Data bank of environmental chemicals     |     The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)


Data bank of environmental properties of chemicals

CAS-number :
Synonyms :
Sumformula of the chemical :
EINECS-number :
Known impurities :
Hydrochinon * 0.1 % m (w) to prevent polymerisation
State and appearance :
Colourless to yellowish liquid
Odor :

Quality: burnt sweet, hot fat, acrid.

Hedonic tone; pungent. 
(Verschueren 1983).

Human odour perception; 0.8 mg/m3
Human reflex response: adverse response; 0.6 mg/m3
Animal chronic exposure; adverse effect; 0.15 mg/m3
(Verschueren 1983).

Odour threshold: 0.11 mg/kg (Verschueren 1983).
Molecular weight :
Spesicif gravity (water=1) :
0.8427  at 20/20 °C
Vapor density (air=1) :
Conversion factor, 1 ppm in air=_mg/m3 :
2.328  mg/m3
Conversion factor, 1 mg/m3 in air=_ppm :
0.43  ppm
Vapor pressure, mmHg :
220  20 °C
265  25 °C, Howard 1989
Water solubility, mg/l :
206000  206 - 270 g/l at 20°C
270000  EU RA Report 2001
Melting point, °C :
-87  EU RA Report 2001
Boiling point, °C :
53  at 1013 hPa, EU RA Report 2001
Log octanol/water coefficient, log Pow :
-0.01  Sangster 1989
-0.1  Hansch & Leo 1985
-0.68  -0.68 - +1.02, calculated
-1.1  -1.1 - +0.9, measured
0.9  EU RA Report 2001
Log soil organic carbon coefficient, log Koc :
24  estimated, Lyman et al. 1982
Henry's law constant, Pa x m3/mol :
0.45  Snider & Dawson 1982
Volatilization :
Based on the Henry's Law constant, the volatilization half-life
of acrolein from a model river 1 m deep flowing 1 m/sec, with a
wind speed of 3 m/sec has been estimated to be approx 10 days
(Lyman et al.1982).

The high vapor pressure suggests that acrolein should
volatilize from dry soil surfaces (Howard 1989).

A measured Henry's Law constant of 3.1 Paxm3/mol at 20 °C 
indicates that volatilization of acrolein from surface waters 
and moisty soil is expected to be high (EU RA Report 2001).
Adsorption/desorption :
A soil adsorption coefficient (Koc) of 24 was estimated for
acrolein from the Kow (Lyman et al. 1982).

This low Koc value and the relatively high water solubility of
acrolein suggest that this compound would not adsorb
significantly to suspended soils and sediments in water
(Swann et al. 1984).
Mobility :
Acrolein would be highly mobile in soil (Swann et al. 1984).

Experimentally determined Koc-values were in range of 51 - 270 
for two different soils. 
Using the measured log Kow of -1.10, a 
Koc 2.81 l/kg can be estimated. 
Based on the experimental and 
calculated Koc values, acrolein is expected to be moderately to 
highly mobile in soil (EU RA Report 2001).
Photochemical degradation in air :
The half-life for acrolein vapor reacting with photochemically
generated hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere has been
estimated to be 10 to 13 hours. 
Products of the reaction of
acrolein with hydroxyl radicals include carbon dioxide,
formaldehyde and glycolaldehyde. 
In the presence of nitrogen
oxides, products include peroxynitrate and nitric acid
(Howard 1989) (Edney et al. 1983).

Photooxidation half-life in air:
33.7hr - 3.4hr, based upon measured rate constant for reaction
with hydroxyl radicals in air (Howard 1991).

The reaction with hyroxyl radicals is described as the major 
degradation route of acrolein in the troposphere, whereby 
acrolein can react both as olefin and an aldehyde. 
The reaction 
as an aldehyde is faster than the reaction as an olefin. 

Degradation products of these reactions are formaldehyde, 
carbon dioxide, glyoxal, carbon monoxide, glycolaldehyde, 
ketene ans acryloylperoxinitrate (dependent on the formation 
rate of NO2-molecules). 
The calculated half-life of acrolein 
for the reaction the ON-radical in the troposphere is less than 
one day (EU RA Report 2001).

