2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenol is a chemical which has been confused with an other chemical called dodecylphenol which has the same molecular formula but a different structure.
Less than 50 tonnes of 2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenol are used in the EU each year. It can be used as an intermediate in the production of antioxidants, in rubber or plastic and as an lubricating agent in the transport sector. As an intermediate it shouldn't enter the environment unless by discharges.
It is a chemical with a low volatility, making it unlikely that it enters the atmosphere, where it would be degraded rapidly. It has a low water solubility (0,521 mg/l) and a strong tendency to adsorb to soils and sediments. Both in water and sediments, it isn't readily (bio)degraded and considered persistent. It has a high tendency to bioaccumulate and is likely to biomagnify through food chains.
In fresh water is has been shown to be acutely toxic for fish and for algae at concentrations above 0,061 mg/l and 0,033 mg/l respectively. There is currently little information available on the levels of 2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenol in the marine environment. It has been estimated (by modelling the emissions) that concentrations might reach 0,32 µg/l.
Environmental standards and legislation