Triethylamine

CAS RN:121-44-8

Exposure Summary

Triethylamine's production and use as a solvent, catalyst, binding resin and chemical intermediate may result in its release to the environment through various waste streams. If released to air, a vapor pressure of 57.07 mm Hg at 25 deg C indicates triethylamine will exist solely as a vapor in the atmosphere. Vapor-phase triethylamine 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 4.2 hours. Triethylamine does not contain chromophores that absorb at wavelengths >290 nm and, therefore, is not expected to be susceptible to direct photolysis by sunlight. If released to soil, triethylamine is expected to have high mobility based upon an estimated Koc of 51. The pKa of triethylamine is 10.78, indicating that this compound will exist almost entirely in cation form in the environment and cations generally adsorb more strongly to soils containing organic carbon and clay than their neutral counterparts. Volatilization from moist soil is not expected because the compound exists as a cation and cations do not volatilize. Triethylamine may volatilize from dry soil surfaces based upon its vapor pressure. Utilizing the Japanese MITI test, 28% of the Theoretical BOD was reached in 4 weeks indicating that biodegradation may be an important environmental fate process in soil and water. If released into water, triethylamine is not expected to adsorb to suspended solids and sediment based upon the estimated Koc. Volatilization from water surfaces is not expected to be an important fate process based upon this compound's pKa. BCFs of <4.9 measured in carp suggest bioconcentration in aquatic organisms is low. Hydrolysis is not expected to be an important environmental fate process since this compound lacks functional groups that hydrolyze under environmental conditions (pH 5 to 9). Occupational exposure to triethylamine may occur through inhalation and dermal contact with this compound at workplaces where triethylamine is produced or used. Monitoring data indicate that the general population may be exposed to triethylamine via inhalation of tobacco smoke and ambient air, ingestion of food, and dermal contact with consumer products containing triethylamine. (SRC)
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