SPECTRUM

Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 79118
CASRN 79-11-8
SynonymsChloroacetic acid
Acetic acid, chloro-
Analytical Method EPA Method 552.1
Molecular FormulaC2H3ClO2

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

Use IT HAS BEEN RECOMMENDED AS DEFOLIANT. CHEM INT FOR PHARMACEUTICALS, EG, VITAMIN A CHEM INT FOR INDIGOID DYES Herbicide. Manufacture various dyes and other organic chemicals. Preservative, bacteriostat, intermediate in production of carboxymethylcellulose; ethyl chloroacetate; glycine; synthetic caffeine; sarcosine; thioglycolic acid; EDTA; 2,4-D; 2,4,5-T.
Consumption Patterns CHEM INT FOR SODIUM CARBOXYMETHYLCELLULOSE, 60%; FOR HERBICIDES, 30%; FOR OTHER DERIVATIVES (EG, GLYCINE, THIOGLYCOLIC ACID, PHARMACEUTICALS, & INDIGOID DYES), 10% (1979) CHEMICAL PROFILE: Chloroacetic acid. Cellulose ethers, mainly CMC (uses include drilling muds, detergents, food and pharmaceuticals), 43%; herbicides, 42%; thioglycolic acid, glycine and others, 15%. CHEMICAL PROFILE: Chloroacetic acid. Demand: 1988: 85 million lb; 1989: 87 million lb; 1993 projected/: 96 million lb. (Includes imports, which totaled 43 million lb last year; exports are negligible.)
Apparent Color MONOCLINIC PRISMS ; COLORLESS OR WHITE CRYSTALS ; COLORLESS TO LIGHT-BROWNISH CRYSTALS
Odor Characteristic penetrating odor similar to vinegar
Boiling Point ALL 3 FORMS ALPHA, BETA, GAMMA BOIL AT 189 DEG C
Melting Point EXISTS ALPHA 63 DEG C; BETA 55-56 DEG C; GAMMA 50 DEG C
Molecular Weight 94.50
Density 1.4043 @ 40 DEG C/4 DEG C
Sensitivity Data Irritating to the skin, cornea, and respiratory tract. Irritating to skin, mucous membranes. Contact to the liquid causes severe irritation of the eyes & skin.
Environmental Impact Chloroacetic acid may enter the environment in emissions and wastewater from its production and use as a chemical intermediate primarily in the manufacture of chlorophenoxy herbicides and carboxymethyl cellulose. Such release of the chemical would be limited to industrial settings. If released into surface water, chloroacetic acid would biodegrade (73% in 8-10 days). It would not adsorb appreciably to sediment or bioconcentrate in fish. If spilled on land it would biodegrade and leach into the groundwater. Its fate in groundwater is unknown. If released into the air, probably as an aerosol, it will gravitationally settle out and undergo slow photodegradation.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: When released on soil, chloroacetic acid will leach into the ground and biodegrade. While no rates of biodegradation in soil were found in the literature, the aqueous biodegradation literature suggests that it is a relatively rapid process. AQUATIC FATE: When released into water, chloroacetic acid will be mineralized (73% in 8-10 days). It will not adsorb appreciably to sediment. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: If chloroacetic acid is used as a pesticide, it could possibly be released to the atmosphere during spraying and will generally be associated with aerosols and sprays. The aerosol will be subject to gravitational settling and undergo slow photodechlorination.

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