2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene

CAS RN:118-96-7

Exposure Summary

2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene's production and use as explosive and as an Intermediate in dyestuffs and photographic chemicals may result in its release to the environment through various waste streams. If released to air, a vapor pressure of 8.02X10-6 mm Hg at 25 deg C indicates 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene will exist in both the vapor and particulate phases in the atmosphere. Vapor-phase 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene 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 120 days. Particulate-phase 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene will be removed from the atmosphere by wet or dry deposition. The rate constants for river water, freshwater bay, pond water and distilled water were 1.2X10-3, 1.5X10-4, 5.8X10-4 and 1.7X10-5/sec, respectively, which correspond to half-lives of about 10 min, 1.3 hrs, 20 min and 11.3 hrs. If released to soil, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene is expected to have low mobility based upon an average Koc of 1,600. Volatilization from moist soil surfaces is not expected to be an important fate process based upon a Henry's Law constant of 2.1X10-8 atm-cu m/mole. Ultimate biodegradation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene in soil will be of minor importance; however 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene is readily reduced under anaerobic conditions. If released into water, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene is expected to adsorb to suspended solids and sediment based upon the Koc. The capability of microorganisms to biotransform 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene under aerobic conditions is very slow. Volatilization from water surfaces is not expected to be an important fate process based upon this compound's Henry's Law constant. An estimated BCF of 3.4 suggests the potential for bioconcentration in aquatic organisms is low. Gas chromatography-electron capture measurements demonstrated that a sea water solution at a pH of 8.1 with 95 ppm 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene underwent no change in concn after 108 days, thus evidencing the stability of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene against hydrolysis in water under neutral conditions. Occupational exposure may be possible through inhalation and dermal contact at sites of its manufacture and use as a military explosive and propellant. Monitoring data indicate that the general population will not likely be exposed to 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene because it is mainly found at military facilities. (SRC)
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