|Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #)||
|Synonyms||Di-n-butyl phthalate||Dibutyl phthalate||1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, dibutyl ester
||EPA Method 606||EPA Method 8060
||EPA Method 8061
||EPA Method 8270
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 .