1,3-Dichloropropene, chemical formula C3H4Cl2, is a clear to straw-coloured liquid with a sharp, sweet, irritating odour. [1]

1,3-Dichloropropene dissolves in water and evaporates easily. It is a by-product in the chlorination of propene to make allyl chloride [2]

Uses [1,2]

1,3-Dichloropropene is used mainly in farming as a pesticide, specifically as a preplant fumigant and nematicide. It is widely used in the United States and other countries, but is in the process of being phased out in the European Union. It is also used in making other chemicals.

In the Environment [3]

In the environment, 1,3-Dichloropropene is quickly broken down in air, usually within several days. Some of the 1,3-dichloropropene in soil and water will evaporate into the air. The rest will be broken down.

Sources and Routes of Exposure Sources of Exposure

Sources of Exposure [3]

The primary source of exposure to 1,3-dichloropropene is by breathing air containing it. This can occur either via contaminated workplace air or air around hazardous waste sites that contain it. Exposure may also occur through drinking contaminated water or touching contaminated soil where it is produced or used, or near hazardous waste sites that contain it.

Routes of Exposure [5]

The main routes of exposure to 1,3-dichloropropene are:

  • inhalation,
  • skin absorption,
  • ingestion,
  • skin and/or eye contact

Health Effects [4]

Acute Effects

Acute inhalation exposure of humans after a tank truck spill resulted in mucous membrane irritation, cough, chest pain, and breathing difficulties. Effects on the lung, including emphysema and oedema, have been observed in rats acutely exposed to 1,3-dichloropropene by inhalation. Lung congestion and haemorrhage, ulcerations of the glandular stomach, haemorrhage of the small intestine, dark and patchy liver, and haemorrhage of the liver have been observed in rats acutely exposed to 1,3-dichloropropene in their diet or via gavage (experimentally placing the chemical in the stomach). Neurotoxic effects, including hunched posture, lethargy, ptosis, ataxia, and decreased respiratory rate, have also been observed in orally exposed rats. Acute animal tests in rats, mice, and rabbits have demonstrated 1,3-dichloropropene to have moderate acute toxicity from inhalation, moderate to high acute toxicity from oral exposure, and high acute toxicity from dermal exposure.

Chronic Effects

Chronic dermal exposure may result in skin sensitisation in humans. Damage to the nasal mucosa and urinary bladder are the primary health effects of rodents chronically exposed to 1,3-dichloropropene by inhalation. Hyperplastic lesions of the upper respiratory tract and degeneration of the olfactory epithelium in the nasal turbinates have been observed in chronically exposed rats and mice. Chronic inhalation exposure of mice has resulted in changes in the urinary bladder. In mice chronically exposed by inhalation, hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis of the forestomach and effects to the urinary bladder, liver, and kidneys have been observed. In one study, reversible cloudy swelling of the renal tubular epithelium was reported in rats chronically exposed by inhalation. Hyperplasia of the forestomach and decreased body weight resulted in rats exposed to 1,3-dichloropropene in the diet, and hyperplasia of the urinary bladder resulted in mice chronically exposed via gavage. The Reference Concentration (RfC) for 1,3-dichloropropene is 0.02 milligrams per cubic metre (mg/m3) based on hypertrophy/hyperplasia of the nasal respiratory epithelium in mice. The Reference Dose (RfD) for 1,3-dichloropropene is 0.03 milligrams per kilogram per day (mg/kg/d) based on chronic irritation of the forestomach in rats.

Reproductive/Developmental Effects

A study of male workers engaged in the manufacture of 1,3-dichloropropene indicated no significant effect on fertility at exposure levels occurring in the work environment. No evidence of developmental toxicity was observed in rats or rabbits exposed to 1,3-dichloropropene by inhalation, but significant maternal toxicity was seen in both species. In one study of rats exposed by inhalation, fewer foetuses per litter were reported at the highest exposure concentration but maternal toxicity was also observed. In other studies, no adverse reproductive effects were observed in rats and mice exposed by inhalation.