Photolysis plays a lesser role than photo-oxidation in the 
degradation of acrolein in the troposphere. 
Irridation of 
acrolein in synthetic air with UV-light results mainly in the 
formation of carbon monoxide and ethene. 
Other organic products 
(formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and small amounts of hydrogen 
and methane) were detected as well. 
Photolysis is low at normal 
atmospheric pressure, but increases at lower atmospheric 
The half-life of photolysis of acrelein is 10 days 
in the lower troposphere asn les than 5 days in the upper 
troposphere (EU RA Report 2001).
Photochemical degradation in water :
Acrolein in hexane solvent show moderate absorption of UV light
>290 nm, which indicated potential for photolytic
transformation under environmental conditions. 
hydration of acrolein in water would destroy the chromophores
which absorb light. 
As a result the potential for direct
photolysis would be slight (Mabey et al. 1982).

The calculated reaction rate constant for the photo-oxidation 
of acrolein by OH-radicals in water is 6.52x10-9 M-1xs-1 (EU RA 
Report 2001).
Hydrolysis in water :
Acrolein will be susceptible to formation of
beta-hydroxypropionaldehyfde by hydration in water. 
is a reversible reaction. 
The half-life for hydration of
acrolein has been calculated to be 21 days (Callahan et al 
Chemical oxygen demand, g O2/g :
1.72  5 days, Bridie et al. 1979
Half-life in air, days :
1.404  33.7hr - 3.4hr,
0.142  based upon photooxidation half-life in air.
  Howard 1991
Half-life in soil, days :
28  4w - 7d,
scientific judgement based upon estimated aqueous aerobic biodegradation half-life.
  Howard 1991
Half-life in water, days :
28  4w - 7d,
in surface water: scientific judgement based upon estimated aqueous aerobic biodegradation half-life.
56  8w - 14d,
14  in ground water: scientific judgement based upon estimated aqueous aerobic biodegradation half-life.
  Howard 1991
Aerobic degradation in soil :
In the test the biodegradability of acrolein in aerobic soil 
(sandy koam, pH 7.9) was studied. 
Half-life values of 4.2 hours 
and 410 days were found for unbound (73%) and bound acrolein, 
The half-life of the degradation products of 
acrolein, i.e. acrylic acid and 3-hydroxypropionic acid, to CO2 
was found to be 29 days (EU RA Report 2001).
Aerobic degradation in water :
The half-life of acrolein in natural unsterilized water was 29
hours, compared with 43 hours in serilized (thymol-treated)
water (Bowmer & Higgins 1976).

When 5 and 10 mg/l acrolein was statically incubation in the
dark at 25 °C with sewage inocolum 100% loss was observed
(Tabak et al. 1981).

Results of other biodegradation screening studies also indicate
that acrolein would be readily degraded by mixed micribial
populations (Callahan et al. 1979) (Stover & Kincannon 1983).

No BOD removal was observed during a 5-day BOD dilution test in
which effluent from a biological waste treatment plant was
used (Bridie et al. 1979).

It is reported that acrolein applied to natural water at rates
suggested for herbicidal use will persist up to 6 days
depending on water temperature. 
Acrolein added to irrigation
channels at initial concentration of 6.1, 17.5 and 50.5 ppm
underwent 100% loss in 12.5 days. 
Removal rate conctants
ranging from 0.27 to 0.34 1/day were calculated by linear
These values correspond to half-lives of 2.0 to 2.5
days ((Bowner et al. 1976) (Weed Sci Soc of America 1983).

Aerobic half-life:
4w - 7d, scientific judgement based upon acclimated aqueous
screening test data (Howard 1991).

In a test acrolein was degraded (100%) aerobically within 7 
Teh unadapted inoculum was taken from a domestic sewage 
treatment plant. 
This test can be counted among the ready 
biodegradability tests (EU RA Report 2001).

One inherent biodegradation test was conducted . 
In this test 
100% biodegradation was measured after 2-6 days (EU RA Report 
Anaerobic degradation in water :
Acrolein, at an initial concentration of 50 mg/l as organic
carbon, gave no evidence of degradation when incubated for 8
weeks in a 10% anaerobic sludge inocolum (Shelton & Tiedje 1981)

Anaerobic half-life:
4mo -4w, scientific judgement based upon aqueous aerobic
biodegradation half-life (Howard 1991).

