|Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #)||
Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details
on this compound.
||EPA Method 502.2||EPA Method 503.1
||EPA Method 524.2
||EPA Method 8021
||EPA Method 8260
|Use|| THINNER FOR PAINTS & ENAMELS; AS A CONSTITUENT OF SOME
COMPONENT OF HIGH OCTANE AVIATION FUEL; IN PRODN OF STYRENE;
THINNER FOR LACQUERS
PRODUCTION OF PHENOL, ACETONE AND ALPHA-METHYLSTYRENE; SOLVENT
IN MANUF OF ACETOPHENONE
In the manufacturing of polymerization catalysts, diisopropylbenzene; catalyst for acrylic and
polyester type resins; and naptha constituent.
Minor amounts are used in gasoline blending.
RAW MATERIAL FOR PEROXIDES AND OXIDATION CATALYSTS
CHEM INTERMEDIATE FOR DICUMYL PEROXIDE.
|Consumption Patterns|| 65% FOR PHENOL; 34% FOR ACETONE; 1% FOR ALPHA-METHYLSTYRENE
AND MISC APPLICATIONS (1972)
98% OXIDATION FOR PHENOL/ACETONE PRODUCTION; 1.8% POLYMERIZATION
FOR ALPHA-METHYLSTYRENE; 0.2% EXPORTS (1985)
CHEMICAL PROFILE: Cumene. Demand: 1986: 3.7 billion lb; 1987: 4.0 billion lb; 1991
/projected/: 4.3 billion lb. (Includes exports; in addition, 328 billion lb were imported in 1986).
|Apparent Color|| Colorless liquid
|Odor|| SHARP, PENETRATING, AROMATIC ; Gasoline-like odor.
|Boiling Point|| 152.4 DEG C SRP/: @ 760 torr
|Melting Point|| -96.0 DEG C
|Molecular Weight|| 120.19
|Density|| SP GR: 0.862 @ 20 DEG C/4 DEG C
|Odor Threshold Concentration|| USSR: human odor perception: 0.06 mg/cu m= 0.012 ppm.
Detection of cumene in air 0.008 ppm.
Recognition of cumene in air 0.047 ppm.
|Sensitivity Data|| CUMENE IS CONSIDERED A PRIMARY SKIN & EYE IRRITANT
|Environmental Impact|| Cumene is released to the environment as a result of its production and processing, from
petroleum refining and the evaporation and combustion of petroleum products and by the use of a
variety of products containing cumene. A variety of natural products contain cumene. When
released to soil, cumene is expected to biodegrade and may volatilize from the soil surface.
Cumene is expected to strongly adsorb to soils and is not expected to leach to groundwater.
When released to water, cumene is expected to volatilize with an estimated half-life of 5-14 days
and to biodegrade rapidly. Compared to these processes, aqueous photooxidation by hydroxyl
radicals (estimated half-life 0.7 years) and peroxy radicals (estimated half-life 2.2 years) are
expected to be relatively slow, and so are not expected to be significant fate processes of cumene.
Adsorption to sediments may occur based on the high soil-sorption coefficient of cumene.
Bioconcentration is not expected to be significant. When released to the atmosphere, vapor phase
cumene will react with photochemically generated hydroxyl radicals with an estimated half-life of
25 h in polluted atmospheres and 49 h in normal atmospheres. The reaction of vapor phase
cumene with ozone has an estimated half-life of 3 years and the half-life of direct photolysis was
estimated to be 1500 years. Cumene is a contaminant of air, sediments and surface, drinking and
groundwater and a natural constituent of a variety of foods and vegetation. Human exposure to
cumene is expected to result primarily from inspiration of air contaminated with cumene but lower
exposures may result from ingestion of food and water.
|Environmental Fate|| Atmospheric Fate: Oxidation with air to the unstable cumene hydroperoxide at elevated
TERRESTRIAL FATE: Cumene is expected to biodegrade in soil and may volatilize from the soil
surface. Cumene is expected to strongly adsorb to soils and is not expected to leach to
AQUATIC FATE: Half-lives of 5-14 days were estimated for the volatilization of cumene from
water, depending on the turbulence, wind speed, current velocity, depth, diffusion and
temperature . Cumene is expected to biodegrade fairly rapidly in water. Photooxidation
by alkylperoxy radicals and hydroxy radicals is expected to occur with half-lives of 2.2 and 0.7
years(2,3), respectively, so photooxidation in water is not expected to be a significant fate process
relative to biodegradation. Bioconcentration is not expected to be significant.