Cancer Risk

Information on the carcinogenic effects of 1,3-dichloropropene in humans is limited. Two cases of histiocytic lymphomas and one case of leukaemia have been reported in emergency response personnel exposed to concentrated 1,3-dichloropropene vapours during clean-up of a tank truck spill. An increased incidence of bronchioalveolar adenomas has been reported in male mice exposed by inhalation but not in rats or female mice. Forestomach and liver tumours in rats and forestomach, urinary bladder, and lung tumours in mice have been observed in rodents exposed to 1,3-dichloropropene via gavage. Liver tumours were noted in rats exposed to 1,3-dichloropropene in the diet. EPA has classified 1,3-dichloropropene as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen.

Safety [1]

First Aid Measures

  • Eye Contact: Immediately flush with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting upper and lower lids. Remove contact lenses, if worn, while flushing. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Skin Contact: Quickly remove contaminated clothing. Immediately wash contaminated skin with large amounts of soap and water.
  • Inhalation: Remove the person from exposure. Begin rescue breathing (using universal precautions) if breathing has stopped and CPR if heart action has stopped. Transfer promptly to a medical facility.

Fire Hazards

  • 1,3-Dichloropropene is a flammable liquid.
  • Use dry chemical, CO2, water spray or foam as extinguishing agents.
  • Poisonous gases are produced during a fire, including hydrogen chloride.
  • Containers may explode during a fire.
  • Use water spray to keep fire-exposed containers cool.
  • Vapours may travel to a source of ignition and flash back.
  • Vapour is heavier than air and may travel a distance to cause a fire or explosion far from the source.

Workplace Exposure Controls

Control measures include:

  • enclosing chemical processes for severely irritating and corrosive chemicals,
  • using local exhaust ventilation for chemicals that may be harmful with a single exposure, and
  • using general ventilation to control exposures to skin and eye irritants.

The following work practices are also recommended:

  • Label process containers.
  • Provide employees with hazard information and training.
  • Monitor airborne chemical concentrations.
  • Use engineering controls if concentrations exceed recommended exposure levels.
  • Provide eye wash fountains and emergency showers.
  • Wash or shower if skin comes in contact with a hazardous material.
  • Always wash at the end of the workshift.
  • Change into clean clothing if clothing becomes contaminated.
  • Do not take contaminated clothing home.
  • Get special training to wash contaminated clothing.
  • Do not eat, smoke, or drink in areas where chemicals are being handled, processed or stored.
  • Wash hands carefully before eating, smoking, drinking, applying cosmetics or using the toilet.

Personal Protective Equipment

The following personal protective equipment is recommended when handling 1,3-Dichloropropene:

  • Gloves and Clothing: Wear personal protective equipment made from material that cannot be permeated or degraded by this substance. Safety equipment suppliers and manufacturers can provide recommendations on the most protective glove and clothing material for your operation. All protective clothing (suits, gloves, footwear, headgear) should be clean, available each day, and put on before work.
  • Eye Protection: Wear indirect-vent, impact and splash resistant goggles when working with liquids. Wear a face shield along with goggles when working with corrosive, highly irritating or toxic substances. Do not wear contact lenses when working with this substance.
  • Respiratory Protection: Improper use of respirators is dangerous. Respirators should only be used if the employer has implemented a written program that takes into account workplace conditions, requirements for worker training, respirator fit testing, and medical exams. Where the potential exists for exposure over 1 ppm, use an approved supplied-air respirator with a full face-piece operated in a pressure demand or other positive-pressure mode. For increased protection use in combination with an auxiliary self-contained breathing apparatus operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode.

Regulation [6,7]

United States

ACGIH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists has set a Threshold Limit Value (TLV) of 1 ppm, 4.5 mg/m3 TWA (Skin); Appendix A4 (Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen)

NIOSH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has set a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) of 1 ppm TWA; Potential carcinogen


Safe Work Australia: The recommended time weighted exposure limit is 1ppm over an 8-hour period.







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