In an test anaerobic biodegradation (42%) was measured in an 
acclimated system. 
No biodegradation was observed in the 
anaerobic test with unacclimated micro-organisms. 
This can be 
explained by the toxicity of the substance to micro-organisms 
(conc. of TS 500 mg/l) (EU RA Report 2001).
Other information of degradation :
BOD, 5 days, 0.00 g O2/g (Bridie et al. 1979).
Other information of bioaccumulation :
A bioconcertation factor (BCF) of 344 has been measured for
acrolein in bluegill sunfish. 
However, this value may be an
overestimate, since total 14C was measured and may have
included acrolein metabolites (Barrows et al. 1980).

A BCF of 0.6 can be estimated from the Kow. 
These BCF values
suggest that bioconcentration in aquatic organisms would not be
significant (Lyman et al. 1982) (Howard 1989).
LD50 values to mammals in oral exposure, mg/kg :
46  orl-rat,Lewis & Sweet 1984
LD50 values to mammals in non-oral exposure , mg/kg :
562  skn-rbt,Lewis & Sweet 1984
LD50 values to birds in oral exposure, mg/kg :
10  10.0 - 100, orl-Agelaius phoeniceus
10  10.0 - 100, orl-Sturnus vulgaris
  Schafer et al. 1983
Effects on anthropods :
Insects: mayfly nymphs (Ephemerella walkeri): lowest observed
avoidance concentration > 0.1 mg/l.

Tanytarsus dissimilis: LC50, 2 days, > 0.151 mg/l 
(Holcombe et al. 1987).
Maximum longterm immission concentration in air for plants,mg/m3 :
0.01  VDI 2306
Maximum longterm immission concentration in air for plants,ppm :
0.005  VDI 2306
Effects on microorganisms :
Bacteria: Pseudomonas putida: inhibition fo cell multiplication
starts at 0.21 mg/l (Verschueren 1983).

Acrolein NOEC-values for freshwater micro-organisms:
NOEC 1700 µg/l (48 hr), Chilomonas paramaecium
NOEC 850 µg/l (72 hr), Entosiphon sulcatum
NOEC 440 µg/l (20 hr), Uronema parduzci
NOEC 210 µg/l (16 hr), Pseudomonas putida
NOEC 40 mg/l (0.5 hr), activated sludge
(EU RA Report 2001).
EC50 values to microorganism, mg/l :
0.02  2 hr, Proteus vulgaris
400  0.5 hr, activated sludge
  EU RA Report 2001
EC50 values to algae, mg/l :
0.026  72 hr, biomass, Scenedesmus subspicatus
0.061  72 hr, growth rate, Scenedesmus subspicatus
  EU RA Report 2001
LOEC values to algae, mg/l :
0.04  rpd,act,Microcystis aeruginosa,
  Bringmann & Kuhn 1976
NOEC values to algae, mg/l :
0.01  72 hr, growth rate, Scenedesmus subspicatus
0.01  <0.010 mg/l, 72 hr, biomass, Scenedesmus subspicatus
  EU RA Report 2001
LC50 values to crustaceans, mg/l :
0.083  48 hr,Daphnia magna,LeBlanc 1980
EC50 values to crustaceans, mg/l :
0.051  mbt, 2d, Daphnia magna
  Holcombe et al. 1987
0.051  48 hr, Daphnia magna
0.093  48 hr, Daphnia magna
0.057  48 hr, Daphnia magna
0.083  48 hr, Daphnia magna
0.022  48 hr, Daphnia magna
  EU RA Report 2001
NOEC values to crustaceans, mg/l :
0.026  rpd,schr,Daphnia magna
  Macek et al.1976c
0.0169  64 d, Daphnia magna, EU RA Report 2001
LC50 values to fishes, mg/l :
0.08  24 hr,Lepomis macrochirus
  Bond et al. 1960
0.046  24 hr, Salmo trutta lacustris,
0.079  24 hr, Lepomis macrochirus
  Burdick et al. 1964
0.08  24 hr,Carassius auratus,Anon. 1975
0.09  96 hr,Lepomis macrochirus
  Buffafusco et al. 1981
0.08  96 hr,Salmo gairdneri,Foster 1981
0.07  96 hr,Lepomis macrochirus
0.014  4d, Catostomus commersoni
0.033  4d, Lepomis macrochirus
0.014  4d, Pimephales promelas
0.016  4d, Salmo gairdneri
  Holcombe et al. 1987
0.029  4d, Salmo gairdneri
  McKim et al. 1987
0.02  4d, Pimephales promelas
  Geiger et al. 1988
0.014  96 hr, Pimephales promelas, Geiger et al. 1990
0.014  96 hr, Catostomus commersoni
0.033  96 hr, Lepomis macrochirus
0.09  96 hr, Lepomis macrochirus
0.068  96 hr, Oncorhynchus kisutch
0.016  96 hr, Oncorhynchus mykiss
0.014  96 hr, Pimephales promelas
  EU RA Report 2001
LOEC values to fishes, mg/l :
0.042  srv,chr,Pimephales promelas
  Macek et al.1976c
NOEC values to fishes, mg/l :
0.011  srv,chr,Pimephales promelas
0.026  rpd,chr,Pimephales promelas
  Macek et al. 1976c
Other information of water organisms :
Algae: Microcystis aeruginosa: inhibition of cell
multiplication starts at 0.04 mg/l (Verschueren 1983).

