U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Hazard Characterization Document
December, 2009
SCREENING-LEVEL HAZARD CHARACTERIZATION
Butyllithium
(CASRN 109-72-8)
The High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program1 was conceived as a voluntary
initiative aimed at developing and making publicly available screening-level health and
environmental effects information on chemicals manufactured in or imported into the United
States in quantities greater than one million pounds per year. In the Challenge Program,
producers and importers of HPV chemicals voluntarily sponsored chemicals; sponsorship
entailed the identification and initial assessment of the adequacy of existing toxicity
data/information, conducting new testing if adequate data did not exist, and making both new
and existing data and information available to the public. Each complete data submission
contains data on 18 internationally agreed to "SIDS" (Screening Information Data Set1'2)
endpoints that are screening-level indicators of potential hazards (toxicity) for humans or the
environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) is
evaluating the data submitted in the HPV Challenge Program on approximately 1400 sponsored
chemicals by developing hazard characterizations (HCs). These HCs consist of an evaluation of
the quality and completeness of the data set provided in the Challenge Program submissions.
They are not intended to be definitive statements regarding the possibility of unreasonable risk of
injury to health or the environment.
The evaluation is performed according to established EPA guidance2'3 and is based primarily on
hazard data provided by sponsors; however, in preparing the hazard characterization, EPA
considered its own comments and public comments on the original submission as well as the
sponsor's responses to comments and revisions made to the submission. In order to determine
whether any new hazard information was developed since the time of the HPV submission, a
search of the following databases was made from one year prior to the date of the HPV
Challenge submission to the present: (ChemID to locate available data sources including
Medline/PubMed, Toxline, HSDB, IRIS, NTP, AT SDR, IARC, EXTOXNET, EPA SRS, etc.),
STN/CAS online databases (Registry file for locators, ChemAbs for toxicology data, RTECS,
Merck, etc.) and Science Direct. OPPT's focus on these specific sources is based on their being
of high quality, highly relevant to hazard characterization, and publicly available.
OPPT does not develop HCs for those HPV chemicals which have already been assessed
internationally through the HPV program of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) and for which Screening Initial Data Set (SIDS) Initial Assessment
Reports (SIAR) and SIDS Initial Assessment Profiles (SIAP) are available. These documents are
presented in an international forum that involves review and endorsement by governmental
1	U.S. EPA. High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program; http://www.epa.gov/chemrtk/index.htm.
2	U.S. EPA. HPV Challenge Program - Information Sources; http://www.epa.gov/chemrtk/pubs/general/guidocs.htm.
3	U.S. EPA. Risk Assessment Guidelines; http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/raf/rafguid.cfm.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Hazard Characterization Document
December, 2009
authorities around the world. OPPT is an active participant in these meetings and accepts these
documents as reliable screening-level hazard assessments.
These hazard characterizations are technical documents intended to inform subsequent decisions
and actions by OPPT. Accordingly, the documents are not written with the goal of informing the
general public. However, they do provide a vehicle for public access to a concise assessment of
the raw technical data on HPV chemicals and provide information previously not readily
available to the public.
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Hazard Characterization Document
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Chemical Abstract Service
Registry Number
(CASRN)
109-72-8
Chemical Abstract Index
Name
Lithium, butyl-
Structural Formula
Li

Summary
This chemical is a liquid in pure form and is formulated in dilute hydrocarbon solvent and stored
in sealed systems under an inert gas. It reacts violently with air or water and, therefore,
meaningful measurements of its vapor pressure and water solubility properties cannot be made.
If released to the environment, this chemical would decompose rapidly to form lithium
hydroxide and butane. Due to the highly reactive nature of this substance, it is judged to have
low persistence (PI) and low bioaccumulation potential (Bl).
No mammalian and aquatic toxicity data are available. Due to the known reactivity, testing this
highly reactive chemical would not generate meaningful data.
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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Hazard Characterization Document
December, 2009
The sponsor, FMC Corporation, submitted a Test Plan and Robust Summaries to EPA for
butyllithium (CAS No. 109-72-8; 9th CI name: lithium, butyl-) on March 8, 2002. EPA posted
the submission on the ChemRTK HPV Challenge website on April 2, 2002
(http://www.epa.gov/chemrtk/pubs/summaries/butvlith/cl3633tc.htm). EPA comments on the
original submission were posted to the website on August 22, 2002. Public comments were also
received and posted to the website.
1. Chemical Identity
1.1	Identification and Purity
The HPV submission for this chemical did not include information on identification and purity in
the Test Plan (2002).
