TABLE 12-5 Physicochemical Properties of DecaBDE and Potential Alternatives
Physical State of Chemical (ambient conditions)
Physical state indicates if a chemical substance is a solid, liquid, or gas under ambient conditions, and is determined from the melting and boiling points. Chemicals with a melting point more than 25°C are considered solid. Those with a melting point less than 25°C and a boiling point more than 25°C are considered liquid, and those with a boiling point less than 25°C are considered a gas.
Relevance to exposure: Physical state influences the potential for dermal and inhalation exposure. For solids, there is potential for the inhalation and ingestion of dust particles and dermal contact. For liquids, there is potential for direct dermal contact but not for direct inhalation of the liquid (except in operations that produce aerosols). In the case of these alternatives, all are solid at room temperature except for RDP, but once RDP is blended into a polymer, it has the same exposure potential as a solid, so the assessment will consider the inhalation and ingestion of dust particles and dermal contact in the solid form for all alternatives.
|Physical Form at Ambient Conditions||Solid||Solid||Solid||Liquid||Solid|
|Melting Point (°C)||300-310||350||656||-12 to -16 (liquid at room temperature) 300 370 (decomposes)||50.5|
|Boiling Point (°C)||> 320 (decomposes)||>350 (estimated)||1425||245 at 11 mm Hg|
Relevance to exposure: Vapor pressure indicates the potential for a chemical to volatilize into the atmosphere. If a chemical has a vapor pressure leading to volatilization at room temperature or typical environmental conditions, then the chemical may evaporate and present the potential for inhalation of the gas or vapor. For a Design for the Environment (DfE) chemical alternatives assessment, inhalation exposure is assumed to occur if the vapor pressure is greater than 1 × 10-8 mm Hg. A default value of <10-8 was assigned for chemicals without data that are anticipated to be non-volatile this is based on EPA HPV assessment guidance (EPA 2011b).
|Vapor Pressure (mm Hg)||3.5 x 10-8 at 21 °C||<7.5x10-7||<10-8||1.9 x 10-5 at 20°C||6.28 x 10-6|
Log Kow (LogP), Water Solubility (mg/L), and dE (eV)
Relevance to bioavailability: Log Kow can be used to evaluate absorption and distribution in biological organisms, potential acute aquatic toxicity by narcosis, and potential general population exposure via ingestion. Generally, chemicals with a Log Kow < 5 are orally bioavailable to mammals; chemicals with logKow < 4 are water soluble and available to aquatic species. LogKow is linearly related to bioaccumulation factor (BAF) up to Log Kow ~ 5, where lower water solubility levels off and bioavailability becomes asymptotic.
Relevance to aquatic toxicity: LogP “usually correlates well with acute aquatic toxicity. For non-ionic organic chemicals that are toxic through narcosis, acute and chronic toxicity increases exponentially with increases in logP up to a value of about 5-7” (Voutchkova et al. 2011). Chemicals with logP <2 have higher probability of having low acute and chronic aquatic toxicity (Voutchkova et al. 2011).
Relevance to environmental transport: Chemicals with a high Log Kow also tend to bind strongly to soil and sediment.
Log Kow cannot be measured for inorganic substances, polymers, and other materials that are not soluble in either water or octanol. This is indicated in the table with “No data.”
Water solubility indicates the potential of a chemical to dissolve in water and form an aqueous solution. Water soluble chemicals present a higher potential for human exposure through the ingestion of contaminated drinking water (including well water). In general, absorption after oral ingestion of a chemical with water solubility less than 10-3 mg/L is not expected. Water soluble chemicals are more likely to be transported into groundwater, absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract or lungs, partition to aquatic compartments, and undergo atmospheric removal by rain washout. A substance with water solubility at or below 10-3 mg/L is considered insoluble.
HOMO-LUMO gap (∆E, eV): The energy separation between the highest occupied and lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (HOMO–LUMO gap, ∆E) is related to broad chemical reactivity (Fukui et al. 1952). A molecule with a small ∆E is considered
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