From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

1,2-Dichloroethane (1,2-DCA), also known as ethylene dichloride (EDC), is a colorless liquid with a chloroform-like odor. It is a volatile organic compound that is primarily used in the production of vinyl chloride, which is then polymerized to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC). 1,2-Dichloroethane is an important industrial chemical, having been produced in large quantities for use in various chemical processes.

Production[edit | edit source]

1,2-Dichloroethane is produced through the chlorination of ethylene in the presence of iron(III) chloride as a catalyst. This process yields 1,2-dichloroethane along with other products, including hydrogen chloride and 1,1-dichloroethane. The reaction can be represented by the following chemical equation:

\[ C_2H_4 + Cl_2 \rightarrow C_2H_4Cl_2 \]

The majority of 1,2-Dichloroethane produced is used in the manufacture of PVC. The process involves the dehydrochlorination of 1,2-Dichloroethane to produce vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), which is then polymerized to form PVC.

Uses[edit | edit source]

Apart from its primary use in the production of PVC, 1,2-Dichloroethane has several other applications. It is used as a solvent in the textile, metal cleaning, and adhesives industries. It also serves as an intermediate in the synthesis of other organic compounds.

Health and Environmental Effects[edit | edit source]

Exposure to 1,2-Dichloroethane can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. It is a potent irritant to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Long-term exposure has been associated with liver damage, and it has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Environmental concerns related to 1,2-Dichloroethane include its contribution to air and water pollution. It is a volatile organic compound that can contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and photochemical smog. In water bodies, it can harm aquatic life due to its toxicity.

Regulation[edit | edit source]

Due to its health and environmental impacts, the production and use of 1,2-Dichloroethane are regulated in many countries. Regulations may include limits on emissions, workplace exposure standards, and guidelines for the safe handling and disposal of the chemical.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

1,2-Dichloroethane is a significant industrial chemical with a wide range of applications, most notably in the production of PVC. However, its potential health and environmental impacts necessitate careful handling and regulation to mitigate risks.


Navigation: Wellness - Encyclopedia - Health topics - Disease Index‏‎ - Drugs - World Directory - Gray's Anatomy - Keto diet - Recipes

Search WikiMD

Ad.Tired of being Overweight? Try W8MD's physician weight loss program.
Semaglutide (Ozempic / Wegovy and Tirzepatide (Mounjaro / Zepbound) available.
Advertise on WikiMD

WikiMD is not a substitute for professional medical advice. See full disclaimer.

Credits:Most images are courtesy of Wikimedia commons, and templates Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY SA or similar.

Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD