United States                 Pollution Prevention                   February 1995
                  Environmental Protection           and Toxics                        EPA 749-F-95-003a
                  Agency                     (7407)

vvEPA      OPPT Chemical  Fact Sheets
               1,1'-Biphenyl  Fact Sheet:  Support Document
                (CAS  No.  92-52-4)
  This summary is based on information retrieved from a systematic search limited to secondary sources (see Appendix
  A). These sources include online databases, unpublished EPA information, government publications, review
  documents, and standard reference materials. The literature search was done in February 1995. No attempt has been
  made to verify information in these databases and secondary sources.

     The chemical identity and physical and chemical properties of biphenyl are summarized in Table 1.


  Characteristic/Property                    Data                       Reference

  CAS No.                               92-52-4
  Common Synonyms                       diphenyl; bibenzene;             Budavari et al. 1989
  Molecular Formula                         C12H10                      Budavari et al. 1989
  Chemical Structure

  Physical State                            Colorless leaflets               Budavari et al. 1989
  Molecular Weight                         154.20                      Budavari et al. 1989
  Melting Point                            69-71 °C                     Budavari et al. 1989
  Boiling Point                            254-255°C                   Budavari et al. 1989
  Water Solubility (mg/L)                      insoluble                    Budavari et al. 1989
                                       7.5mg/L@25°C               Vershueren 1983
  Density                                1.041g/mL                   Budavari et al. 1989
  Koc                                   1.40 x103 (calculated)            CHEMFATE1994
  Log Kom                               4.09                       CHEMFATE1994
  Vapor Pressure                           9.64 x 10'3 mm Hg @ 25 "C         CH EM FATE 1994
  Reactivity                              incompatible with oxidizers         Keith and Walters 1985
  Flash Point                             109°C closed cup              Keith and Walters 1985
  Henry's Law Constant                      3 x 10'4 atm-m3/mol              CH EM FATE 1994
  Fish Bioconcentration Factor                  436 (static test,                CHEMFATE1994
                                       rainbow trout)
  Odor Threshold                           0.06 mg/m3                   Vershueren 1983
                                       pleasant, peculiar odor           Budavari et al. 1989
  Conversion Factors                        1 ppm = 6.5 mq/m3              ACGIH 1991
1 ppm = 6.5 mg/m
1 mg/m3 = 0.154 ppm


        A.      Production

        USITC (1994) identified three companies in the United States that made biphenyl in 1992; these companies,
        along with the other identified (TRI92 1994) domestic producer, are listed in Table 2.  The production
        capacities of these plants are not available. U.S. production of biphenyl was 53 million pounds in 1990 (Table
        3).  This was a 23 percent increase from the production volume of 43 million pounds in 1989.

Chevron Corporation, Chevron Chemical Company
Koch Chemical Company, a division of Koch Refining
Company, Specialties Group
Monsanto Chemical Company
Sybron Chemicals Company
Plant Location
Baytown, TX
Corpus Christi, TX
Anniston, AL
Wellford, SC
Sources:  USITC 1994, EPA TRI Database.
        The primary use of biphenyl is in the formulation of dye carriers for textile dyeing (HSDB 1994). Biphenyl is
        used as an intermediate for poly chlorinated biphenyls (HSDB 1994) and as a paper impregnant for citrus fruit
        where it acts as a fungicide  (Gray son 1985). In the past, a major use of biphenyl has been as a component of
        heat-transfer fluids (Grayson 1985). Table 3 provides a list of applicable SIC Codes for biphenyl use.  No
        estimates of percentages of domestic end use patterns are available.

        Production of poly chlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) was once the most important use of biphenyl. Recently,
        however, the use of PCB's in liquid-filled transformers and as dielectric fluids has been restricted by the U.S.
        Environmental Protection Agency.  They are being replaced by liquids containing halogen and silicone (The
        Freedonia Group, Inc. 1995).  U.S. demand associated with other uses of biphenyl are expected to remain
(Typical Standard Industrial Classification
(SIC) Code)1
Dye Carrier
(SIC 2865)
Intermediate for Manufacture of Polychlorinated
(SIC 2865)
(SIC 2879)
Heat Transfer Agent
(SIC 2899)
Percentage of U.S.
1  The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code is the statistical classification standard for all Federal
economic statistics.  The code provides a convenient way to reference economic data on industries of interest
to the researcher. SIC codes presented here are not intended to be an exhaustive listing; rather, the codes
listed should provide an indication of where a chemical may be likely to be found in commerce.

N/A  Not available

        A.      Environmental Release

                Biphenyl is released to the atmosphere as a fume during its use as a heat transfer fluid and, to a lesser
                extent, by volatilization from soil and water (U.S. EPA 1984).  Atmospheric levels of biphenyl
                measured 20-1500 ng/m3 in Kingston, RI, an industry-free urban area (CHEMFATE 1994).

                Biphenyl enters the aquatic environment in wastewater effluents from textile mills that use it as a dye
                carrier; from industrial processes; and from leaking heat exchangers (U.S. EPA 1984).

                Because of its use as a fungicide, residues of biphenyl have been detected in tangerines (0.01-0.085
                mg/kg, whole fruit), grapefruits (0-150 mg/kg, peel or whole fruit), oranges (0-0.012 mg/kg, edible
                portion), and lemons (0.02-0.12 mg/kg, edible portion) (U.S. EPA 1984). One investigator reported
                airborne concentrations of 3.2-250 pg biphenyl/m3 from diesel exhaust (U.S. EPA 1984).  In
                monitoring studies, biphenyl was detected at the following sites: in the Tennessee River (2
                micrograms/L), in a roadside ditch in Kentucky (5000 mg/kg), in Lake Michigan at the mouth of the
                Galien River (4 micrograms/L), in effluent from industrial and water treatment facilities (0-130
                micrograms/L), in Great Lakes Municipal drinking water (0.3-31.9 nanograms/L), in Athens, GA,
                drinking water (1-5 nanograms/L), and in groundwater at the site of an inactive underground coal
                gasification process (25-43 micrograms/L) (U.S. EPA 1984).
                In 1992, environmental releases of biphenyl, as reported to the Toxic Chemical release inventory by

        certain types of U.S. industries, totaled about 885 thousand pounds, including approximately 820
        thousand pounds to the atmosphere, 50 thousand pounds to underground injection sites, 10 thousand
        pounds to surface water, and 5 thousand pounds to land (TRI92 1994).

B.      Transport

        No information was found in the secondary sources searched regarding the transport of biphenyl in
        air.  Volatilization and sorption are important in the transport of biphenyl in water.  The Henry's Law
        constant for biphenyl (3 x 10"4 atnrmVmol) suggests that the chemical could undergo volatilization.
        The volatilization half-life of 4.3 hours was estimated for biphenyl in a stream 1 meter deep, flowing
        1 meter/second, with an air current of 3 meters/second (U.S. EPA 1984).  The log octanol/water
        partition coefficient of 4.09 for biphenyl suggests that the chemical has potential for sorption to
        particulate matter (U.S. EPA 1984).  One study demonstrated that 50% of the biphenyl applied to
        activated sludge in water remained as nonextractable residue (U.S. EPA 1984).

        The high octanol/water partition coefficient and the low water solubility of biphenyl would probably
        preclude significant leaching of the chemical through soil (U.S. EPA 1984).  However, soil
        microorganisms may metabolize biphenyl to the more polar hydroxy biphenyls and  dihydroxy
        biphenyls which may leach into groundwater (U.S. EPA 1984). The volatilization of biphenyl from
        soil is not likely to be significant.  Less than 2% of the applied radioactivity from (14C)-biphenyl,
        incorporated into wet sand, loam, and humus, evaporated in 2 hours (U.S. EPA 1984).

C.      Transformation/Persistence

        1.       Air — In the air, biphenyl reacts with hydroxyl radicals and undergoes photolysis (U.S. EPA
                1984).  The calculated half-life for the reaction of biphenyl with OH" is 2.2 days  at 25 °C,
                assuming an OH concentration of 5 x 105 molecule/cm3 (CHEMFATE 1994).

                In a photolysis experiment, biphenyl was impregnated into paper and exposed to UV
                irradiation (>300 nanometers) in the presence of NOX.  The chemical underwent
                "considerable" photodegradation, yielding 2- and 4-nitrobiphenyl as reaction products (U.S.
                EPA 1984). The half-life of biphenyl was ~2 hours. In another study, 80 ppb of 14C-
                biphenyl was irradiated on silica gel for 17 hours at a wavelength of >290 nm (U.S.  EPA
                1984).  Photodecomposition products included 9.5% 14CO2 and <0.1% organic fragments.

                Biphenyl also reacts slowly with ozone. The calculated half-life for the reaction is 57.3 days
                at 25°C, assuming an ozone concentration of 7 x 1011 molecule/cm3  (CHEMFATE 1994).

        2.       Soil — The main removal process for biphenyl in soil appears to be biodegradation.  The
                following organisms have been shown to degrade biphenyl: Saccharomyces cerevisiae
                (with the production of benzoic acid), Streptomyces sp.,Achromobacter, Pseudomonas
               putida, Oscillatoria sp., gram negative bacteria, Acaligenes sp. 559,Acaligenes Y42 and
               Acinetobacter P6 (U.S. EPA 1984).  Bacteria generally oxidize biphenyl via cytochrome P-
                450 to 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl (U.S. EPA 1984). Fungi metabolize biphenyl to 4-hydroxy- or
                2-hydroxybiphenyl and 4,4'-dihydroxybiphenyl  (U.S. EPA 1984). In one study, 9.1% of the
                biphenyl was degraded by activated sludge in 2 days (U.S. EPA 1984).

        3.       Water — The main environmental fate processes for biphenyl  in water are  photolysis and
                microbial degradation (U.S. EPA 1984). Biphenyl in solution, irradiated with a germicidal
                UV lamp (UV spectra of -250 nm), underwent 50% degradation in ~40 hours (U.S.  EPA

                The biodegradation of biphenyl by aquatic microorganisms proceeds via aromatic
                hydroxylation to 2-, 3-, and 4-hydroxybiphenyl, with further hydroxylation to 2,3-
                dihydroxybiphenyl (U.S. EPA 1984). The degradation rates for biphenyl under various
                conditions were: 74% in 14 days (activated sludge),  100% in 7 days (anaerobic digester),
                100% in 8 hours (aerated lagoon),  100% in 96 hours (retention pond), 79% in 5 days
                (domestic wastewater), 87% in 24 hours and 100% in 5 days (industrial wastewater)
                (CHEMFATE 1994).

        4.       Biota — The bioconcentration factors of biphenyl  (436 for the rainbow trout, 540 for algae

                        [Chlorella fusca], and 282 for the orfe [Leuciscus idus melanotus] [U.S. EPA 1984])
                        suggest a moderate potential for the accumulation of the chemical in aquatic organisms.  The
                        octanol/water partition coefficient of 4.1 (CHEMFATE 1994) suggests that the chemical has
                        an affinity for lipids.

        A.      Pharmacokinetics
                1.       Absorption — The detection of urinary metabolites in animals following oral administration
                        of biphenyl indicate the chemical is absorbed by this route (see section IV.A.4) (U.S. EPA
                        1984).  Systemic effects in rabbits, rats, and mice, observed following repeated inhalation
                        exposure to biphenyl-impregnated celite dust, indicate that the chemical is also absorbed by
                        this route (U.S. EPA 1984).  Similarly, repeated application of biphenyl to the depilated
                        backs of rabbits resulted in systemic effects, indicating dermal absorption (U.S. EPA 1984).

                2.       Distribution — Little information was found in the secondary sources searched regarding the
                        distribution of biphenyl. Following absorption, biphenyl is transported to the liver where it
                        undergoes hydroxylation and conjugation, and becomes more polar (U.S. EPA 1984).  In rats
                        given 14C-biphenyl orally,  about 85, 7, 0.1, and 0.6% of the administered radioactivity was
                        detected in the urine, feces, expired air (as CO2), and tissues, respectively, within 96 hours
                        of dosing (U.S. EPA 1984).  Bile collected for 96 hours after the oral administration of
                        biphenyl to rats contained  12 metabolites of biphenyl, accounting for 5.2% of the
                        administered dose (U.S. EPA 1984).  The octanol/water partition coefficient of 4.1
                        (CHEMFATE 1994) suggests that the chemical has an affinity for lipids, but no information
                        was found to demonstrate  this.

                3.       Metabolism — In the liver, biphenyl undergoes hydroxylation and conjugation (U.S. EPA
                        1984).  More than 10 mono-, di-, and tri-hydroxybiphenyl metabolites have been identified
                        in the urine of animals (U.S. EPA 1984).  These metabolites may occur as conjugates of
                        mercapturic acid and glucuronide.  A major metabolite in the rat, mouse, guinea pig, rabbit
                        and pig is 4-hydroxybiphenyl; other major metabolites include 4,4-dihydroxybiphenyl in the
                        pig and rat and  2-hydroxybiphenyl in the mouse (U.S. EPA  1984). There is evidence to
                        suggest that the metabolism of biphenyl is mediated by a cytochrome P-450 system and that
                        an arene oxide intermediate capable of binding to biomacromolecules may be formed (U.S.
                        EPA  1984).

                4.       Excretion — Following the hydroxylation and conjugation of biphenyl in the liver, the
                        chemical is excreted mainly  in the urine as mercapturic acid or glucuronide conjugates (U.S.
                        EPA  1984).  Small amounts  have also been detected in the feces, in expired air as CO2, and
                        in the tissues (see section IV.A.2) (U.S. EPA 1984).  Rabbits, guinea pigs, and pigs given
                        biphenyl by gavage excreted at least 20% of the administered dose in the urine within 24
                        hours; rats administered 14C-biphenyl orally excreted 75-80%  of the dose in 24 hours (U.S.
                        EPA  1984).
        B.      Acute Effects
                Workers exposed acutely to biphenyl in air have experienced nausea, vomiting, bronchitis, and
                irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes.

                1.      Humans — Workers exposed to biphenyl fumes experienced irritation to the eyes and
                       mucous membranes at concentrations of 3-4 ppm or 19-25 mg/m3 (Sandmeyer 1981). The
                       concentration of 3-4 ppm is roughly equivalent to 2-3 mg/kg over an 8-hour exposure
                       period1.  Others, exposed (concentrations not available) during paper impregnation, had
                       transient nausea, vomiting, and bronchitis (ACGIH 1991). At concentrations below 1 mg
                       biphenyl/m3 there were no differences between exposed and unexposed workers in a
     For dose comparison purposes this has been calculated by multiplying 19-25 mg/m3 by 0.143 (the occupational
     standard breathing rate, 10 m3, divided by the assumed adult body weight, 70 kg, and assuming 100% absorption) to
     obtain the dose in mg/kg/day (U.S. EPA 1988).

                   comparison of blood pressure, pulmonary function tests, serum creatinine values, urinary
                   protein levels, and standard blood cell counts (ACGIH 1991).

           2.      Animals — Oral LD50 values for biphenyl are 3280 mg/kg for the rat and 2410 mg/kg for the
                   rabbit (U.S. EPA 1984)).

   C.      Subchronic/Chronic Effects

           The EPA has derived a chronic oral reference dose (RfD2) of 0.05 mg/kg/day for biphenyl, based on
           kidney damage in rats. Workplace exposure to biphenyl has caused the death of one worker and
           adverse effects on the liver and nervous system (see section IV.G) of others. In animals, oral doses
           of large amounts of biphenyl produced adverse effects on the kidneys, the liver, the blood and spleen,
           and growth and longevity. Subchronic inhalation exposure  of animals to biphenyl-impregnated dust
           produced lesions of the respiratory tract.

           1.      Humans — A Finnish paper mill worker died in 1969, following 11 years of "heavy
                   exposure" to biphenyl (ACGIH 1991).  The cause of death was reported as  "yellow atrophy"
                   of the liver. During the  11 years, average concentrations of biphenyl in the workplace air
                   ranged from 0.6 to 128 mg/m3 (0.09 to  19.7 ppm;
                   0.086 to 18.3 mg/kg/day). Eight other workers experienced signs of toxicity that were
                   characterized by damage to the liver and nervous system (see section IV.G).

           2.      Animals — The following study was the basis for EPA's derivation of the chronic oral RfD
                   for biphenyl, 0.05 mg/kg/day (U.S. EPA 1994).  Albino rats (15/sex/group) received diets
                   containing biphenyl concentrations of 0.0, 0.001, 0.005, 0.01, 0.05, 0.1, 0.5 or 1% for 700
                   days (U.S. EPA  1984; 1994).  Growth retardation,  reduced hemoglobin levels, decreased
                   food intake, kidney damage (that included irregular scarring, lymphocytic infiltration,
                   tubular atrophy and patchy tubular dilation), and decreased longevity were observed in rats
                   given 2:0.5%  biphenyl (2:250 mg/kg/day; the lowest-observed-adverse-effect level
                   [LOAEL]).  Sporadic effects were noted at lower doses (2 male  rats receiving 0.1  and 0.05%
                   biphenyl had disintegrated blood cells in the renal pelvis and two others had small basophilic
                   concretions in the renal medullas); 0.1% biphenyl (50 mg/kg/day) was selected as the no-
                   observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) for the study (U.S. EPA 1994).  In the calculation of
                   the RfD the EPA applied a modifying factor of 10 to account for intraspecies variability
                   demonstrated by uncertainty in the threshold of the study, in addition to the uncertainty
                   factor of 100 (U.S. EPA 1984; 1994). Another study from the same laboratory demonstrated
                   that the renal damage occurring in rats fed >0.5% could be reversed by placing animals on a
                   control diet (U.S. EPA 1984).

                   Supporting the results of the critical study for the RfD, a 0.1% NOAEL was also found in a
                   subchronic feeding study and in a 3-generation reproduction study; both studies were
                   conducted in rats and were unpublished (U.S. EPA 1994).
                   Another study investigated the effect of dietary biphenyl on the induction of poly cystic renal
                   lesions in  the rat. Rats fed biphenyl in commercial rat chow for 21 days exhibited increased
                   kidney weight, urine volume, and urine  specific gravity at 2:500  mg/kg body weight/day  and
                   poly cystic renal changes at  1000 mg/kg/day.  The no-effect level for renal effects was 300
                   mg/kg/day. When a semisynthetic diet was substituted for the commercial  chow,  increased
                   kidney weight occurred  at 50 mg/kg/day (the lowest dose tested) and polycystic changes and
                   other renal effects occurred at 2:150 mg/kg/day (U.S. EPA 1984).

                   In an inhalation study, three albino rabbits and 10 Sprague-Dawley rats inhaled biphenyl-
                   impregnated celite dust (300 mg biphenyl/m3), 7 hours/day,  5 days/week over a period of 90
                   days (U.S. EPA  1985a).   Similarly, 3 rabbits and 6 rats were exposed to 40  mg biphenyl/m3
                   over 64 days.  Control information was not available. All animals had severe
                   bronchopulmonary lesions characterized by emphysema, lobular pneumonia,  bronchitis and
                   multiple abscesses of the lungs.  Minor liver and kidney  damage also occurred (U.S. EPA
  The RfD is an estimate (with uncertainty spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of the daily exposure level for
the human population, including sensitive subpopulations, that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of
deleterious effects during the time period of concern.

                   1985a).  The concentration of 40 mg/m3 is roughly equivalent to 7.43 mg/kg over the 7-hour
                   exposure period3.  In the same study, mice exposed to 5 mg/m3 for 64 days exhibited
                   respiratory difficulty, whereas rats exposed similarly did not (ACGIH 1991). In the absence
                   of control data, the pulmonary effects could not be attributed solely to biphenyl (U.S. EPA

                   Rabbits exposed by dermal application  to 0.5 g biphenyl/kg, 2 hours/day for 5 days exhibited
                   growth depression; slight cardiac, hepatic, and renal changes; and follicular atrophy,
                   necrosis, and leukocytic infiltration of the spleen; and there were "some" deaths (Sandmeyer
                   1981).  Repeated application of 25% biphenyl in olive oil to the skin of rabbits did not
                   produce irritation, but resulted in the death of 1 animal after 8 applications, and produced
                   weight loss in 3 others after 20 applications (ACGIH 1991).

   D.      Carcinogenicity

           Based on no information on humans and inadequate studies in rats and mice, the EPA has classified
           biphenyl as D, not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity.  There is some evidence that biphenyl
           may be a tumor promoter.

           1.       Humans — No information was found in the secondary sources searched for the
                   carcinogenicity of biphenyl in humans.

           2.       Animals — Treatment-related tumors were not found under the following conditions:  (1) in
                   B6AKF[  and B6C3F[ mice (18/sex/strain) treated with 215 mg/kg biphenyI/day by gavage
                   from day 7 to day 28 of age, then with 517 ppm dietary biphenyl for the subsequent 18
                   months (U.S. EPA 1994); (2) in albino  rats given <500 mg/kg bipheny I/day in the diet for
                   700 days (U.S. EPA 1994);  and (3) in groups of 12 male and 12 female Sprague-Dawley rats
                   given < 1% dietary biphenyl for 2 years. Several deficiencies limit the validity of the last
                   study (U.S. EPA 1994).

