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Organics


Volatile Organics Synthetic Organics: Non-Volatile
Benzene
Carbon Tetrachloride
Chlorobenzene
Styrene
Toluene
Vinyl Chloride
Acrylamide
Pentachlorophenol
Polychlorinated Biphenyls
2,3,7,8-TCDD(dioxins)

Other organics - See Pesticides

Summary of Limits/Standards for Organic Compounds

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 Benzene:
    Synonyms: Benzol, phenyl hydride, coal naphtha, phene, benxole, cyclohexatriene
    1.  General Information: Benzene is a monocyclic aromatic
        hydrocarbon liquid that is volatile, colorless, and highly
        flammable with a characteristic odor and a density less than
        that of water.  Common benzene grades contain 50 to 100%
        benzene, the remaining percentage consisting of toluene,
        xylene, and other constituents distilling below 120oC.  Benzene
        is used in motor fuels; as a solvent for fats, inks, oils,
        paints, plastics, and rubber; as an aid in oil extraction and
        in photogravure printing; and in the manufacture of
        detergents, explosives, pharmaceuticals, and dyes (Sittig, 1981).

    2.  Numerical Categories: 
        Designated Use                Limit (EPA, 1986; Sittig, 1981)
        FW Aquatic Life               5.3 mg/l acute
        SW Aquatic Life               5.1 mg/l acute
        Human Consumption             0.0066 mg/l (based on lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 100,000.)

    3.  Health Effects: Benzene is a confirmed carcinogen.  Benzene
        exposure may cause myeloid leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, and
        lymphomas (Lewis, 1991).  Exposure to liquid and vapor may cause eye,
        skin, and upper respiratory tract irritation.  Liquid
        aspirated into the lungs may cause pulmonary edema and
        hemorrhages.  Scaly dermatitis may occur from drying of skin.

        Acute exposures may depress the central nervous system,
        causing headache, dizziness, nausea, convulsions, coma, and
        death.  Chronic exposure has caused blood changes such as
        fluctuations in erythrocytes, leukocyte, and thrombocyte
        counts.  Bone marrow may become hyper- or hypo-active and may
        not correlate with peripheral blood (Sittig, 1981).

    4.  Environmental Effects: Microorganisms will slowly biodegrade
        benzene in soil and surface water.

    5.  Sources:  See General Information.

    6.  Analytical Techniques: Benzene (APHA, 1992)
General Methods                    Detection Limits        Interferences
Purge and Trap Gas                 4.4 ug/l, but           Impurities in the purge gas
Chromatographic/ Mass              will vary with          and organic compound
Spectrometric Method.              equipment used.         contaminants in equipment.

    7.  Environmental Fate/ Mode of Transport:
        a.  Air: Vaporized benzene will photodegrade within one day.
            Degradation products have a half-life of 13.4 days (Kubek et al., 1990).
        b.  Water: Benzene is slightly water soluble and will vaporize
            from the surface of water.  Benzene in surface water will
            undergo degradation.
        c.  Soil: Benzene near or on soil surface will vaporize. Thus,
            runoff potential is very low.  Benzene that does not
            vaporize will rapidly leach through the soil horizon and
            possibly contaminate ground water supplies (Kubek et al., 1990).
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Carbon Tetrachloride:
    Synonyms: Tetrachloromethane, perchloromethane

    1.  General Information: Carbon Tetrachloride is a halogenated
        aliphatic hydrocarbon liquid that is volatile, colorless, and
        nonflammable with a characteristic odor.  It is used primarily as a
        solvent for oils, fats, lacquers, varnishes, rubber, waxes,
        and resins and is also included in dry-cleaning solutions,
        fire-extinguisher solution, and as a drying agent in spark
        plugs (Sittig, 1981).

