SPECTRUM

Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 84662
CASRN 84-66-2
SynonymsDiethyl phthalate
1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, diethyl ester
Analytical Methods EPA Method 525.2
EPA Method 606
EPA Method 625.2
EPA Method 8060
EPA Method 8061
EPA Method 8270
Molecular FormulaC12H14O4

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

Use IN MFR CELLULOID; SOLVENT FOR CELLULOSE ACETATE IN MFR VARNISHES & DOPES; FIXATIVE FOR PERFUMES; DENATURING ALCOHOL Wetting agent; insecticidal sprays; camphor substitute; mosquito repellents; plasticizer in solid rocket propellants PLASTICIZER FOR CELLULOSE ESTER PLASTICS; DISPERSING MEDIUM, EG, DYE CARRIER; PLASTICIZER FOR OTHER PLASTICS, EG, POLYSTYRENE Suitable for food packaging application (FDA) Solvent for nitrocellulose and cellulose acetate
Consumption Patterns ALL PHTHALATE PLASTICIZERS: 89% IN POLYVINYL CHLORIDE RESINS; 3% IN OTHER VINYL RESINS; 3% IN CELLULOSE ESTER PLASTICS; 3% IN SYNTHETIC ELASTOMERS & OTHER POLYMERS; 2% IN OTHER APPLICATIONS (1974). /PHTHALATE ESTERS
Apparent Color COLORLESS, OILY LIQUID
Odor VERY SLIGHT AROMATIC ODOR
Boiling Point 295 DEG C
Melting Point -40.5 DEG C
Density 1.232 @ 14 DEG C/4 DEG C
Environmental Impact Diethyl phthalate (DEP) may enter the environment in air emissions, aqueous effluent and solid waste products from manufacturing and processing plants. It is estimated that 0.5% of all DEP produced is lost during its manufacture. DEP may also be emitted in vapor and particulate form during incineration of DEP containing plastics. 0.67% of all DEP used is estimated to vaporize during incineration. DEP may volatilize from its plastic products or may enter the environment directly during non-plasticizer use. Plastic materials containing DEP in waste disposal sites constitutes the major reservoir of this compound in the environment. Volatilization and leaching from these materials are potential sources of transport into air, water and soil. Diethyl phthalate has been identified in cranberries, baked potatoes and roasted filberts; however, sufficient evidence is not available to indicate that DEP is a natural product since it may have been present as a solvent residue. If released to soil, DEP is expected to undergo aerobic biodegradation. Oxidation, chemical hydrolysis and volatilization from wet soil surfaces are not expected to be significant fate processes. DEP may volatilize from dry soil surfaces. If released to water, DEP is expected to biodegrade (aerobic biodegradation half-life approx 2 days to >2 weeks). Anaerobic biodegradation would be very slow or not occur at all. Volatilization should not be an important removal process in most bodies of water although it may be important in shallow rivers. Removal by oxidation, chemical hydrolysis, direct photolysis, indirect photolysis or bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms should not be significant. Diethyl phthalate has accumulated and persisted in the sediments of Chesapeake Bay for over a century. If released to the atmosphere, DEP is expected to exist in vapor form and as adsorbed matter on airborne particulates. DEP vapor is expected to react with photochemically generated hydroxyl radical (estimated half-life = 22.2 hours). Physical removal by particulate settling and washout in precipitation will also occur. Degradation by direct photolysis is not expected to be significant. The most probable routes of human exposure are inhalation and dermal exposure of workers involved in the manufacture and use of DEP. The most probable routes of exposure to the general population are inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact due to use of consumer products containing DEP.
Environmental Fate AQUATIC FATE: TRANSFORMATION RATES FOR DIETHYL PHTHALATE WERE DETERMINED IN AUFWUCHS FUNGI, AN AQUATIC MICROBIAL GROWTH ATTACHED TO SUBMERGED SURFACES OR SUSPENDED IN STREAMERS OR MATS. AUFWUCHS FUNGI, PROTOZOA, AND ALGAE DID NOT TRANSFORM DIETHYL PHTHALATE, BUT BACTERIA DID SO RAPIDLY. SECOND-ORDER TRANSFORMATION RATE COEFFICIENTS, KB, BASED ON TOTAL PLATE COUNTS OF BACTERIA IN AUFWUCHS, WERE DETERMINED FOR POTENTIAL USE IN A MATHEMATICAL MODEL CAPABLE OF PREDICTING THE TRANSPORT AND FATE OF CHEMICALS IN AQUATIC SYSTEMS. TERRESTRIAL FATE: If released to soil, diethyl phthalate (DEP) is expected to undergo aerobic biodegradation. Oxidation, chemical hydrolysis and volatilization from wet soil surfaces are not expected to be significant fate processes. DEP may volatilize from dry soil surfaces. AQUATIC FATE: If released to water, diethyl phthalate (DEP) is expected to undergo aerobic biodegradation. Under aerobic conditions biodegradation half-lives ranging from approximately 2 days to >2 weeks have been reported and anaerobic biodegradation is reported to occur much more slowly or not at all. Volatilization of DEP should not be an important removal process in most bodies of water although it may be important in shallow rivers. Removal of DEP by oxidation, chemical hydrolysis, direct photolysis, indirect photolysis or bioaccumulation in aquatic organism should not be significant. Identification of diethyl phthalate in dated sediment cores from the Chesapeake Bay indicates that this compound has accumulated and persisted