About Ethylene Dibromide
Ethylene Dibromide is a colorless, chemical compound with a pleasant odor. Also known as EDB and 1,2-Dibromoethane, the synthetic volatile liquid brominated hydrocarbon is used in the production of pharmaceutical and industrial products. The organobromine compound is a transparent liquid that is detectable at 10 ppm.
What Types of Industrial Uses Does it Have
The colorless liquid is used as an intermediate in the synthesis of industrial and pharmaceutical products. It is also used in aviation fuel and more commonly as an anti-knock gasoline mixture. Ethylene dibromide was used as an additive to leaded gasoline before it was banned in the United States. Afterward, it was used for other purposes such as a fumigant to protect crops and golf courses against insects, nematodes, and pests.
However, the use of the clear liquid as a fumigant was banned in 1984 by the EPA. Today, it is used in the treatment of fell logs to protect against bark beetles and termites.
How Does Ethylene Dibromide Get into Your Drinking Water
There are several ways on how the liquid compound gets into your drinking water. The more common are spills, leachate, and runoff from transportation of ethylene dibromide and when used as a pesticide.
What are the Health Risks Associated with Ethylene Dibromide
Chronic exposure to ethylene dibromide-contaminated water may result in headaches and depression. It may also contribute to the development of bronchitis when an individual is exposed to the contaminant in drinking water. Individuals who drink water containing the pollutant more than EPA’s maximum contaminant level (MCL) may experience gastrointestinal problems as well as difficulties with their reproductive system.
Continuous exposure to the chemical compound may also increase the risk of acquiring cancer. Long-term exposure to high level of ethylene dibromide in drinking water may also lead to kidney problems.
What is the EPA’s Standards for Ethylene Dibromide in Drinking Water
The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA has set the maximum contaminant level goals (MCLG) for EDB at zero and an enforceable regulation for the contaminant at 0.0000g mg/L or 50 ppb. The EPA has set these standards according to the best available science to protect the people from the potential health hazards of the contaminant. Any level more than the set standards must not be used in cooking and drinking to prevent potential health problems. Run a complete water test on your drinking water to make sure you the contaminant is within or below the acceptable level.
What Treatment is Recommended for Removing Ethylene Dibromide from Drinking Water
You can remove the contaminant to below 0.00005 mg/L or 50 ppb with the use of granular activated carbon. GAC is an effective filtration media capable of removing various contaminants from drinking water. It is often used in water filtration systems due to its effectiveness.
A whole house filter system installed in your house can help reduce the risk of potential contaminants in your drinking water. Reliable water treatment systems like AquaOx’s whole house filter system can protect your family from the health risks associated with ethylene dibromide and other potential pollutants that can be present in your feed water.
From The Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Affected Organ Systems: None
Cancer Classification: None
Chemical Classification: None
Summary: Ethylene dibromide is a nonflammable colorless liquid with a sweet chloroform-like odor at room temperature above 50ºF (10ºC). It is slightly soluble in water and soluble in most organic solvents. It is heavier than water. When heated to decomposition, it may release gases and vapors such as hydrogen bromide, bromine, and carbon monoxide. Ethylene dibromide should be stored in a dry place at ambient temperature.