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1,4-Dioxane (CAS No. 123-91-1) is a volatile organic compound that has a moderate vapor pressure (38.0 mm Hg at 25º C), is completely miscible in water, and has a specific gravity of 1.033. When released to the air, it has a 6 to 10 hour half life and degrades to aldehydes and ketones. The very low log Kow (-.27) suggests that 1, 4-dioxane will be very mobile in soils. 1,4-Dioxane has a very low Henry's Constant (4.88 X 10-6) and is unlikely to form a vapor plume in the vadose zone above a dissolved phase plume, which means soil gas measurement techniques will not be useful for tracking it. Its low Henry's Constant also means that if it is released to a surface water body, it will remain in that body and not volatilize to a significant extent. At actual solvent release sites, 1,4-dioxane has been found to migrate considerably farther in ground water than solvents such as trichloroethane (TCA) or its breakdown products due to its complete miscibility. The compound is not expected to biodegrade in the environment.
1,4-Dioxane is flammable, and under certain conditions, such as improper storage with exposure to light and air, will form explosive peroxides that can be detonated by shock or heat.
Handbook of Environmental Fate and Exposure Data for Organic Chemicals, Volume II Solvents
P. Howard. Lewis Publishers, 1991.
Environment, Safety, and Health Manual
OPPT Chemical Fact Sheets 1, 4-Dioxane Fact Sheet: Support Document (CAS No. 123-9-1)
U.S. EPA , Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances.
EPA 749-F-95-010a, 13 pp, Feb. 1995.
Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing, 112 pp, May 2003.