SPECTRUM

Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 84742
CASRN 84-74-2
SynonymsDi-n-butyl phthalate
Dibutyl phthalate
1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, dibutyl ester
Analytical Methods EPA Method 606
EPA Method 8060
EPA Method 8061
EPA Method 8270
Molecular FormulaC16H22O4

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

Use INSECT REPELLANT FOR IMPREGNATION OF CLOTHING AS MANOMETER FLUID SOLVENT FOR CHLORINATED RUBBER PLASTICIZER IN NITROCELLULOSE LACQUERS, ELASTOMERS, EXPLOSIVES, NAIL POLISH & SOLID ROCKET PROPELLANTS; SOLVENT FOR PERFUME OILS; PERFUME FIXATIVE; IN TEXTILE LUBRICATING AGENT; IN SAFETY GLASS; IN PRINTING INKS; RESIN SOLVENT; PAPER COATINGS; IN ADHESIVES /AN INSECT REPELLANT, IN GENERAL NOT AS EFFECTIVE AS DIMETHYL PHTHALATE EXCEPT TO TROMBICULID MITES. WIDELY USED AS PLASTICIZER, SINCE IT IS COMPATIBLE WITH NUMBER OF RESINS. IT IS ONE OF MOST COMMON PLASTICIZERS FOR NITROCELLULOSE, ETHYLCELLULOSE, & BENZYLCELLULOSE. GIVES LONG LIFE TO OUTSIDE VARNISHES EXPOSED TO SUN & WEATHER. PLASTICIZER FOR POLYVINYL ACETATE & POLYMETHYLMETHACRYLATE. IT ENTERS INTO COMPOSITION OF LEATHER VARNISHES & MIXED LACQUERS DIBUTYL PHTHALATE IS COMPATIBLE WITH MOST PIGMENTS & IS OFTEN USED WITH CASTOR OIL FOR GRINDING COLORING MATTERS INTENDED FOR INCORPORATION IN FILMS OR PLASTIC MASSES. Component used in fuel matrix of double base rocket propellant. Used in the measurement of void volume (a method of structure analysis) for carbon blacks. As a desensitizing agent for nitroglycerin (makes it stable for transport). PLASTICIZER FOR POLYVINYL ACETATE EMULSIONS COMPONENT OF PVC PLASTISOL FOR CARPET BACKCOATING PLASTICIZER FOR OTHER SPECIALIZED VINYL COMPOUNDS Used as a reaction media for chemical reactions. Component in elastic impression materials used by dentists. USED AS A CHIGGER REPELLANT BY IMPREGNATION OF CLOTHING, BEING SOMEWHAT LESS VOLATILE THAN DIMETHYL PHTHALATE & MORE RESISTANT TO LAUNDERING, ITS MAIN USE IS FOR IMPREGNATION OF CLOTHING MITICIDAL AGENT FOR TREATMENT OF RICKETTSIAL INFECTIONS DILUENT PLASTICIZER IN POLYSULFIDE DENTAL MATERIALS
Consumption Patterns PRIMARY USE IS AS A PLASTICIZER IN POLYVINYL ACETATE EMULSIONS
Apparent Color COLORLESS TO FAINT YELLOW VISCOUS LIQUID ; OILY LIQUID
Odor SLIGHT CHARACTERISTIC ESTER ODOR
Boiling Point 340 deg C
Melting Point -35 DEG C
Molecular Weight 278.34
Density 1.0459 @ 20 DEG C
Sensitivity Data Contact may cause burns to skin and eyes. CONTACT WITH SURFACE OF EYES BY ACCIDENTAL DROPLET SPLASH AS WELL AS BY EXPTL APPLICATION HAS CAUSED SEVERE STINGING PAIN. PAIN STIMULATES PROFUSE TEARING
Environmental Impact Di-n-butyl phthalate is a ubiquitous pollutant due to its widespread use primarily as a plasticizer in plastics which are used throughout our society. DBP may be released into the environment as emissions and in wastewater during its production and use, incineration of plastics and migration of the plasticizer from materials containing it. If released into water it will adsorb moderately to sediment and particulates in the water column. The DBP will disappear in 3-5 days in moderately polluted waters and generally within 3 weeks in cleaner bodies of water. It will not bioconcentrate in fish since it is readily metabolized. If spilled on land it will adsorb moderately to soil and slowly biodegrade (66 and 98% degradation in 26 weeks from two soils). DBP is found in groundwater under rapid infiltration sites and elsewhere. It has been suggested that its tendency to form complexes with water-soluble fulvic acids, a component of soils, may aid its transport into groundwater. Although it degrades under anaerobic conditions, its fate in groundwater is unknown. If released into air, DBP is generally associated with the particulate fraction and will be subject to gravitational settling. Vapor phase DBP will degrade by reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals (estimated half-life 18 hr). Human exposure is from air, drinking water and food in addition to in the workplace.
Environmental Fate A CLIMATE CHAMBER WAS CONSTRUCTED FOR MODEL STUDIES OF MOBILITY & EFFECTS OF CHEM SUBSTANCES WITHIN SIMPLIFIED TERRESTRIAL SYSTEMS. MORE THAN 95% OF DIBUTYL PHTHALATE WAS ELIMINATED WITHIN 15 DAYS AFTER FOLIAR APPLICATION. TERRESTRIAL FATE: When spilled on soil, di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) will be adsorbed to a moderate extent and will slowly biodegrade. In two representative soils 98 and 66% degradation occurred in 26 weeks. Removal rates are increased by acclimation of the microbial populations. Two laboratory models of rapid infiltration sites gave radically different percent removals for DBP, 86% in one case and none in the other. However, DBP has been found in groundwater at high concentrations under rapid infiltration sites which demonstrates that with high input levels it can leach into groundwater. AQUATIC FATE: If released into water, di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) will adsorb moderately to sediment and complex with humic material in the water column. Biodegradation rates are rapid with 90-100% degradation being reported in 3-5 days in industrial rivers and pond water and 2-17 days in water from a variety of freshwater and estuarine