Fishes: rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri): lowest observed
avoidance concentration 0.1 mg/l (Verschueren 1983).

Salmo gairdneri: Lethal threshold concentration: 0.07698 mg/l,
0.85 days (McKim et al. 1987).

LC50, 4d, > 0.151 mg/l, Aplexa hypnorum (Holcombe et al. 1987).

In a 60-days reproduction study with Pimephales promelas a NOEC
-value of 11.4 µg/l is reported (measured value) for effects on 
mortality of adoults, number of spawning, number of eggs per 
female, number of eggs per spawn, legth of offspring and 
hatchability (EU RA Report 2001).
Other information :
Manmade sources: in cigarette smoke; 150 ppm
                 in gasoline exhaust: 0.2 to 5.3 ppm
                 2.6 - 9.8 vol. % of total exhaust aldehydes
                 (Verschueren 1983).

Experimental concentrations of 0.1 mg/l can significantly taint
the flesh of rainbow trouts to make them unpalatable
(Verschueren 1983).

62Anon. 1975. Shell Chemie, Shell Industrie Chemicalien gids, Shell Nederland Chemie, Afd. Industriechemicalien, Wassenaarseweg 80, 'sGravenhage, Nederland.
3018Barrows, M. E. et al. 1980. Dyn Exposure Hazard Assess Toxic Chem. Ann Arbor M. I.: Ann Arbor Sci. p 379 - 92.
174Bond, C.E., Lewis, R.H. & Fryer, J.L. 1960. Toxicity of various herbicidal materials to fish. Second seminar on biological problems in water pollution, R.A. Taft San. Eng. Cen. Tech. Rept. W603: 96 - 101.
3121Bowner, K. H. & Higgins, M. L. 1976. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 5: 87 - 96.
1680Bridie, A.L., Wolff, C.J.M. & Winter, M. 1979. BOD and COD of some petrochemicals. Water Res. 13: 627 - 630.
187Bringmann, G. & Kühn, R. 1976. Vergleichende Befunde der Schadwirkung wassergefährdender Stoffe gegen Bakterien (Pseudomonas putida) und Blaualgen (Microcystis aeruginosa). Gwf-Wasser-Abwasser 117(9).
207Buccafusco, R.J., Ells, S.J. & LeBlanc, G.A. 1981. Acute toxicity of priority pollutants to bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 26: 446 - 452.
217Burdick, G.E., Dean, H.J. & Harris, E.J. 1964. Toxicity of aqualin to fingerling brown trout and bluegills, N.Y. Fish Game J. 11(2): 106 - 114.
2609Callahan, M. A., Slimak, M. W., Gabel N. W:, May, I. P., Fowler, C. F., Freed, J. R.,Jennings, P., Durfee, R. L., Whitmore, F. C., Maestri, B., Mabey, M. R., Holt, B. R. and Gould, C. 1979. Waterrelated environmental fate of 129 priority pollutants. Vol II. Halogenated aliphatic hydrocarbons, halogenated ethers, monocyclic aromatics, phthalate esters, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrosamines and miscellenious compounds. EPA - 440/4 - 79 -029b.
3125Edney, E. et al. 1983. Atmospheric Chemistry of Several Toxic Compounds. USEPA-600/53-82-092.
3350EU RA Report 2001. Existing Substances: acrylaldehyde. European Union Risk Assessment Report (Vol 7). Institute for Heath and Consumer Protection. European Chemicals Bureau. European Communities.
444Foster, R.B. 1981. Use of asiatic clam larvae in aquatic hazard evaluations. In: Ecological assessments of effluent impacts on communities of indigenous aquatic organisms. ASTM STP 730, Bates, J.M. & Weber, C.I. (eds.), 280, Am. Soc, for Test. and Mater. (Publ.), Philadelphia, Pa.
3297Geiger, D. L. et al. 1990. Acute toxicities of organic chemicals to fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) Vol 5. Center for Lake Superior Environmental Studies, University of Winsconsin-Superior, Superior, Winconsin, U.S.A. 332.
2108Geiger, D.L. et al. 1988. Acute toxicities of organic chemicals to fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas); Vol. 4. Center for Lake Superior Environ. Stud., Univ. Wisconsin, Superior, Wis., 355.