    2.  Numerical Categories: 
        Designated Use                Limit (Sittig, 1981; EPA, 1986)
        FW Aquatic Life               35.2 mg/l acute
        SW Aquatic Life               50 mg/l acute
        Human Consumption             0.004 mg/l (based on lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 100,000)

    3.  Health Effects: Carbon Tetrachloride is a confirmed carcinogen.  Carbon tetrachloride
        removes natural oils from the skin, leaving it dry and
        cracked.  Contact with eyes will cause irritation.
        Extensive exposure will depress the central nervous system and
        cause gastrointestinal disorder (Sittig, 1981; Kubek et al., 1990).

    4.  Environmental Effects:  Exhibits extreme toxicity to mammals.

    5.  Sources:  See General Information.

    6.  Analytical Techniques: Carbon Tetrachloride
General Methods                    Detection Limits          Interferences
Purge and Trap Gas                 2.8 ug/l,                 Impurities in the purge
Chromatographic/ Mass              but varies                gas and  organic compound
Spectrometric Method.              with equipment used.      contaminants in equipment.

    7.  Environmental Fate/ Mode of Transport:                 
        a.  Air: Carbon tetrachloride will rapidly vaporize and remain
            stable in the troposphere.  Rapid photodissociaton will
            occur in the stratosphere (EPA, 1979).
        b.  Water: Carbon tetrachloride is persistent and insoluble in
            water. Its half-life in surface waters is 3 to 30 days; in 
            ground water: 3 to 300 days
        c.  Soil: Carbon tetrachloride is persistent and mobile in
            soil.  Thus, there is potential for contamination of
            ground water supplies (Kubek et al., 1990).

        Carbon tetrachloride will biodegrade under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
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Chlorobenzene:
    Synonyms: Monochlorobenzene, chlorobenzol, phenyl chloride, MCB

    1.  General Information: Chlorobenzene is a monocyclic aromatic
        hydrocarbon that exists as a clear, flammable liquid.
        Chlorobenzene is used in the manufacture of aniline, phenol,
        and chloronitrobenzene and as an intermediate in many pesticides.

    2.  Numerical Categories: 
        Designated Use                Limit (EPA, 1986; Sittig, 1981)
        FW Aquatic Life                0.25 mg/l acute
        SW Aquatic Life                0.16 mg/l acute
                                       0.13 mg/l chronic
        Human Consumption              0.49 mg/l (based on lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 100,000)

    3.  Health Effects: Chlorobenzene is non-carcinogenic.  Exposure will cause
        irritation of eyes, nose, and skin.  Exposure may also cause
        depression of central nervous system and kidney and liver
        damage (Sittig, 1981).

    4.  Environmental Effects:  Chlorobenzene will bioaccumulate (EPA, 1979).

    5.  Sources:  See General Information.

    6.  Analytical Techniques: Chlorobenzene (APHA, 1992)
General Methods                        Detection Limits        Interferences
Purge and Trap Gas                 6.0 ug/l,                 Impurities in the purge
Chromatographic/ Mass                 but varies                gas and organic compound 
Spectrometric Method.           with equipment used.        contaminants in equipment.

    7.  Environmental Fate/Mode of Transport: Chlororbenzene is not
        water soluble.  In water, chlorobenzene will vaporize to the
        air or sorb to sediments and particulates in the water column.

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Styrene
    Synonyms: Cinnamene, cinnamol, phenethylene, phenylethylene,
              styrene monomer, styrol, styrolene, vinylbenzene

    1.  General Information: Styrene is a colorless to yellow, very
        refractive, oily liquid with a pungent odor.  Styrene is used
        as an insulator, in drug manufacturing, and in plastic and
        rubber production.

    2.  Numerical Categories:
        Designated Use                Limit (Sittig, 1981)
        Human Consumption        0.9 mg/l                  (based on lifetime cancer 
                                                         risk of 1 in 100,000)

    3.  Health Effects: Styrene is a suspected carcinogen.  Styrene liquid and
        vapor will irritate eyes, nose, throat, and skin.  Acute
        exposure may cause respiratory paralysis.

    4.  Environmental Effects:  Under investigation

    5.  Sources:  See General Information.

    6.  Analytical Techniques: Styrene (APHA, 1992)
General Methods                        Detection Limits        Interferences
Purge and Trap Gas                 Varies according to        Impurities in reagents, 
Chromatograph Method                equipment used.                organic compound
                                                        contaminants in equipment.

Purge and Trap Gas                 Varies according to        Impurities in reagents,
Chromatograph Method with        equipment used.                organic compound
Mass Spectrometer                                        contaminants in equipment.

    7.  Environmental Fate:  Under investigation
 
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Toluene:
    Synonyms: Toluol, methylbenzene, phenylmethate, methylbenzol

    1.  General Information: Toluene is a monocyclic aromatic
        hydrocarbon that exists as a clear, colorless, noncorrosive
        liquid with a sweet, strong, benzene-like odor.  Toluene is
        used as a solvent for paints, is a component of automobile and
        aviation fuels, and is found in the manufacture of benzene and
        benzene derivatives.

    2.  Numerical Categories: 
        Designated Use                Limit (Sittig, 1981)
        Freshwater Aquatic Life                17.5 mg/l acute
        Saltwater Aquatic Life                6.3 mg/l acute
                                             5.0 mg/l chronic
        Human Consumption                 14.3 mg/l          (based on lifetime cancer 
                                                         risk of 1 in 100,000)

    3.  Health Effects: Toluene may cause irritation of eyes, skin,
        and respiratory tract.  Acute exposure may lead to depression
        of the Central Nervous System.  Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, fatigue,
        muscular weakness, drowsiness, lack of coordination, coma, and
        collapse (Sittig, 1981).

    4.  Environmental Effects: Toluene will undergo rapid microbial
        degradation in soils and surface waters.  Bioaccumulation may
        occur in aquatic organisms.

    5.  Sources: See General Information.

    6.  Analytical Techniques: Toluene (APHA, 1992)
General Methods                        Detection Limits        Interferences
Purge and Trap Gas                 Varies according to        Impurities in reagents,
Chromatograph Method                equipment used.                organic compound
                                                        contaminants in equipment.

Purge and Trap Gas                 6.0 ug/l;                  Impurities in reagents, 
Chromatograph Method with         but varies according         organic compound
Mass Spectrometer                to equipment used.        contaminants in equipment.


    7.  Environmental Fate/ Mode of Transport:
        a.  Air: Toluene will readily vaporize into the air, but will
            quickly be washed out with rainfall.  In the vapor state,
            toluene is degraded by reaction with hydroxy radicals.  
        b.  Water: Toluene will rapidly vaporize from surface water.
            Toluene remaining in surface water will undergo microbial
            degradation.  The half-life in water can be days to weeks.
        c.  Soil: Toluene will vaporize from soil surfaces.  Toluene
            in soil is rapidly degraded.  Once within the soil
            horizon, toluene is moderately mobile and will likely        
            leach to ground water supplies.  Toluene is slowly degraded
            in ground water (Kubek et al., 1990).
        d. Ground water:  Toluene will persist in ground water.
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Vinyl Chloride:
    Synonyms: Chloroethylene, chloroethene, monochloroethylene

    1.  General Information: Vinyl chloride is a halogenated aliphatic
        hydrocarbon that exists as a gas at room temperature and a
        liquid under cooled conditions.  Vinyl chloride is used as a
        solvent and as a chemical intermediate.  Vinyl chloride is
        most often encountered during the manufacture of polyvinyl
        chloride (PVC).

    2.  Numerical Categories: 
        Designated Use                Limit (Kubek et al., 1990)
        Human Consumption        0.002 mg/l MCL

    3.  Health Effects:  Vinyl chloride irritates the skin and eyes.
        Contact with the cooled liquid may cause frostbite.  Acute
        exposure will depress the Central Nervous System.  Vinyl
        chloride is reported to be a possible human carcinogen (Sittig, 1981).

    4.  Environmental Effects: Vinyl chloride does not usually impact
        aquatic systems because it rapidly evaporates from surface
        waters (EPA, 1979).

    5.  Sources:  See General Information.

    6.  Analytical Techniques: Vinyl Chloride (APHA, 1992)
General Methods                        Detection Limits        Interferences
Purge and Trap Gas                 not determined                Impurities in the purge
Chromatographic/ Mass                                         gas and organic compound
Spectrometric Method.                                        contaminants in equipment.

    7.  Environmental Fate/Mode of Transport: 
        a.  Air: Vinyl chloride exists as a gas at room temperature.
            Rapid degradation occurs via reactions with hydroxyl
            radicals in the troposphere.
        b.  Water: Vinyl chloride will rapidly vaporize from surface
            waters.
        c.  Soil: Vinyl chloride will vaporize from soil surface.
            Once within the deeper soil horizons, vinyl chloride is
            mobile and will leach to the ground water.  Degradation
            rates are minimal in soil.
        d.  Ground water: Vinyl chloride in ground water may degrade to
            CO2 and chlorine ions (Kubek et al., 1990).
 
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Acrylamide:
   Synonyms: Propenamide, acrylic amide, acrylamide monomer
     
    1.  General Information: Acrylamide in monomeric form
        consist of flat, white crystals that emit acidic odors when
        heated.  Acrylamide is used in the production of polymers as
        polyacrylamides.  Polyacrylamides are used in gel
        chromatography, soil stabilization, electrophoresis, paper
        strengthener, clarification and treatment of potable water,
        and foods (Sittig, 1981).

    2.  Numerical Categories: 0 mg/l or level attainable with
        best available technology (No U.S. criteria currently set)

    3.  Health Effects: Confirmed carcinogen.  Exposure may
        cause skin irritation, numbness of lower limbs, and excessive
        sweating of hands and feet.  Systemic effects from inhalation
        and ingestion include Central Nervous and Peripheral Nervous System 
        damage causing ataxia, slowed reflexes, and loss of feeling (Sittig, 1981).

    4.  Environmental Effects: Under investigation. 

    5.  Sources: See General Information.

    6.  Analytical Techniques: Acrylamide
General Methods                 Detection Limits        Interferences (Kubek et al., 1990)
No standard method.                     0.2 ug/l                Impurities in reagents,
Suggested method: high                                         organic compound 
performance liquid                                          contaminants  in equipment.
chromatography (HPLC).

    7.  Environmental Fate/ Mode of Transport: Generally, acrylamide
        is persistent under low temperatures and low oxygen levels and
        is highly water-soluble.

        a.  Air: Degradation in the air occurs via reaction
            with hydroxy radicals. The half-life is 6.6 hours
        b.  Water: Acrylamide is persistent under low temperatures
            and low oxygen levels and is highly water soluble.  Expect
            rapid degradation in warm, oxygenated waters.  The half Life is
            8 to 12 days.  Sediment adsorption is not significant.
        c.  Soil: Degradation usually occurs within 21 days.  There is
            potential for leaching to ground water (Kubek et al., 1990).
 
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Pentachlorophenol
    Synonyms: PCP, Penchlorol, Dowicide EC-7, Dowicide G, Monsanto,
              Penta, Santobrite
    1.  General Information: Pentachlorophenol is a monocyclic
        aromatic hydrocarbon that exists as a white to light brown
        flaky solid with a phenolic odor.  Pentachlorophenol is a
        bactericide, fungicide, and slimicide used mainly in the
        preservation of wood.  In the chlorinated hydrocarbon form it
        may be used as a general pesticide.