sites. Biodegradation is slower in seawater with 33% degradation occurring in 14 days and 100% in 5 days in clean and polluted waters, respectively. In one case where the total loss rate in an industrial river (the Rhine in the Netherlands) was determined by measuring the concentration reduction between fixed points, the half-life was .40 days . However, DBP was regularly detected 6 km downcurrent from a kraft pulp mill on a Finnish Lake, making it one of the most persistent compounds discharged by the mill . Although biodegradation occurs (98% in 30 days) in anaerobic sediment/pond water, no rates in groundwater could be found. Volatilization will make a small contribution to loss in natural bodies of water. Photooxidation and hydrolysis would not make a significant contribution to DBP's loss in the water with possible exception of oligotrophic alkaline waters where hydrolysis may be significant (estimated half-life 76 days at pH 9). ATMOSPHERIC FATE: If released to the atmosphere, di-n-butyl phthalate will primarily exist as particulate matter and be subject to gravitational settling. The free molecule will photodegrade by reaction with hydroxyl radicals (estimated half-life 18 hr). Terrestrial Fate: Factors affecting the decomposition of carboxyl-labeled (14)C phthalic acid, monobutyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) were studied in soil incubation experiments conducted under laboratory conditions. A lag phase of 10-20 days occurred before soil microbes initiated metabolism of mono-butyl phthalate and DBP while phthalic acid was rapidly decomposed. Approximately 90% of DBP added to soils at rates of 0.1-0.4% was decomposed within 80 days under aerobic and anerobic conditions. Decomposition of DBP was enhanced in soils by increasing soil pH from 5.2 to 7.0, by adding organic matter and by elevating the temperature from 23 deg C to 30 deg C. Varying soil characteristics and the simultaneous addition of ammonium, CaCO3, or sewage sludge had little effect on the rate or extent of DBP degradation. The addition of DBP in sewage sludge or other waste materials to soils should not pose a long term persistence problem.
Drinking Water Impact DRINKING WATER: 6 U.S. cities - 0.01-5.0 ppb, 0.02 ppb median . 3 New Orleans drinking water plants 0.1-0.36 ppb . Contaminated drinking water well in NY - 470 ppb . Detected, not quantified at 8 water works in Japan . 6 cities in Japan (tap water) 190-240 ppb . 2 drinking water wells in vicinity of landfills - 0.5 ppb . Detected in raw and treated drinking water from 12 of 14 sites in England(6). GROUNDWATER: Groundwater underlying 2 rapid infiltration sites - 0.73-2.38 ppb, not detected at a 3rd site and detected, not quantified at a fourth . Norman, OK (landfill groundwater) detected, not quantified . Recovery well removing contaminated water under a landfill - 1 ppb . SURFACE WATER: 14 heavily industrialized river basins in the US (204 sites) 87 sites had concn >1 ppb, 60 ppb max . Delaware R (river mile 78-132, 16 samples) 0.1-0.6 ppb, all samples positive . Lower Tennessee R below Culvert City, KY (water and sediment) 42 ppb . St. Clair R 1-2 ppb . Missouri r 0.09 ppb . Monatiquote R, MA 1-30 ppb(6). Lake Erie (2 sites) 1 ppb , Lake Michigan (9 sites) 1-4 ppb , Lake Huron (2 sites) 0.04-2 ppb(4,5), Lake Superior (1 site) not detected . SURFACE WATER: Rhine, Ijessee, and Meuse Rivers, the Netherlands (21 sites) 0-2.8 ppb . Tama R, Japan 0.71-3.14 ppb . Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan 1.39 ppb avg, 4.3 ppb max in river water with 22 of 23 samples pos . Lake Saimaa, Finland - site of pulp mill - 5-230 ppb . SEAWATER: Gulf of Mexico: Mississippi Delta 9.5 ppb avg; Gulf Coast 3.4-265 parts per trillion, 74 parts per trillion avg; open Gulf 3.0-133 parts per trillion, 93 parts per trillion avg . Kiel Bight - 15 stations - 46.4-193.8 parts per trillion at 1 m depth . RAIN/SNOW: Ewewetak Atoll (North Pacific) 2.6-72.5 parts per trillion, 31 parts per trillion avg . Precipitation over Great Lakes 4-10 parts per trillion . Detected in water and particulate fraction of rain and snow in Norway and Los Angeles . EFFL: Industries whose mean effluent levels of di-n-butyl phthalate exceed 100 ppb include: aluminum forming (3900 ppb raw, <5400 ppb treated), foundries (280 ppb raw, 440 ppb treated), metal finishing (140 ppb), paint and ink formulations (2300 ppb), petroleum refining (4100 ppb) . Industries whose maximum effluent levels of di-n-butyl phthalate exceed 1000 ppb include: aluminum forming (19,000 ppb raw, 90,000 ppb treated), foundries (5400 ppb raw, 9300 ppb treated), paint and ink formulations (69,000 ppb raw, 1300 ppb treated), photographic equipment/supplies (1400 ppb) and metal finishing (3100 ppb) . Di-n-butyl phthalate was detected at concentration levels of 0.5-11 ppb and 5% frequency of detection in urban runoff in Denver and Rapid City, two of the nineteen cities (86 samples) across the USA in the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program . Pheonix, AZ secondary sewage effluent 0.25 ppb and detected, not quantified in sewage effluent . Detected in ng quantities in air samples in Hamilton, Ontario where waste plastics are burned .

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