2958Hansch, C and Leo, A. J. 1985. Medchem Project Issue No 26. Claremont C.A. Pomona College.
1891Holcombe, G.W. et al. 1987. Simultaneous multiple species testing: acute toxicity of 13 chemicals to 12 diverse freshwater amphibian, fish, and invertebrate families. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 16: 697.
3120Howard, P.H., Boethling, R.S., Jarvis, W.F., Meylan, W.M. & Michalenko, E.M., Handbook of Environmental Degradation Rates, 1991. Lewis Publicers, Inc., Chelsea, Michigan, U.S.A., pp. 725.
798LeBlanc, G.A. 1980. Acute toxicity of priority pollutants to water flea (Daphnia magna). Bull. Environm. Contam. Toxicol. 24: 684 - 691.
1589Lewis, R.J. & Sweet, D.V. 1984. Registry of toxic effects of chemical substances. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. No. 83-107-4.
2960Lyman, W. J. et al. 1982. Handbook of Chemical Property Estimation Methods. Environmental behavior of organic compounds. McGraw-Hill New York.
2637Mabey, W. R., Smith, J. H., Podoll, R. T., Johnson, H. L., Mill, T., Chou, T. W.and Gates, J. 1982. Waight partridge, I., Jaber, H. & Vandenberg, D. Aquatic fate process data for organic priority pollutants. EPA report No. 440/4-81-014.
868Macek, K.J., Lindberg, M.A., Sauter, S., Buxton, K.S. & Costa, P. A. 1976c. Toxicity of four pesticides to water fleas and fathead minnows. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, MN, EPA 600/3-76-099, 58 pp.
1899McKim, J.M. et al. 1987b. Use of respiratory-cardiovascular responses of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) in identifying acute toxicity syndromes in fish. Part 2. Malathion, carbaryl, acrolein and benzaldehyde. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 6: 313.
2102Pickering, Q., Carle, D.O., Pilli, A., Willingham, T. & Lazorchak, J.M. 1989. Effects of pollution on freshwater organisms. Journal WPCF 61 (6): 998 - 1042.
2971Riddick, J. A. et al. 1986. Organic solvents: Physical Properties and Methods of Purification, 4th Edit. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
3104Sangster, J. 1989. Octanol-water partition coefficients of simple organic compounds. J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data, Vol 18, No. 3: 1111 - 1229.
1743Schafer , E.W.Jr., Bowles, W.A.Jr., Hurlbut, J. 1983. The acute oral toxicity, repellency and hazard potential of 993 chemicals to one or more species of wild and domestic birds. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 12: 355 - 382.
3122Shelton, D. R. & Tiedje, J. M. 1981. Development of Tests for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation Potential USEPA 560/581-013 NTIS PB84-166495.
3123Snider, J. R. & Dawson, G.A. 1982. Environ. Int. 7: 237 - 58.
3124Stover, E. L. & Kincannon, D. F. 1983. J. Water Poll. Control Fed. 55: 97 - 109.
2988Swann, R. L. et al. 1984. Res. Rev. 85: 17 - 28.
2335Tabak, H.H., Quave, S.A., Mashni, C.I. & Barth, E.F. 1981. Biodegradability studies with organic priority pollutant compounds. Journal WPCF. 53: 1503 - 1518.
1600van Wambeke, E., į Campo, P. & Vanachter, A. 1977. Influence of MBC on some physiological processes in the leaves of gherkin. Neth. J. Pl. Path. 83(1): 411 - 416.
1468Verschueren, K. 1983. Handbook of environmental data of organic chemicals. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. Inc., New York. 1310 s.
3126Weed Sci Soc of America. 1983. Herbicide handbook 5th ed Champaign. IL Weed Sci Soc of America pp. 8 - 12.

© Copyright Environmental Administration