From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) is a halogenated hydrocarbon, a type of organic compound that was historically used as a nematocide and soil fumigant. It is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor and is highly soluble in water.

History[edit | edit source]

DBCP was first synthesized in the 1950s by the Dow Chemical Company and Shell Oil Company. It was primarily used in the United States to control nematodes in fruit and vegetable crops until 1977, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suspended its use due to concerns about its toxicity and potential to cause cancer.

Chemical Properties[edit | edit source]

DBCP is a dense, nonflammable liquid that is highly volatile. It has a molecular formula of C3H5Br2Cl and a molecular weight of 236.33 g/mol. It has a boiling point of 195°C and a melting point of -22°C.

Health Effects[edit | edit source]

Exposure to DBCP can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. It is a known carcinogen, and long-term exposure can lead to adverse health effects such as lung cancer, reproductive toxicity, and damage to the liver and kidneys.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

DBCP is highly persistent in the environment and can contaminate both soil and groundwater. It is also toxic to aquatic life and can cause long-term adverse effects in aquatic environments.

Regulation[edit | edit source]

In the United States, the EPA has set a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for DBCP in drinking water at 0.2 parts per billion (ppb). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 1 part per million (ppm) for workers exposed to DBCP.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD