|Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #)||
|Synonyms||Chloroacetic acid||Acetic acid, chloro-
||EPA Method 552.1|
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
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
|Apparent Color|| MONOCLINIC PRISMS ; COLORLESS OR WHITE CRYSTALS ; COLORLESS TO
|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
|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
|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.