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Toxics 2017, 5(4), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics5040023

Fate of Chloromethanes in the Atmospheric Environment: Implications for Human Health, Ozone Formation and Depletion, and Global Warming Impacts

Graduate Institute of Bioresources, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 912, Taiwan
Academic Editor: João Fernando Pereira Gomes
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [251 KB, uploaded 21 September 2017]

Abstract

Among the halogenated hydrocarbons, chloromethanes (i.e., methyl chloride, CH3Cl; methylene chloride, CH2Cl2; chloroform, CHCl3; and carbon tetrachloride, CCl4) play a vital role due to their extensive uses as solvents and chemical intermediates. This article aims to review their main chemical/physical properties and commercial/industrial uses, as well as the environment and health hazards posed by them and their toxic decomposition products. The environmental properties (including atmospheric lifetime, radiative efficiency, ozone depletion potential, global warming potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, and surface mixing ratio) of these chlorinated methanes are also reviewed. In addition, this paper further discusses their atmospheric fates and human health implications because they are apt to reside in the lower atmosphere when released into the environment. According to the atmospheric degradation mechanism, their toxic degradation products in the troposphere include hydrogen chloride (HCl), carbon monoxide (CO), chlorine (Cl2), formyl chloride (HCOCl), carbonyl chloride (COCl2), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Among them, COCl2 (also called phosgene) is a powerful irritating gas, which is easily hydrolyzed or thermally decomposed to form hydrogen chloride. View Full-Text
Keywords: chloromethanes; toxicity; environmental property; atmospheric degradation; environmental exposure risk chloromethanes; toxicity; environmental property; atmospheric degradation; environmental exposure risk
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Tsai, W.-T. Fate of Chloromethanes in the Atmospheric Environment: Implications for Human Health, Ozone Formation and Depletion, and Global Warming Impacts. Toxics 2017, 5, 23.

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