|Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #)||
|Synonyms||Chloroethane||Ethane, chloro||Ethyl chloride
||EPA Method 502.2||EPA Method 524.2
||EPA Method 601
||EPA Method 624
||EPA Method 8010
||EPA Method 8021
||EPA Method 8260
Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details
on this compound.
|Use|| CHEMICAL INTERMEDIATE
REFRIGERANT, SOLVENT, ALKYLATING AGENT, STARTING POINT IN THE MFR OF
MEDICATION AND VET
IN SYNTHESIS OF ETHYL COMPOUNDS
ORGANIC SYNTHESIS; SOLVENT FOR PHOSPHORUS, SULFUR, FATS, OILS, RESINS,
AND WAXES; INSECTICIDES
Use in organic synthesis of perchloroethane, esters, and Grignard reagents.
Use in manufacture of dyes and drugs, use as a propellant in aerosols.
Use in manufacture of perfumes.
|Consumption Patterns|| 90% FOR TETRAETHYL LEAD; 10% FOR MISC APPLICATIONS INCLUDING
USE AS A SOLVENT, A REFRIGERANT, AND IN THE MANUFACTURE OF ETHYL
CELLULOSE PLASTICS, DYES, AND PHARMACEUTICALS (1972)
(1984) 80% TETRAETHYL LEAD; 15% ETHYL CELLULOSE; 5% MISC (EST)
|Apparent Color|| COLORLESS LIQUID
|Odor|| ETHEREAL ODOR ; Pungent
|Boiling Point|| 12.3 DEG C @ 760 MM HG
|Melting Point|| -138.7 DEG C
|Molecular Weight|| 64.52
|Density|| 0.9214 @ 0 DEG C/4 DEG C
|Odor Threshold Concentration|| 10-12 mg/cu m (recognition in air)
|Sensitivity Data|| Slight eye, skin and respiratory irritant.
Vapor may be irritating to mucous membranes.
Vapor: irritating to eyes, nose and throat. Liquid: irritating to skin and eyes.
|Environmental Impact|| Environmental emission sources of ethyl chloride include process and fugitive emissions
from its production and use as a chemical intermediate, evaporation from solvent, aerosol, and
anesthetic applications, stack emissions from plastics and refuse combustion, inadvertent
formation during chlorination treatment, leaching from landfills, and formation via microbial
degradation of other chlorinated solvents. Most releases of ethyl chloride will eventually reach the
atmosphere since it is a gas at ordinary conditions. If released to the atmosphere, the dominant
environmental fate process will be reaction with photochemically generated hydroxyl radicals,
estimated half-life of about 40 days. If released to surface water, volatilization will be the
dominant process as half-lives ranging from 1.1-5.6 days have been predicted for representative
bodies of water. In groundwater, where volatilization may not be able to occur, hydrolysis may be
the most important removal mechanism. The hydrolysis half-life has been estimated to be 38 days
at 25 deg C. Very limited biodegradation data suggest that ethyl chloride may be biodegradable,
but insufficient data are available to estimate the relative importance of biodegradation in the
environment. Aquatic bioconcentration, adsorption, direct photolysis, and oxidation are not
important. If released to soil, ethyl chloride will evaporate rapidly where release to air is possible.
Ethyl chloride is susceptible to significant leaching. General population exposure to ethyl chloride
can occur through inhalation of contaminated ambient air and may occur through consumption of
contaminated drinking water. Direct dermal exposure occurs through use of ethyl chloride as a
topical anesthetic cooling agent. Probable routes of occupational exposure are inhalation and
|Environmental Fate|| TERRESTRIAL FATE: Ethyl chloride is a gas at room temperatures indicating that
evaporation from soil surfaces will be a rapid and major removal process. Estimated Koc values of
33 and 143 indicate that ethyl chloride is highly mobile in soil and susceptible to significant
leaching. Within moist soil systems where evaporation cannot occur, ethyl chloride will react with
water via hydrolysis; the estimated hydrolysis half-life in pure water at 25 deg C is 38 days. Very
limited biodegradation data suggest that ethyl chloride may be biodegradable, but insufficient data
are available to estimate the relative importance of biodegradation in the environment.
AQUATIC FATE: The dominant environmental fate process for ethyl chloride in surface waters
is probably volatilization. Volatilization half-lives from a representative pond, river and lake have
been estimated to 5.6, 1.1, and 4.5 days, respectively. Ethyl chloride hydrolyzes in water;
however, the estimated hydrolysis half-life of 38 days at 25 deg C is not competitive with
volatilization as a removal mechanism from water. In groundwater, where volatilization may not
be able to occur, hydrolysis may be the most important removal mechanism. Very limited
biodegradation data suggest that ethyl chloride may be biodegradable, but insufficient data are
available to estimate the relative importance of biodegradation in the environment.
Bioconcentration, adsorption, direct photolysis, and oxidation are not important aquatic fate
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: The dominant atmospheric degradation process for ethyl chloride is
probably the vapor-phase reaction with hydroxyl radicals, (estimated half-life of about 40
days ). This tropospheric half-life suggests that less than one percent of the ethyl chloride will
eventually diffuse above the ozone layer where it will be destroyed by photolysis . Ethyl
chloride will not directly photolyze below the ozone layer. Atmospheric removal via washout may
be possible; however, any ethyl chloride which is removed in this manner will probably revolatilize
into the air.
|Drinking Water Impact|| Due to low solubility in water, 5.74 g/l, monochloroethane would be present only in
water near point sources. In surface water the compound would volatilize into the atmosphere.
DRINKING WATER: Ethyl chloride was qualitatively identified in drinking water from Miami,
FL, Philadelphia, PA and Cincinnati, OH .
GROUNDWATER: Ethyl chloride was detected in groundwater in Wisconsin at a level of 90
ug/L 80 m downgradient from a contamination source of chlorinated solvents; the presence of the
ethyl chloride was attributed to breakdown of other chlorinated compounds . Ethyl chloride
levels of 4.3-136 ppb were identified in groundwater beneath the Miami Drum waste site in FL .
SURFACE WATER: An analysis of the USEPA STORET Data Base has reported positive
detection of ethyl chloride in 6.0% of 994 ambient water observation stations at a median concn
below 10 ppb .
EFFL: An ethyl chloride concn of 1.5 ppb was detected in the final wastewater effluent from a
Los Angeles County treatment facility in 1981 . An analysis of the USEPA STORET Data Base
has reported positive detection of ethyl chloride in 2.6% of 1323 effluent observation stations at a
median concn below 10 ppb . Raw wastewaters from 9 organic chemical manufacturing
facilities contained a mean ethyl chloride concn of 240 ppb . Ethyl chloride was qualitatively
detected in leachates and associated groundwaters from various municipal landfills in
Minnesota . Ethyl chloride has been identified as a gas emitted from landfill simulators .