|Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #)||
|Synonyms||Naphthalene||White tar||Tar camphor||Naphthalin
||EPA Method 502.2||EPA Method 503.1
||EPA Method 524.2
||EPA Method 610
||EPA Method 625
||EPA Method 8021
||EPA Method 8100
||EPA Method 8270
||EPA Method 8260
||EPA Method 8310
Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details
on this compound.
|Use|| MFR OF PHTHALIC & ANTHRANILIC ACIDS, NAPHTHOLS,
NAPHTHYLAMINES, SULFONIC ACID, SYNTHETIC RESINS, CELLULOID,
LAMPBLACK, SMOKELESS POWDER, HYDRONAPHTHALENES.
Is used in the preparation of anthraquinone.
Is used for the manufacturing of indigo.
Is used in the formation of perylene via the intermolecular Scholl reaction.
A high yielding (98%) process from the oxidn by microrganisms, has been developed in Japan for
the production of salicylic acid from naphthalene.
CHEM INT FOR PHTHALIC ANHYDRIDE
CHEM INT FOR 1-NAPHTHYL-N-METHYLCARBAMATE INSECTICIDE
CHEM INT FOR BETA-NAPHTHOL & SYNTHETIC TANNING CHEMS
CHEM INT FOR SURFACTANTS-EG, NAPHTHALENE SULFONATES
CHEM INT FOR 1-NAPHTHYLAMINE (FORMER USE)
EXTERNALLY, ON LIVESTOCK & POULTRY TO CONTROL LICE.
Ingredient of some moth repellants and toilet bowl deodorants.
Sulfonation of naphthalene with sulfuric acid produces mono-, di-, tri-, and
Intestinal vermifuge and wood preservative. Former use
|Consumption Patterns|| CHEM INT FOR PHTHALIC ANHYDRIDE, 58%; CHEM INT FOR
1-NAPHTHYL-N-METHYLCARBAMATE, 21%; CHEM INT FOR BETA-NAPHTHOL, 8%;
CHEM INT FOR SYNTHETIC TANNING AGENTS, 6%; MOTH REPELLANT, 3%; CHEM
INT FOR SURFACTANTS, 3%; OTHER, 1% (1980 EST)
Chem intermediate for phthalic anhydride, 50%; chem intermediate for carbamate insecticides,
20%; chemical intermediate for naphthalene sulfonic acids, 20%; miscellaneous, 10% (1984)
Phthalic anhydride, 60%; exports, 15%; 1-naphthol, tetralin, 1-naphthyl methyl carbamate
insecticide, 10%; tanning agents, 8%; surfactants and other uses, 7% (1985)
CHEMICAL PROFILE: Naphthalene. Phthalic anhydride, 60%; 1-naphthyl methyl carbamate
insecticide and related products (tetralin and 1-naphthol), 10%; dispersant chemicals, 10%; moth
repellent, 6%; synthetic tanning agents, 5%; miscellaneous uses, 5%; exports, 4%.
CHEMICAL PROFILE: Naphthalene. Demand: 1986: 250 million lb; 1987: 255 million lb; 1991
/projected/: 270 million lb (Includes exports, imports are negligible).
|Apparent Color|| WHITE, CRYSTALLINE FLAKES OR SOLID ; WHITE SCALES, BALLS, POWDER
OR CAKES ; MONOCLINIC PLATES FROM ALCOHOL
|Odor|| AROMATIC ODOR ; ODOR OF MOTH BALLS
|Boiling Point|| 217.9 DEG C @ 760 MM HG
|Melting Point|| 80.2 DEG C
|Molecular Weight|| 128.16
|Odor Threshold Concentration|| Odor detection in water 6.80 ppm (purity not specified)
At least as low as 0.3 ppm.
Odor threshold (water) 0.021 mg/l (w/v); odor threshold (air) 0.084 ppm (v/v)
|Sensitivity Data|| Irritating to skin does occur. Vapors can cause eye irritation at concn of 15 ppm in air.
Upon direct skin contact, naphthalene is a primary irritant.
|Environmental Impact|| Naphthalene enters the atmosphere primarily from fugitive emissions and exhaust
connected with its presence in fuel oil and gasoline. In addition, there are discharges on land and
into water from spills during the storage, transport and disposal of fuel oil, coal tar, etc. Once in
the atmosphere, naphthalene rapidly photodegrades (half-life 3-8 hr). Releases into water are lost
due to volatilization, photolysis, adsorption, and biodegradation. The principal loss processes will
depend on local conditions but half-lives can be expected to range from a couple of days to a few
months. When adsorbed to sediment, biodegradation occurs much more rapidly than in the
overlying water column. When spilled on land, naphthalene is adsorbed moderately to soil and
undergoes biodegradation. However, in some cases it will appear in the groundwater where
biodegradation still may occur if conditions are aerobic. Bioconcentration occurs to a moderate
extent but since depuration and metabolism readily proceed in aquatic organisms, this is a short
term problem. The primary source of exposure is from air, especially in areas of heavy traffic or
where fumes from evaporating gasoline or fuel oil exist or in the vicinity of petroleum refineries
and coal coaking operations.
