CAS RN:107-12-0

Exposure Summary

Propionitrile's production and use as a solvent, dielectric fluid, and chemical intermediate may result in its release to the environment through various waste streams. Propionitrile is also present in the product of modern hydrogen cyanide manufacturing facilities and is an organic impurity in acrylonitrile manufacturing which may result in its release to the environment. If released to air, a vapor pressure of 47.4 mm Hg at 25 deg C indicates propionitrile will exist solely as a vapor in the ambient atmosphere. Vapor-phase propionitrile will be degraded in the atmosphere by reaction with photochemically-produced hydroxyl radicals; the half-life for this reaction in air is estimated to be 83 days. If released to soil, propionitrile is expected to have very high mobility based upon an estimated Koc of 29. Volatilization from moist soil surfaces is expected to be an important fate process based upon a Henry's Law constant of 3.70X10-5 atm-cu m/mole. Propionitrile may volatilize from dry soil surfaces based upon its vapor pressure. If released into water, propionitrile is not expected to adsorb to suspended solids and sediment based upon the estimated Koc. Propionitrile is expected to biodegrade in the environment; microorganisms hydrolyze nitriles, such as propionitrile, predominately to carboxylic acids plus ammonium ions. For example, a mixed microbial culture, isolated from an environment contaminated with organic cyanides, biodegraded propionitrile. Volatilization from water surfaces is expected to be an important fate process based upon this compound's Henry's Law constant. Estimated volatilization half-lives for a model river and model lake are 13 hours and 8 days, respectively. An estimated BCF of 3 suggests the potential for bioconcentration in aquatic organisms is low. Occupational exposure to propionitrile may occur through inhalation and dermal contact with this compound at workplaces where propionitrile is produced or used. Monitoring data indicate that the general population may be exposed to propionitrile via inhalation of ambient air containing propionitrile. (SRC)
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