                   Groups of 25 male F344 rats were given 0.05% N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine
                   (BBN) in drinking water for 4 weeks followed by a basal diet or a diet containing 0.5%
                   biphenyl for 32 weeks (U.S. EPA 1994).  A group of 5 rats  received only 0.5% biphenyl.  In
                   the  18 surviving rats treated with BBN  and biphenyl, the incidences of hyperplasia,
                   papillomas and carcinomas in the urinary bladder were 94, 83 and 61%, respectively.  These
                   were statistically significant in comparison to incidences of 25, 12, and 0%, respectively, in
                   animals treated with BBN alone (there were no signs of hyperplasia, papillomas and
                   carcinomas in the rats fed biphenyl alone). The results of this study suggest that 1,1-
                   biphenyl is a tumor promoter (U.S. EPA 1994).

   E.      Genotoxicity

           Biphenyl induced forward mutations in mouse lymphoma cells and sister chromatid exchanges (SCE)
           in Chinese hamster cells; however, a dose-response relationship was not observed in the SCE assay
           (U.S. EPA 1994). Biphenyl did not induce reverse mutations in Salmonella typhimurium and
           Escherichia coli, DNA repair in E. coli, chromosomal aberrations in Chinese hamster cells, or
           unscheduled DNA synthesis in rat hepatocy tes (the presence or absence of metabolic activation was
           not specified) (U.S. EPA 1994).

   F.      Developmental/Reproductive Toxicity

           Limited information indicates that biphenyl is not teratogenic and does not produce significant fetal
           toxicity, even at maternally toxic doses.

           1.       Humans — No information was found in the secondary sources searched regarding the
    For dose comparison purposes, this has been calculated by multiplying 40 mg/m  by 0.186 (the 7-hour breathing
rate, 0.065 m3 [standard 24-hour breathing rate, 0.223 m3] divided by the assumed adult rat body weight, 0.350 kg,
and assuming 100% absorption) to obtain the dose in mg/kg/day (U.S. EPA 1985b).

                        developmental/reproductive toxicity of biphenyl in humans.

                2.       Animals — Pregnant Wistar rats received biphenyl in oral doses of 0, 125, 250, 500 or 1000
                        mg/kg/day on days 6-15 of gestation (U.S. EPA 1994).  No fetal or maternal toxicity
                        occurred in animals receiving doses <500 mg/kg.  There was some (but not statistically
                        significant) evidence of toxicity in both dams (death) and fetuses (reduced fetal weights,
                        decreased number of live fetuses, and increased resorptions) at 1000 mg/kg (U.S. EPA
                        1994).  In one study, no significant effects occurred in rats given 0, 0.1, or 0.5% dietary
                        biphenyl from 60 days before mating through weaning of their offspring (U.S. EPA 1994);
                        however, in a 3-generation study on rats, 1% dietary biphenyl produced "unspecified adverse
                        effects" (U.S. EPA 1994).
        G.      Neurotoxicity

                Workers exposed chronically to concentrations of biphenyl ranging from low to high developed
                persistent damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems.

                1.       Humans — In a Finnish paper mill, levels of biphenyl in the workplace air ranged from 0.6
                        to 128 mg/m3 from 1959 to 1970 (ACGIH 1991).  Central and peripheral nerve damage was
                        observed in workers who were exposed in this plant. Neurological findings in 24 workers
                        were as follows:  (1) electroencephalographic abnormalities (10 workers) of a generally
                        diffuse nature, persisting for 1 to 2 years; and (2) electromyographic abnormalities (9
                        workers), including fibrillation of muscles (7 of the 9 workers) and long rhythmic series of
                        fasciculations resembling that in infantile spinal muscular atrophy (1 worker).  These
                        abnormalities also persisted upon reexamination (ACGIH 1991).

                2.       Animals — No information was found in the secondary sources searched on the
                        neurotoxicity of biphenyl in animals.