|Environmental Fate|| TERRESTRIAL FATE: The sorption of napthalene to soil will be low to moderate
depending on its organic carbon content. Its passage through sandy soil will be rapid. It will
undergo biodegradation which may be rapid when the soil has been contaminated with PAHs
(half-life a few hours to days) but slow otherwise (half-life > 80 days). Evaporation of
naphthalene from the top soil layer will be important but the importance of the process will
gradually decrease as the soil depth increases. Laboratory experiments conducted to observe the
fate of naphthalene in soil columns under moderate and high flow conditions for 90 days found a
decay rate of 0.1 1/day under moderate flow conditions and much lower decay rate, 0.0147 1/day,
under high flow conditions . The napthalene therefore degraded rapidly under moderate flow
conditions and had completely disappeared from the soil column at the end of 90 days. At this
time the napthalene had advected downward approximately 1.2 m. Higher flow rates may reduce
the diffusion of oxygen into the soil causing a reduction in degradation rates. When naphthalene
was incubated in two sandy loam soils, at concentrations typical of those in waste disposal sites,
for 48 hrs, 30% of the naphthalene was lost by volatilization . The biodegradation rates and
half-lives for the two soils were 0.3370 and 0.3080 1/day and 2.1 and 2.2 days,
AQUATIC FATE: Photolysis, volatilization, biodegradation, and adsorption may all be important
loss mechanisms for naphthalene disharged into water. In the Rhine River the half-life has been
determined as 2.3 days based upon monitoring data . Moderate adsorption to sediment and
particulate matter occurs. In surface layers of water, photolysis may be dominant (half-life 3
days). Volatilization is an important loss mechanism especially in rapid streams since the half-life
for a river may be a couple of days. In a mesocosm experiment which simulated Narragansett Bay,
the half-life in winter was 12 days; loss being primarily due to evaporation . These investigators
did not mention any photolytic loss which would certainly have been noticed since they used
sterile controls . In oil contaminated water which is not exposed to sunlight because the water is
murky or the water depth is great, biodegradation can be important with half-lives of 7 days in oil
polluted streams to a few months in coastal waters.
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Naphthalene reacts with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals
and degrades with a half-life of 3-8 hr(2-4). Although photolysis should occur, no data could be
found to assess its importance. In polluted urban air, reaction with NO3 radicals may be an
additional sink for night time loss. An analysis of PAH concentrations and the origins of the air
masses reaching the sampling site over a two week period (14 sampling events) indicates that the
concentration is determined by the origin of the air mass (long distant transport) . Short terms
phenoma, such as rain events, appear to be without effect.
AQUATIC FATE: Ground water in the immediate vicinity of an area previously used for the
disposal of charcoal manufacturing wastes has been shown to contain low levels of phenolic and
polycyclic compounds. Based on the analysis of samples obtained from monitoring wells, the
levels of the organic contaminants are reduced to near or below the detection limit within a
distance of 100 meters downgradient of the fill. Examination of the ground water chemistry
indicated that the aquifer is essentially aerobic across the site, except in the immediate vicinity of
the fill. At this point, dissolved oxygen is apparently depleted due to the biodegradation of organic
contaminants introduced into the ground water, with a concomitant increase in the inorganic
carbon concentration. Laboratory microcosm experiments demonstrated that the naturally
occurring microorganisms can readily degrade a mixture of the predominant organic
contaminants. Half-lives for biodegradation were in the range of 3 to 8 days for phenolic
substrates, and 11 to 18 days for naphthalene. Computer model simulations indicated that the
attenuation observed in the aquifer cannot be explained in terms of physical processes such as
adsorption or dispersion, but is consistent with biological degradation.
|Drinking Water Impact|| DRINKING WATER: Napthalene measured as follows: Washington DC tap water - 1
ppb . 3 New Orleans area drinking water plants sampled - detected but not quantified . 12
Great Lake municipalities drinking water supplies - 0.9 to 1271 ppb, with levels being generally
higher in winter . Cincinnnati, OH, Feb 1980 - 5 parts/trillion . Drinking waters - up to 1.4
ppb . 2 representative US cities, tap water - not detected, 14% frequency in source for city A -
7.8 ppb avg, 23% frequency in source for City B - 23.0 ppb avg(6).
DRINKING WATER: Naphthalene measured as follows: Rhine River water, the Netherlands,
bank-filtered tap water - 100 parts/trillion . Kitakyushu area Japan - 2.2 ppb . Zurich
Switzerland, tap water - 8 parts/trillion(3,6). Ottawa, Ontario - January, 1978 - 4.8 parts/trillion,
February, 1978 - 6.8 parts/trillion . 4 of 5 Nordic tap water, - 1.2 to 8.8 parts/trillion .
GROUNDWATER: Naphthalene was detected as follows: Hoe Creek, NY, underground coal
gasification site, 2 aquifers sampled 15 months after gasification complete - 380 to 1800 ppb .
Samples from East Anglica, England chalk aquifer 10, 100-120, and 210 m distance from gasoline
storage - 150, 30, and 0.1 ppb resp . 3 of 4 rapid infiltration sites, Fort Polk, LA - 0.03 to 0.22
ppb, 1 of 4 sites not quantified . Zurich, Switzerland - not detected . Gas Works Park,
Seattle, WA - sites of coal and oil gasification plant that ceased operation in 1956: 9 of 15 wells
positive for napthalene above the 0.005 mg/L detection limit, 0.02-12 mg/L . Representive,
highly impacted groundwater at five sanitary landfill sites in southern Ontario: <0.2, 19, 21, 60,
and 61 ppb(6). Detected in groundwater near Falmouth, MA in infiltration site for secondary
effluent used since 1936(7).
SURFACE WATER: Lake Michigan - a trace detected at 5 of 9 sites(7). Delaware River studies
ranged from a trace to 0.9 ppb(1,5). Ohio River between Wheeling and Evansville (5 samples) and
3 tributaries - detected at a detection limit of 0.1 ppb . Charles River, Boston - detected at a
detection limit of 0.1 ppb . Lower Tennessee R, Calvert City, KY - 30.4 ppb (water and
sediment)(6). Unspecified US river near industrial sites - 6 to 10 ppb . Natural waters - up to 2
ppb(8). MacKenzie River, Canada - six sites along 1200 km length sediment(10). 0.67 mi
downstream from site of a tire fire 27 ppb(9).
SURFACE WATER: Lake Zurich, Switzerland - surface water - 8 parts/trillion: water at 30 m
depth - 52 parts/trillion(2-3). Kitakyusku area, Japan - detected, not quantified in river water .
River Glatt, Switzerland - detected, not quantified . Mississippi River during summer 1980 - 4 -
34 ppb .
SEAWATER: Napthalene measured as follows: Gulf of Mexico - unpolluted (anthropogenic
influence) 0.2 parts/trillion mean . Cape Cod, MA - Vineyard Sound - 0.5/35 parts/trillion, 12
parts/trillion avg and results displayed a strong seasonal pattern, highest concentrations noted in
winter which suggests a source from heating fuels . Chemotaxis Dock, Vineyard Sound MA,
Dec 78 to Mar 79 - 0 to 27 parts/trillion, with low levels reported in Dec and Jan; high level
reported in February, correlating with a late heavy snowfall, indicating runoff or atmospheric
inputs . Dohkai Bay, Japan - area polluted by domestic and industrial waste as well as airborne
particulates - detected, not quantified . Kitakyusku area, Japan - detected, not quantified .
Estuary sites in Texas adjacent to offshore shallow water multiwell platform 2.1 ppb; 10 m from
platform 54.7 ppb(6).
EFFL: Industrial effluents- up to 3200 ppb, discharges from sewage treatment plants - up to 22
ppb . Water sample from a stream running through an oil tank farm, Knoxville TN - 8 ppb
tire manufacturing plant wastewaters - 100 ppb(2,4). Spent chlorination liquors from bleaching of
sulfite pulp - 0.8 - 2.0 g ton pulp(9). Bekkelaget Sewage treatment plant, Oslo, Norway,
secondary sewage water effluent - 88 parts/trillion (dry period, Nov, 1979), 303 parts/trillion (dry
period, spring, 1980), 1504 parts/trillion (after rainfall, summer, 1980) . Gas phase emission
rates, diesel trucks - 7.4 mg/km (filtered), 9.2 mg/km (nonfiltered), gasoline-powered vehicles -
8.6 mg/km (filtered), 8.1 mg/km (unfiltered) . 2 representative USA cities, sewage treatment
plant influent, city A - 33% frequency, 13 ppb avg, city B - 67% frequency, 14.8 ppb avg; city B
effluent - not detected(6). Industries with mean treated wastewater concentrations greater than
200 ppb - paint and ink formulation, electrical/electronic components, auto and other laundries,
iron and steel manufacturing ( < 920 ppb)(7). Maxey Flats, KY and West Valley, NY - trench
leachate - 0.12 to 0.28 ppm (3 of 3 trenches pos) and 0.46 to 1.7 ppm (2 of 3 pos)(8).