Chemical composition and reactivity• The chemical formula for vinyl chloride is C2H3Cl• molecular weight = 62.5 g/mol• The half-life of vinyl chloride in air is a few hours.
Physical Properties of Vinyl Chloride• colorless gas with a mild, sweet odor• slightly soluble in water• extremely flammable• vapor pressure = 2,600 mm Hg at 25 °C• has a log octanol/water partition coefficient (log Kow) of 1.36. (1)
Major Sources: Plastics and VinylUsed to makepolyvinyl chloride(PVC)pipes, wire and cable coatings,packaging materials, furniture andautomobile upholstery, wallcoverings, house ware, automotiveparts, etc. Carboxyl-Modified Vinyl Chloride (VAMA) Used as a coating for various substrates, especially metals, cellulosics, and certain plastics.
Exposure (generally very low)from the discharge of exhaust gases from factories thatmanufacture or process vinyl chloride, or evaporation fromareas where chemical wastes are stored.Air inside new cars may contain vinyl chloride at higherlevels because vinyl chloride may outgas into the air from thenew plastic partsDrinking water may contain vinyl chloride released fromcontact with polyvinyl pipes.Vinyl chloride is a microbial degradation product oftrichloroethylene in groundwaterTobacco smoke also contains vinyl chloride.
Major Human Heath Risks Carcinogen especially to the liver and kidney TeratogenDamages theCentral Nervous System "vinyl chloride disease"Causes irritation to the eyesand respiratory tract high exposure has caused loss of consciousness, lung and kidney irritation, and inhibition of blood clotting in humans and cardiac arrhythmias in animals.
Formosa Plastics Vinyl Chloride Explosion“On April 23, 2004, five workers were fatally injured and two others wereseriously injured….The explosion followed a release of highly flammablevinyl chloride, which ignited. The explosion forced a community evacuationand lighted fires that burned for several days at the plant.”-Accident Description by the Chemical Safety Board (video with more on this example on the CSB’s website)