SPECTRUM

Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 75092
CASRN 75-09-2
SynonymsMethylene chloride
Dichloromethane
Methane, dichloro-
Analytical Methods 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 SOLVENT FOR CELLULOSE ACETATE; MEDICATION: ANESTHETIC (INHALATION) PAINT REMOVERS; VAPOR DEGREASING SOLVENT FOR METALS & PLASTICS SOLVENT & CLEANING AGENT IN THE CHEM PROCESSING INDUST BLOWING & CLEANING AGENT IN URETHANE FOAM INDUST IN CHEMICAL PROCESSING & AS CARRIER SOLVENT INSECTICIDES & HERBICIDES; AS A POST-HARVEST FUMIGANT FOR STRAWBERRIES, AS GRAIN FUMIGANT, & IN COMBINATION WITH ETHYLENE FOR DEGREENING CITRUS FRUITS SOLVENT FOR PLASTIC FILM, ADHESIVES, PROTECTIVE COATINGS; CLEANING SOLVENT FOR CIRCUIT BOARDS & STRIPPER SOLVENT FOR PHOTORESISTS IN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY AS A PROCESS SOLVENT IN PRODN OF STEROIDS, ANTIBIOTICS & VITAMINS & SOLVENT FOR TABLET COATINGS DECAFFEINATING COFFEE; EXTRACTION OF HEAT-SENSITIVE SUBSTANCES SUCH AS COCOA, EDIBLE FATS, SPICES & BEER HOPS REFRIGERANT; IN OIL DEWAXING; AS DYE & PERFUME INTERMEDIATE; AS CARRIER SOLVENT IN TEXTILE INDUSTRY COMPONENT OF FIRE EXTINGUISHING CMPD CHEM INT FOR BROMOCHLOROMETHANE & OTHER CHEMICALS In furniture processing In pour molding of dental material, the 50:50 mixture of dichloromethane and methylmethacrylate cold curing monomer is used to treat the acrylic teeth to improve the bonding Ingredient in nonflammable removers, strippers, & cements; used in aerosol formulations; in solid phase peptide synthesis; solvent for resins Low temp heat transfer medium
Consumption Patterns Paint removers, 30%; metal cleaning/degreasing, 22%; miscellaneous solvent uses and other applications, 21%; aerosols, 17%; foam blowing agent, 5%; pharmaceutical solvent, 5% (1978). From table PAINT REMOVER, 30%; AEROSOLS, 20%; VAPOR DEGREASING, 11%; CHEM PROCESS INDUST, 11%; BLOWING AGENT, 6%; FILM PROCESSING, 6%; PLASTICS PROCESSING, 6%; PHARMACEUTICALS, 6%; OTHER, 4% (1981) Demand: 1982: 530 million lb; 1983: 530 million lb; 1987: 621 million lb. Aerosols, 30%; paint remover, 30%; foam blowing, 15%; fiber & plastic solvent, 5%; metal cleaning, 5%; miscellaneous, 15% (1985) CHEMICAL PROFILE: Methylene chloride. Paint stripper, 28%; aerosols, 18%; exports, 15%; chemical processing, 11%; urethane foam blowing agent, 9%; metal degreasing, 8%; electronics, 7%; other, 4%. CHEMICAL PROFILE: Methylene chloride. Demand: 1988: 500 million lb; 1989: 475 million lb; 1993 projected/: 410 million lb. (Includes exports, but not imports, which totaled 27 million lb last year).
Apparent Color COLORLESS LIQ
Odor Sweet, pleasant odor, like chloroform
Boiling Point 39.75 DEG C @ 760 MM HG
Odor Threshold Concentration 205-307 ppm 2.14x10 2 ppm (odor recognition in air; chemically pure sample) Odor thresholds: low= 540 mg/cu m; high= 2160 mg/cu m. Odor index: 2100 @ 20 deg C
Sensitivity Data Irritation of eyes and respiratory tract.
Environmental Impact Large quanitities of dichloromethane are used each year, primarily in aerosols, paint removers and chemial processing. The major route of human exposure is from air, which can be high near sources of emission, and contaminated drinking water. Most of the dichloromethane will be released to the atmosphere where it will degrade by reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals with a half-life of a few months. It will be subject to direct photolysis. Releases to water will primarily be removed by evaporation. Biodegradation is possible in natural waters but will probably be very slow compared with evaporation. It will not be expected to significantly adsorb to sediment or to bioconcentration in aquatic organisms. Releases to soil will evaporate rapidly from near-surface soil and partially leach into groundwater where its fate is unknown. Dichloromethane is not expected to bioconcentrate in the food chain,
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: When spilled on land, dichloromethane is expected to evaporate from near surface soil into the atmosphere because of its high vapor pressure. Although little work has been done on its adsorptivity, it is probable that it will leach through subsoil into groundwater. Degradation in groundwater is unknown. Hydrolysis in soil or groundwater is not an important process under normal environmental conditions . AQUATIC FATE: Dichloromethane will be primarily lost by evaporation to the atmosphere which should take several hours depending on wind and mixing conditions. When released into a river, dichloromethane levels were non-detectable 3-15 miles from the source(1-2). Biodegradation is possible in natural waters but will probably be very slow compared with evaporation . Little is known about adsorption or bioconcentration in aquatic organisms to sediment but these are not likely to be significant processes. Hydrolysis is not an important process under normal enivronmental conditions . ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Dichloromethane released into the atmosphere will degrade by reaction with hydroxyl radicals with a half life of several months(1-3). It will not be subject to direct photolysis . A small fraction of the chemical will diffuse to the stratosphere where it will rapidly degrade by photolysis and reaction with chlorine radicals(1,5). A moderately soluble chemical such as dichloromethane will be expected to partially return to earth in rain.
Drinking Water Impact DRINKING WATER: 30 Canadian Water Treatment Facilities - 50% positive - 10 ppb, avg, 50 ppb max (summer), 30% pos, 3 ppb avg, 50 ppb max (winter) ; 10 State survey drinking water from groundwater sources - 2% pos, 3600 ppb max, max surface water conc 13 ppb ; EPA Region V Survey (83 sites in 5 states: MN, WI, IL, IN, OH) - 8% pos, 1-7 ppb , National Organics Monitoring Survey (1976) - 15 of 109 samples positive, 6.1 ppb, mean of positive samples . EFFL: Weser R, Germany - 72-179 ppb . Industries in which wastewater exceeded an average of 1000 ppb: Coal mining, aluminum forming, photographic equipment and supplies, pharmaceutical mfg, organic chemical plastics mfg, paint and ink formulation, rubber processing, foundries, and laundries . Max concentration measured was 210,000 ppb in paint and ink industry and aluminum forming . Outfalls from 4 municipal treatment plants in southern California with primary or secondary treatment - random samples - < 10 to 400 ppb . USEPA STORET database, 1,480 data points, 38.8% pos, 10.0 ppb median . USA, 178 CERCLA hazardous waste disposal sites, 19.2% pos . Minnesota municipal solid waste landfills, leachates, 6 sites, 66.7% pos, 64-1300 ppb, contaminated groundwater (by inorganic indices), 13 sites, 53.8% pos, 1-250 ppb, other groundwater (apparently not contaminated as indicated by inorganic indices), 7 sites, 14.3% pos, 2.1-3.9 ppb(6). Water samples collected in Feb & May 1977 from Back River estuary in MD, USA, which received effluent from an urban wastewater treatment plant, contained dichloromethane. The highest levels (66 ug/l) were found in samples taken in the treatment plant just before final chlorination, suggesting that dichloromethane was derived from commercial & industrial activities in the area. Dichloromethane was detected @ levels ranging from 19-95 ug/l in 6 samples of raw sewage & effluent from Canadian sewage treatment plants. Wastewater from a USA specialty chemical plant manufacturing a broad range of chemicals container 3-8 mg/l dichloromethane. Dichloromethane was detected at concn ranging from < 0.01 to 1.0 mg/l in volatile fraction of wastewater from Oak Ridge Gaseous Plant in TN, USA. As part of the Swedish Drinking Water Project, dichloromethane was found at 640 ug/l in effluent stream from sulfate pulp mill. The amt of dichloromethane discharged was est to be 40 ton/yr.

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