SPECTRUM

Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 67721
CASRN 67-72-1
SynonymsHexachloroethane
Ethane, hexachloro-
Analytical Methods EPA Method 524.2
EPA Method 612
EPA Method 625
EPA Method 8120
EPA Method 8270
EPA Method 8260
Molecular FormulaC2Cl6

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

Use Solvent; in explosives; as camphor substitute in celluloid COMPONENT OF SCREENING SMOKES AND COMPONENT OF EXTREME PRESSURE LUBRICANTS; DEGASSING AGENT IN PRODUCTION OF ALUMINUM & MAGNESIUM METALS Organic synthesis; retarding agent in fermentation Medication (Vet): Anthelmintic (flukicide) Former use Hexachloroethane is used in refining aluminium alloys. It is also used for removing impurities from molten metals, recovering metals from ores or smelting products and improving the quality of various metals and alloys. Hexachloroethane is contained in pyrotechnics. It inhibits the explosiveness of methane and the combustion of ammonium perchlorate. Smoke containing hexachloroethane is used to extinguish fires. Hexachloroethane has various applications as a polymer additive. It has flame proofing qualities, increases sensitivity to radiation crosslinking, and is used as a vulcanizing agent. Added to polymer fibers, it acts as a swelling agent and increases affinity for dyes. Moth repellant former use/; fire extinguishing fluids manufacture; laboratory chemical; military smoke candles and grenades; plasticizer for cellulose esters; insecticide and rubber process solvent; camphor substitute in nitrocellulose solvent; retardant in fermentation process
Consumption Patterns According to USA distributors, hexachloroethane had three major applications within the United States prior to 1979: 50% used by the military in the production of smoke bombs and other smoke munitions. 30-40% in the manufacture of degassing pellets to be used in aluminum foundries to force air bubbles out of molten ore. 10-20% as an anthelmintic for the control of sheep flukes.
Apparent Color RHOMBIC CRYSTALS FROM ALCOHOL AND ETHER; COLORLESS CRYSTALS; Crystalline powder; Colorless solid; Crystal structure: rhombic up to 46 deg C; triclinic 46-71 deg C
Odor Camphor-like odor
Boiling Point 186 DEG C @ 777 MM HG (SUBLIMES)
Molecular Weight 236.74
Density 2.091 @ 20 DEG C/4 DEG C
Odor Threshold Concentration Odor detection in water: 1x10-2 mg/l
Sensitivity Data Mucous membranes, skin, lung, and cornea irritation.
Environmental Impact Potential sources of hexachloroethane release to the environment include: formation during combustion and incineration of chlorinated wastes (PVC), release to air due to volatility and inefficient solvent recovery and recirculation (hexachloroethane is an impurity in some chlorinated solvents), and formation of very small amounts during chlorination of sewage effluent prior to discharge. Hexachloroethane is also reported to be produced in very small quantities from chlorination of raw water during drinking water treatment. If released to unadapted soil, this compound may persist for greater than 2 years and could potentially contaminate groundwater. Hexachloroethane should volatilize slowly from dry soil surfaces. If released to water, volatilization appears to be the dominant removal mechanism (half-life 15 hours from a model river). Moderate to slight adsorption to suspended solids and sediments may occur. Biodegradation, photolysis, oxidation by reaction with singlet oxygen, alkylperoxy radicals or hydroxyl radicals, and chemical hydrolysis are not expected to be important fate processes. If released to air, hexachloroethane should exist almost entirely in the vapor phase. This compound is not expected to degrade in the troposphere. It should diffuse slowly into the stratosphere (half-life approximately 30 years) where it is predicted to photodegrade. As a result of its persistence in the troposphere, long range transport is expected to occur The most probable route of human exposure to hexachloroethane is inhalation of contaminated occupational or ambient air. Some segments of the general population may also be exposed by ingestion of contaminated drinking water.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: If released to soil, hexachloroethane is expected to have medium to low mobility. Chemical hydrolysis is not expected to be an important fate process. This compound may volatilize slowly from dry soil surfaces. It has been reported that hexachloroethane may persist in unadapted soil for greater than 2 years . Hexachloroethane injected into a sandy aquifer decreased to below detectable levels in 330 days . AQUATIC FATE: If released to water, volatilization appears to be the dominant removal mechanism (half-life 15 hours from a model river). One biodegradation screening study has shown that a mixed microbial population was capable of degrading hexachloroethane. However, biodegradation is not expected to occur at a rate which would make this an important fate process in natural water systems. Moderate to slight adsorption to suspended solids and sediments may occur. Photolysis, oxidation by reaction with singlet oxygen, hydroxyl radicals or alkylperoxy radicals and chemical hydrolysis are not expected to be important. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Based on a vapor pressure of 0.21 mm Hg at 20 deg C, hexachloroethane is expected to exist almost entirely in the vapor phase in the atmosphere(1,2,SRC). Hexachloroethane is persistent in the troposphere and as a result long-range transport should occur. This compound is expected to diffuse slowly into the stratosphere (half-life approximately 30 yrs ) where photodegradation may be an important fate process.
Drinking Water Impact Drinking water, groundwater, surface water: Hexachloroethane has been found in 1 river water sample, 8 samples of finished drinking water in the USA. It has been detected in river water and tap water, at a level of 4.4 ug/l. It was detected in only one sample of surface waters collected from 204 sites near heavily industrialized areas. Groundwater: A study of ground water pollution in Switzerland by volatile organic chemicals including hexachloroethane is reported. SURFACE WATER: US EPA STORET Database - 882 whole water samples, 0.1% pos, median concn <10 ug/l . Fall 1980 in Lake Ontario - 0.2 ng/l . Detected in Ganaraska River and detected in Cuyahoga River . 1982 US EPA Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP) - 86 samples urban runoff from 15 cities, 0% pos. . Identified in 1/204 water samples collected from 14 heavily industralized river basins across US, detection limit 1 ug/l . DRINKING WATER: Detected in 4/14 US drinking water supplies sampled between July 1977 and June 1979, raw water supply - surface water . Identified in finished drinking water from Philadelphia, PA, Cincinnati, OH, Miami, FL, New Orleans, LA, Jefferson City, MO and Evansville, IN(2,3,4,5,6). Highest concentration found in finished drinking water during 1975 US EPA National Organics Reconnaisance Survey (NORS) - 4.4 ug/l . Not detected in finished drinking water from 10 Canadian water treatment plants(7). GROUNDWATER: Identified in leachate from the Occidental Chemial Co S-Area landfill in Niagara Falls, NY . During 1978, detected in groundwater contaminated by leachate from a pesticide waste dump in Hardeman County, TN: concn range trace to 4.6 ug/l; median concn 0.26 ug/l . EFFL: It has been detected in the effluent from a USA chemical plant at a level of 8.4 ug/l. US EPA STORET Database - 1253 effluent sample 0.2% pos, median concn <10 ug/l . Concn in treated wastewater from coal mining <0.4 ug/l . Identified in wastewater from paper mills, concn <1 ug/l .

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