in the sediment for over a century . ATMOSPHERIC FATE: If released to the atmosphere, diethyl phthalate (DEP) is expected to exist in the vapor form and adsorbed to airborne particulates (see also ATMC). DEP vapor is expected to react with photochemically generated hydroxyl radicals with an estimated reaction half-life of 22.2 hours at 25 deg C. Physical removal by particulate settling and washout in precipitation will also occur. Degradation by direct photolysis is not expected to be significant. Aquatic Fate: the two transport mechanisms that appear to be most important for the phthalates in the aquatic environment are adsorption onto suspended solids and particulate matter and complexation with natural organic substances, such as fulvic acid, to form water-soluble complexes or emulsions. Photolysis, oxidation, and hydrolysis are too slow to be environmentally significant. The second order rate constants from the alkaline hydrolysis of a group of phthalate esters were measured; the corresponding half-lives in neutral water ranged from 3.2 years for dimethyl phthalate to 2,000 years for di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. Volatilization is not considered to be a competitive transport process. The transport of the phthalate esters will be dependent upon the hydrogeologic conditions of the aquatic system. Phthalate esters Aquatic Fate: Phthalates esterified with short-chain alkyl groups, biochemical transformations will compete with export in the ecosystems with long retention times (ie ponds or lakes). For phthalates esterified with larger alkyl groups such as DEHP, transformation processes are slow. Export will be the dominant process for all phthalate esters entering a river, regardless of chain length. Phthalate esters with alkyl chains of intermediate length exhibit intermediate behavior. The oceans may be considered the ultimate sink for phthalate esters introduced into unimpeded rivers. /Phthalate esters Aquatic fate: Phthalate esters have been identified in living matter, and data collected from field and laboratory studies indicate that they can be taken up and accumulated by a variety of organisms. The phthalates are degraded by microbiota and metabolized by fish and animals; they are not expected to biomagnify. The highest concentrations would be expected at intermediate levels of the food chain (eg invertebrates) rather than at the top as occurs with chemicals such as DDT. Thus, bioaccumulation, biotransformation, and biodegradation are important aquatic fate processes for phthalate esters. Phthalate esters Atmospheric Fate: The fate of phthalate esters in air is expected to be controlled by hydroxyl radical attack. Adsorption onto particulates and rainout are expected to be less important fate processes. Phthalate esters Terrestrial Fate: Little information is available on the fate of phthalate esters in soil, even though the primary point of entry into the environment is the soil (via landfills). The migration of phthalate esters out of plastics is slow. The amount available for transport or degradation is expected to be low. However, the formation of soluble complexes may increase their mobility. The phthalate esters may also be subject to biodegradation; however, the degradation rates measured have been highly variable. Phthalate esters
Drinking Water Impact SURFACE WATER: Data from the US Environmental Protection Agency STORET Stations: 862 samples, 3% pos., median concentration < 10 ppb diethyl phthalate (DEP) . Inner Harbor Navigation Canal of Lake Potchartrain during 1980 - 0.7 ppb DEP detected . Lower Tennessee River water and sediment samples - 11.2 ppb DEP detected . DEP was detected in 6 out of 204 water samples from 14 industrial river basins . GROUNDWATER: Diethyl phthalate (DEP) was monitored in New York State public water system wells during 1977 - 39 samples, 33% pos. - 4.6 ppb max. level detected . At a municipal solid waste landfill site in Norman, OK-4.1 ppb DEP detected in groundwater . At land application sites in Fort Devens, MA, Boulder, CO, Lubbock, TX and Phoenix, AZ levels of DEP ranging from ND to 0.87 ppb were found in groundwater DEP was qualitatively identified in leachate from two low level radioactive waste disposal sites in KY and NY . DRINKING WATER: Diethyl phthalate (DEP) has been identified in drinking water from the following cities: Cincinnati - 0.1 ppb; Miami - 1.0 ppb; Philadelphia - 0.01 ppb; Seattle - 0.01 ppb; Lawrence - 0.04 ppb; New York City - 0.01 ppb . The maximum concentration of DEP detected in finished drinking water supplies in New Orleans during 1974 was 0.07 ppb . OTHER WATER: Results of the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program as of Aug. 1982: 86 sample (from 3 locations), 4% pos. - 2 to 10 ppb diethyl phthalate detected . EFFL: Biologically treated bleached kraft mill effluents: 9 samples, 100% pos., concentration range 20 to 100 ppb diethyl phthalate (DEP), mean concentration 50 ppb . Data from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STORET Stations: 1,286 samples, 9.9% pos., median concentration <10 mg/L DEP . 0.06 ppm DEP was found in the effluent from a tire plant which discharged 0.4 million gallons of wastewater per day .

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