U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

Dense Nonaqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs)

Environmental Occurrence

Halogenated Alkanes


1,2-Dichloropropane (1,2-DCP) has been used in oil and paraffin extraction and as a textile stain remover, scouring compound, metal degreasing agent, fumigant, active ingredient in formulated pesticides, and lead scavenger in gasoline (ATSDR 1989). Its current primary use is as an intermediate in the production of other organic compounds (Zogorski et al. 2006). It is no longer used as a fumigant.

EPA's Toxics Release Inventory reflects both scaled-back use of 1,2-DCP and better industrial control. In 1988, on- or off-site disposal (primarily releases to air) totaled 1,423,620 pounds of 1,2-DCP. This figure dropped to 103,542 pounds by 2008, with 102,125 pounds released to the air. As some releases do not fall under EPA's reporting requirements, this number must be considered a minimum estimate.

In a nationwide U.S. Geological Survey assessment of public and private water wells, Zogorski et al. (2006) found that about 1.0 percent of the samples from private wells-generally located in agricultural areas (e.g., San Joaquin Valley in California) where 1,2-DCP was used as a fumigant-had detections of 1,2-DCP, with some above the federal MCL ( 5 µg/L). About 1.0 percent of aquifer samples contained 1,2-DCP. The study also found 1,2-DCP in some public supply wells at low levels.


The Quality of Our Nation's Waters: Volatile Organic Compounds in the Nation's Ground Water and Drinking-Water Supply WellsAdobe PDF Logo
Zogorski, J., J.M. Carter, T. Ivahnenko, W.W. Lapham, M.J. Moran, B.L. Rowe, P.J. Squillace, and P.L. Toccalino.
U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1292, 112 pp, 2006

Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloropropane
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), 131 pp, 1989