Acute toxic effects may include the death of animals, birds, or fish, and death or low growth rate in plants. Chloroethane has slight acute toxicity to aquatic life. It has caused respiration and germination increases in potatoes. Insufficient data are available to evaluate or predict the short term effects of ethylchloride to birds or land animals. Chronic toxic effects may include shortened lifespan, reproductive problems, lower fertility, and changes in appearance or behaviour.
Entering the environment
The majority of chloroethane is present as a gas or vapour and so is transported by air. Wash out by rain and fog is possible, however, any chloroethane which is removed in this way will probably quickly evaporate. About 99.8% of Chloroethane will eventually end up in air; the rest will end up in the water. It does not tend to bioaccumulate.
Where it ends up
Most of the chloroethane released to the environment ends up as a gas in the atmosphere, while much smaller amounts enter groundwater as a result of filtration through soil. Once in the atmosphere, chloroethane breaks down fairly rapidly by reaction with other chemicals in the air. It takes about 1 to 2 months for any given amount of chloroethane that is released to the atmosphere to disappear.
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