Fact sheet: 2,4-dichlorophenol

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

163 g/mol


Phenolic compounds

Properties (at room temperature where applicable)

Compound properties list
Melting/boiling point43 °CSolid
Relative density1.4 g/cm3Sinks in water
Vapour pressure0.09 mm HgLow volatility
Vapour density0N/A
Solubility in water6,000 mg/LModerately soluble
Henry's law constant3 x 10-6atm·m3/molSlow volatilization when dissolved
log Koc (Depending on soil or sediment characteristics)2.1 - 3.6*Moderate adsorption to organic matter

Environmental behaviour

At 20 0C, 2,4-dichlorophenol is a solid with low volatility and moderate solubility. Once it is dissolved, it volatilizes slowly and adsorbs moderately to organic matter. When present in the soil, it dissolves moderately quickly. In the dissolved phase, 2,4-dichlorophenol can reach the groundwater table or go into a waterway, where it will be diluted before slowly volatilizing. Fragments of 2,4-dichlorophenol can also be carried into waterways where they will be deposited at the bottom and dissolve. Once the source has been removed, the adsorbed phase will take a while to disappear, slowly liberating contamination in either the gaseous or dissolved state. The resulting dissolved plume can be relatively large while the gaseous plume would be generally small in size.

Health and safety

2,4-dichlorophenol should be handled with care, as it is toxic and corrosive.

Principal resources

The largest use of 2,4-dichlorophenol is as an intermediate, especially in the production of the herbicides 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T). 2,4-dichlorophenol is also used as a germicide, antiseptic and seed disinfectant.


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1999. Toxicological profile for Chlorophenols. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Georgia, U.S.A. (Viewed December 2013)

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