    2.  Numerical Categories: 
        Designated Use                Limit (Sittig, 1981)
        Freshwater Aquatic Life                0.055 mg/l acute
                                        0.0032 mg/l chronic
        Saltwater Aquatic Life                0.053 mg/l acute
                                        0.034 mg/l chronic
        Human Consumption                0.021 mg/l  (no adverse effects)

    3.  Health Effects: Pentachlorophenol is a suspected carcinogen (Lewis, 1991). Exposure to PCP
        causes irritation of eyes, nose, throat.  Other symptoms
        include weakness, anorexia, sweating, headaches, dizziness,
        nausea, vomiting, chest pains, fever, and dermatitis (Sittig, 1981)

    4.  Environmental Effects: PCP is mildly lipophilic and will
        bioaccumulate (EPA, 1979).

    5.  Sources: See General Information.

    6.  Analytical Techniques: PCP (APHA, 1992)
General Methods                Detection Limits          Interferences
Liquid-Liquid Extraction Gas         3.6 ugl;                  Impurities in reagents,
Chromatograph Method with Mass  varies with                    organic compound
Spectrophotometry                 equipment used.                  contaminants in equipment.

Liquid-Liquid Extraction Gas         7.4 ug/l                  Impurities in reagents,
Chromatography Method                                            organic compound 
                                                          contaminants in equipment.
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    7.  Environmental Fate/Mode of Transport:
        a.  Air: PCP in the vapor phase is usually associated with
            particulate matter.  PCP in the vapor phase is
            photodegraded.
        b.  Water: PCP is mildly water-soluble and most will adsorb to
            sediments and organic matter in the water column (EPA, 1979).  PCP dissociated in water will be photodegraded
            and biodegraded.
        c.  Soil: PCP may be very persistent in soil.  PCP will adsorb
            to soil but is mobile.  Contamination of ground water
            supplies is expected.  PCP in soil will biodegrade within
            weeks to months (Kubek et al., 1990).


Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs):
    Synonyms: Chlorodiphenyls, Arochlors, Kanechlors 
    1.  General Information: PCBs are stable and non-flammable.
        Appearance ranges from a clear mobile oil (12%-48% chlorine
        content) to a white or off-white powder (68% chlorine
        content).  The synthesis of PCB involves a progressive
        chlorination of biphenyl to produce chemicals with differing
        chlorine content.  In this process, the synthetic chemicals
        become more stable with an increasing chlorine content.
        Because a total of 210 isomers are possible, the physical
        characteristics of the PCB will vary depending on the isomer.
        PCBs are used in hydraulic fluids, plasticizers, adhesives,
        and electrical transformers. Use is currently very limited. (Sittig, 1981; Connell et al., 1984).

    2.  Numerical Categories: 
        Designated Use                   Limit (micrograms/liter) (Sittig, 1981; Kubek et al., 1990)
        Freshwater Aquatic Life             0.014  24 hr average 
        Saltwater Aquatic Life             0.030  24 hr average
        Human Consumption             0.00079  (based on lifetime cancer risk
                                                          of 1 in 100,000)

    3.  Health Effects: Confirmed carcinogens.  Prolonged skin
        exposure may cause chloroacne and irritation of eyes, nose,
        and throat.  Ingestion may cause liver damage and stillbirth
        in pregnant women.  The degree of toxicity is a function of
        the degree of chlorination.  A higher degree of chlorine substitution
        will elicit a stronger negative health effect (Sittig, 1981).

    4.  Environmental Effects: PCBs will detrimentally affect the
        biota, including mammals, birds, and aquatic organisms.
        Sublethal effects in mammals include liver enlargement and
        damage, reduced weight gain and reduced growth, and
        development of liver tumors.  Because of high lipophilicity,
        PCBs will rapidly transfer from the environment into the fatty
        tissues of mammals and will bioaccumulate (Sittig, 1981).  No
        mutagenic or teratogenic effects have been noted in mammals.

        PCBs cause a series of sublethal effects in birds, including
        teratogenic effects, immunosupressive effects (leads to a
        greater susceptibility to disease), and embryo death.  PCBs
        will bioaccumulate.