        In laboratory studies, biphenyl is highly toxic to aquatic organisms; an acute  toxicity value of <1 mg/L has
        been reported.  EPA has requested chronic aquatic toxicity testing for biphenyl under Section 4 of the Toxic
        Substance Control Act (TSCA). Results of chronic tests in fish and invertebrates suggest low chronic toxicity
        for biphenyl.

        A.      Toxicity to Aquatic Organisms

        Acute toxicity values as low as 0.36 mg/L (for daphnids) and 1.3 mg/L (for rainbow trout) have been reported
        (Fenner-Crisp 1988). Other ninety-six-hour LC50 values for biphenyl in fish are as follows:  1.5 mg/L for
        Oncorhynchus mykiss  (rainbow trout); 4.7 mg/L for Lepomis macrochirus (bluegill); 4.6 mg/L for
        Cyprinodon variegatus (sheepshead minnow); 6 mg/L for Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow) (this
        concentration is near the water solubility of biphenyl) (U.S. EPA 1984).  Other estimated 48-hour LC50 values
        for biphenyl inDaphnia magna are 4.7 and 2.1 mg/L (U.S. EPA 1984).

        The growth of Chlorella autotrophica (green algae) was slightly inhibited (4 mm zone of inhibition at 1.0 mg
        biphenyl/plate) and totally inhibited (36 mm zone of inhibition) at 10 mg/plate (U.S. EPA 1984).

        Results from aquatic chronic toxicity testing in rainbow trout and daphids suggest low chronic toxicity for
        biphenyl (Fenner-Crisp 1988).  Chronic toxicity values were 230 micrograms/L and 275 micrograms/L for fish
        and daphnids, respectively.  Chronic values greater that 100 micrograms/L are indicative of low toxicity.

        B.      Toxicity to Terrestrial Organisms

                No information was found in the secondary sources searched regarding the toxicity of biphenyl to
                terrestrial organisms; however, studies with experimental animals have demonstrated low acute
                toxicity and low to moderate chronic toxicity. Biphenyl is not expected to be toxic to terrestrial
                organisms at levels normally found in the U.S. U.S. environment.

        C.      Abiotic Effects

               No information was found regarding the abiotic effects of biphenyl.


        The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 list biphenyl as a hazardous air pollutant. Occupational exposure to
        biphenyl is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The OSHA permissible
        exposure limit (PEL) is 0.2 parts per million of air (ppm) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) (29 CFR
        1910.000). In addition to OSHA, other federal agencies and groups may develop recommendations to assist
        in controlling workplace exposure.  These agencies and other groups (listed in Tables 4 and 5) should be
        contacted regarding workplace exposures and for additional information on biphenyl.


EPA Office                              Statute                          Contact Number

Pollution Prevention & Toxics             PPAa                            (202)260-1023
                                         EPCRA(§313/TRI)b              (800)535-0202
                                         TSCA (§4, §8A, §8D, §12B)C      (202) 554-1404
Pesticides                                FIFRAd                          (800) 858-7378
Air                                      Clean Air Act (§111, §112B)e      (919)541-0888
Solid Waste &                            CERCLA'                        (800) 535-0202
Emergency Response

"PPA = Pollution Prevention Act

bEPCRA = Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986

CTSCA = Toxic Substances Control Act

dFIFRA = Federal Insecticide and Rodenticide Act. Biphenyl is a list "B" pesticide (as of 1989), according to IRIS (U.S. EPA 1994) (54 FR
22706 [5/25/89]).

'Listed as hazardous air pollutant under §111 and §112 of Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. 7401 etseq.]

'CERCLA = Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended.

Other Agency/Department/Group
Contact Number
Agency of Toxic Substances & Disease Registry3
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
 (TLV-TWA, 0.2 ppm)b
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Food & Drug Administration
National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health
 (TWA, 0.2 ppm; IDLH, 300 ppm)c
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (TWA, 0.2 ppm)d
  (Check local phone book for phone number under Department of Labor)
(404) 639-6000

(301) 504-0994
(800) 356-4674
"Newly listed hazardous substance subject to Toxicological Profile (55 FR 46131, Nov. 1, 1990)

bTLV-TWA: Time-weighted-average concentration for a normal 8-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek to which nearly all workers may be
repeatedly exposed without adverse effects (ACGIH 1994-1995).

CTWA: Time-Weighted-Average concentration for up to a 10-hour workday during a 40-hour workweek. IDLH: immediate danger to life and

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