Fact sheet: 1,1-dichloroethane

From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

Discover a list of a contaminant's important chemical properties, how it will react in the environment, main sources of contamination related, and a brief overview of health and safety issues.

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General information

CAS number


Molecular formula


Formula weight

99 g/mol


Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAH)

Properties (at room temperature where applicable)

Compound properties list
Melting/boiling point -97 °C / 57 °CLiquid
Relative density1.17 g/cm3Sinks in water
Vapour pressure220 mm HgVery volatile
Vapour density3.4Denser than air
Solubility in water5,000 mg/LModerately soluble
Henry's law constant5 x 10-3 atm·m3/molRapid volatilization when dissolved
log Koc (Depending on soil or sediment characteristics)1.5 - 1.8*Moderate adsorption to organic matter

Environmental behaviour

At 20 0C, 1,1-dichloroethane is a liquid denser than water and very volatile. Characterized by moderate solubility, it will volatilize rapidly once dissolved and adsorb moderately to organic matter. During a spill, this compound will partially evaporate but may also enter into the soil or migrate into a waterway. Once it encounters water (surface or subsurface), the 1,1-dichloroethane will dissolve or sink until it reaches an impermeable surface. The liquid 1,1-dichloroethane that accumulates in a saturated zone will gradually dissolve before volatilization occurs. The adsorbed 1,1-dichloroethane in the vadose and saturated zones will disappear rapidly, liberating contamination in either the gaseous or dissolved state. The resulting plumes (gaseous or dissolved) will be relatively large in size.

Health and safety

1,1-Dichloroethane should be handled with care as it is flammable.

Principal resources

l,l-Dichloroethane is produced commercially through different processes and its primary use is as an intermediate in the manufacture of l,l,l-trichloroethane. It is also an intermediate in the manufacture of other products such as vinyl chloride, and to a lesser extent high vacuum rubber. It also has limited use as a solvent for plastics, oils and fats, and thus is employed as both a cleaning agent and a degreaser. Other uses of l,l-dichloroethane include fabric spreading, varnish and finish removers, organic synthesis, ore flotation, and as a fumigant and insecticide spray. 1,1-Dichloroethane can also be found in the environment as a breakdown product of 1,1,1-trichloroethane.


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), 1990. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Georgia, USA. (Viewed March 2010)

Montgomery, John H. 2007. Groundwater Chemicals, Desk Reference, Fourth Edition, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida, USA.