        Aquatic organisms are sensitive to PCBs.  PCB toxicity to
        fishes decreases with increasing chlorine content.  PCBs cause
        a series of sublethal effects in a variety of aquatic
        organisms, including inhibition of production in
        phytoplankton, decrease in hatchability in fish eggs, and
        reduction of survival rates in young fishes (Connell et al., 1984).

    5.  Sources:  See General Information.

    6.  Analytical Techniques: PCBs (APHA, 1992)
General Methods                Detection Limits        Interferences
Liquid-Liquid Extraction Gas         Varies according to        Impurities in reagents,
Chromatograph Method with Mass         isomer.                        organic compound
Spectrophotometry                                        contaminants in equipment.

Liquid-Liquid Extraction Gas        Varies according to         Impurities in reagents,
Chromatography Method                 isomer.                        organic compound
                                                        contaminants in equipment.

    7.  Environmental Fate/Mode of Transport: PCBs are hydrophobic
        (low water solubility).  PCBs discharged to aquatic
        environments are readily adsorbed onto particulate matter
        (sediment, organics) and ultimately are deposited in bottom
        sediments.  Thus, PCBs remain near the point of discharge.
        Movement of PCBs depend on movement of associated sediment
        (Connell et al., 1984).

        PCBs will persist in soil (half-life in soil is five years).
        Major losses only occur by evaporation and biotransformation.
        Although PCBs are very resistant to metabolic breakdown by
        organisms, some does occur in compounds with less than four
        chlorine atoms.
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2,3,7,8-TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin):
    Synonyms: 
    1.  General Information: 2,3,7,8-TCDD is a toxic chemical
        substance that is considered one of the most dangerous members
        of the class of substituted dibenzo-p-dioxins (dioxin).
        Dioxins are not purposely created; rather, dioxins are formed
        as by-products of the manufacturing process of other
        commercial chemicals.  TCDD is a colorless crystalline solid
        at room temperature.

        Formation: Generally, dioxin only forms in temperatures of
        180-400C.  In addition, pressure, ultraviolet light, and the use of
        catalysts can stimulate dioxin formation.  Examples of
        chemicals likely to result in dioxin formation are the
        pesticides 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, silvex, and erbon.  In addition,
        combustion products of burning vegetation treated with one of
        the above pesticides may also lead to dioxin formation (Connell et al., 1984).

    2.  Numerical Categories: 
        Designated Use                Limit (Kubek et al., 1990)
        Human Consumption        0.000013 mg/l 

    3.  Health Effects: TCDD is a suspected carcinogen.  TCDD often
        induces the activity of enzyme systems and may cause teratogenic 
        effects (Connell et al., 1984).

    4.  Environmental Effects: Dioxins occur in low concentrations in
        the environment, but are highly toxic.  Dioxins are highly
        lipophilic and will rapidly bioaccumulate in the fatty tissues
        of terrestrial and aquatic organisms.

    5.  Sources:  See General Information.

    6.  Analytical Techniques: Dioxin (APHA, 1992)
        General Methods: Information on standard analytical methods is
                         unavailable.

    7.  Environmental Fate/Mode of Transport:
        a.  Air: Dioxins will adsorb to particulate matter borne by
            air currents.
        b.  Water: Dioxins is highly hydrophobic (not water-soluble)
            and will adsorb to benthic sediment and suspended
            particles.  Bond strength increases with an increase in
            organic matter content.  The rate of microbial degradation
            increases as bond strength decreases.  The half-life of
            TCDD in soil is expected to be 1.3 to 2.9 years (Connell et al., 1984).

        c.  Soil: Photodegradation of dioxins at the soil surface is
            the primary mode of decomposition.  Once below the
            surface, dioxins are persistent and non-mobile in most
            cases.  Dioxins strongly adsorb to soil particles.  Bond
            strength increases with an increase in soil organic matter
            content.  Some migration of dioxins is reported in soils
            with extremely low organic matter content.
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Summary of Standards/Limits for Organic Compounds