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: A half-life of about 25 hr for the reaction between cumene and hydroxyl
radicals was estimated for polluted atmospheres; for average atmospheres, a half-life of about 49
hr was estimated . The rate of reaction of cumene with ozone is considerably slower and a
half-life of about 3 years was estimated . Since cumene has an absorption maximum at 258 nm
in cyclohexane , and has been theoretically estimated to have a direct photolysis half-life of
about 1500 years , direct photolysis is not expected to be significant in the atmosphere. The
predominant atmospheric fate of vapor phase cumene is expected to be its reaction with
photochemically generated hydroxyl radicals.
|Drinking Water Impact|| Cumene was found at 30, 15, 2.5, 1.3, and 0.01 ppb in groundwater samples taken in
progressive distances downgradient from an aviation fuel spill.
Water and gas samples from underwater vent plumes and a petroleum formation water sample of
offshore oil production platforms were analyzed for volatile liquid hydrocarbons. Cumene was
detected at 140 ppb in the formation water sample, but was not detected in the water or gas
samples of the underwater vent plume.
Cumene was found at concn of 27, 59 and 19 ppb in groundwater samples taken near two
underground gasification sites in northeastern Wyoming.
SURFACE WATER: River Lee, UK - <0.1 and >0.1 ug/l at two sampling points . Cumene was
detected but not quantified in surface water samples from Narraganset Bay, RI and Japan .
GROUNDWATER: Hoe Creek, WV (near underground coal gasification site) - 3 samples, 100%
pos; 19, 27, and 59 ug/l, avg 35 ug/l . United States (all 50 states) and Puerto Rico - <0.5
ug/l . Great Ouse Basin, UK (near a gasoline storage tank) - 5 samples, 100% pos, 0.01-30
ug/l, avg 9.8 ug/l . Cumene was detected but not quantified in groundwater from Ames, IA ,
New York state , Melbourne, Australia (near a dump site)(6) and Milan, Italy (near
underground storage tanks)(7).
DRINKING WATER: US cities (13) - 10 samples, 7.7% pos, 0.01 ug/l . Cincinnati, OH -
0.014 ug/l . United States (all 50 states) and Puerto Rico - <0.5 ug/l . Cumene was detected
but not quantified in drinking water from New York state and in tap water from Japan .
EFFL: Cumene was found concentrated at 5 mg/l in the dissolved air flotation effluent of a Class
B petroleum refinery.
The raw effluent of a textile finishing and dying plant was found to contain cumene that was used
as a solvent in the plant.
WATER: Timber products - 36-6319 ug/l, 228 ug/l median; leather tanning - 192 ug/l; iron and
steel manufacturing - 17-18 ug/l, 18 ug/l median; petroleum refining - 13-1316 ug/l, 91 ug/l
median; paving and roofing - 48 ug/l; paint and ink - 8-2621 ug/l, 168 ug/l median; printing and
publishing - 25-739 ug/l, 41 ug/l median; ore mining - 42 ug/l; coal mining - 4-1646 ug/l, 50 ug/l
median; organics and plastics - 4.9-17,933 ug/l, 85 ug/l median; inorganic chemicals - 14-606 ug/l,
109 ug/l median; textile mills - 112 ug/l; plastics and synthetics - 1.2- 57 ug/l, 4 ug/l median; pulp
and paper - 8.4-341 ug/l, 47 ug/l median, rubber processing - 32-867 ug/l, 449 ug/l median; auto
and other laundries - 35-3925 ug/l, 329 ug/l median; pesticide manufacturing - 217-1753 ug/l, 857
ug/l median; pharmaceuticals - 24 ug/l; plastics manufacturing - 112-1576 ug/l, 384 ug/l median;
electroplating - 3.8 ug/l; oil and gas extraction - 3.1-334 ug/l, 6.8 ug/l median; organic chemicals -
21-328 ug/l, 63 ug/l median; mechanical products - 44-1766 ug/l, 259 ug/l median; transportation
equipment - 21 ug/l .