Slight potential exists for direct photolysis, since it adsorbs UV light only
weakly above 290 nm.
|Drinking Water Impact|| OF 10 WATER UTILITIES SURVEYED BY EPA (1975A), ONLY FINISHED
WATER OF MIAMI CONTAINED NICOTINE @ 3 UG/L.
DRINKING WATER: Nicotine was positively idenified in drinking water from: Cincinnati, OH -
Oct 1978 and Jan 1980; Ottumva, IA - Sept 1976; and Seattle, WA - Nov 1976 . During the
1975 US EPA National Organics Reconnaissance Survey (NORS) nicotine was detected in 1/10
finished water supplies . Finished water from Miami, FL contained 3 ug/l nicotine .
EFFL: Nicotine was tentatively identified in the final effluent, sampled during May 1980, from the
Roselle, IL municipal wastewater treatment plant . During Nov 1980, 0.12 ug/l nicotine was
identified in the secondary effluent from the Fort Polk, LA rapid infiltration site . Nicotine has
been detected in the final effluent from one plant in each of the following industries: pulp and
paper, auto and other laundries and mechanical products .