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1,2-Dichloroethane

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Definition of 1,2-dichloroethane:
1,2-Dichloroethane is a clear, chemically manufactured liquid. It evaporates quickly at room temperature and has a pleasant smell and a sweet taste. The most common use of 1,2-dichloroethane is the formation of vinyl chloride, used in the production of a variety of plastic and vinyl products. These include important construction materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, but also packaging materials, furniture, auto mobile parts, wall coverings and housewares. [1]
This is the common definition for 1,2-dichloroethane, other definitions can be discussed in the article

Notes

1,2-Dichloroethane
Dichloroethane
Formula
C2H4Cl2

US annual production of 1,2-dichloroethane averaged around 7 million tonnes in the 1990s. It can enter the environment during manufacture, transport or use. 1,2-dichloroethane is mostly released to the air, although some is released to rivers or lakes. [1]

1,2-Dichloroethane can evaporate rapidly from water or soils to the atmosphere where it is slowly degraded. It can persist in the atmosphere, with a half-life of 5 months, and during which it can be transported over large distances. It has a moderate water solubility of 8,69 g/l and is not expected to adsorb to particles or sediments. In water it is slowly degraded, almost not biodegraded and removal mainly occurs by evaporation: The half-life of 1,2-dichloroethane in water is 10 days.

1,2-Dichloroethane doesn't have a tendency to bioaccumulate and is therefore not expected to biomagnify through food chains.[1] Concentrations of 1,2-dichloroethane above 118 mg/l cause acute toxicity to marine fish, concentrations above 30 mg/l, 36 mg/l and 100 mg/l cause acute toxicity to respectively fresh water fish, marine invertebrates and marine algae . [2] It is suspected that 1,2-dichloroethane in heavily polluted coastal areas of the North Sea might reach concentrations up to 6,4 µg/l. Typical concentrations in polluted estuaries range around 0,5 µg/l and those in open seas around 0.005 µg/l. [2]


Environmental standards and legislation

Included in the water framework list of priority substances


References

  1. 1,0 1,1 1,2 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 2001 TOXICOLOGICAL PROFILE FOR 1,2-DICHLOROETHANE
  2. 2,0 2,1 Euro Chlor March 1997 Euro Chlor Risk Assessment for the Marine Environment OSPARCOM Region - North Sea 1,2-Dichloroethane