1.2	Physical-Chemical Properties
The physical-chemical properties of the butyllithium are summarized in Table 1. Due to this
substance's highly reactive nature in air and water, vapor pressure, water solubility and partition
coefficient properties cannot be measured.
Table 1. Physical-Chemical Properties of Butyllithium1
Property
Value
CASRN
109-72-8
Molecular Weight
64.1
Physical State
Liquid in pure form
Melting Point
<0C;
-76C (measured)2
Boiling Point
150C with decomposition (measured)3;
80-90C at 0.0001 mm Hg (measured)4
Vapor Pressure
4.4xl0"4mm Hg at 60C (measured)5
Water Solubility
Not applicable (reacts violently when exposed to water)
Dissociation Constant (pKa)
Not applicable (reacts violently when exposed to water)
Henry's Law Constant
Not applicable (reacts violently when exposed to water)
Log Kow
Not applicable (reacts violently when exposed to water)
1 FMC Corporation Lithium Division. March 11, 2002. Robust Summary and Test Plan for Butyllithium.
httt>://www.era.eov/chemrtk/OTibs/summaries/butvlith/cl3633tc.htm.
2Gerhartz, W. (ed.). 1990. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. 5th ed. Volume A15. p. 411.
Deerfield Beach, FL: VCH Publishers.
3Ashford, R.D. 1994. Ashford's Dictionary of Industrial Chemicals. London, England: Wavelength Publications
Ltd., p. 157.
4Lewis, R.J. 1999. Sax's Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials. 10th ed. Volumes 1-3. p. 641. New
York, NY: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
5Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 1995. 4th ed. Volumes 1 to present. New York, NY: John
Wiley and Sons, Inc., v. 15, p. 454.
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2. General Information on Exposure
2.1	Production Volume and Use Pattern
This chemical had an aggregated production and/or import volume in the United States during
calendar year 2005 between 1 million to 10 million pounds. Non-confidential information in the
IUR indicates that the industrial processing and uses of this chemical include process regulators,
used in vulcanization or polymerization processes. The HPV submission for butyllithium states
that the chemical is used as an initiator for polymerization in the production of automobile tires,
and has specialized applications in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals.
2.2	Environmental Exposure and Fate
No quantitative information is available of release of this chemical to the environment.
The environmental fate properties are provided in Table 2. If released to the environment,
butyllithium would decompose rapidly to form lithium hydroxide and butane. Therefore, fate
processes such as volatilization, mobility in soil, and biodegradation are not relevant
environmental fate properties. Due to butyllithium's highly reactive nature, it is unlikely that
meaningful, measurements of its vapor pressure, water solubility and partition coefficient
properties can be made. Butyllithium is judged to have a low persistence (PI) and low
bioaccumulation potential (Bl).
Table 2. Environmental Fate Characteristics of Butyllithium1
Property
Value
Photodegradation Half-life
Not applicable (reacts violently when exposed to air or water)
Hydrolysis Half-life
Unstable in water with immediate decomposition
Biodegradation
Not applicable (reacts violently when exposed to air or water)
Bi oconcentrati on
Not applicable (reacts violently when exposed to air or water)
Log Koc
Not applicable (reacts violently when exposed to air or water)
Fugacity
(Level III Model)
Not applicable (reacts violently when exposed to air or water)
Persistence2
PI (low)
Bioaccumulation
Bl (low)
1FMC Corporation Lithium Division. March 11, 2002. Robust Summary and Test Plan for Butyllithium.
httD:/Av\\vv.cDa.aov/chcmrtk/DLibs/suininarics/butvlith/c 13633tc.htm.
2Federal Register. 1999. Category for Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic New Chemical Substances.
Federal Register 64, Number 213 (November 4, 1999) pp. 60194-60204.
Conclusion: Butyllithium is a liquid in pure form and is formulated in dilute hydrocarbon
solvent and stored in sealed systems under an inert gas. It reacts violently with air or water and,
therefore, meaningful measurements of its vapor pressure and water solubility properties cannot
be made. If released to the environment, butyllithium would decompose rapidly to form lithium
hydroxide and butane. Due to the highly reactive nature of this substance, butyllithium is judged
to have low persistence (PI) and low bioaccumulation potential (Bl). Partial physical-chemical
properties were provided, however, the environmental fate of butyllithium was identified as a
data gap under the HPV Challenge Program.
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Hazard Characterization Document
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3. Human Health Hazard & Hazard to the Environment
No mammalian and aquatic toxicity data are available. Due to the known reactivity, testing this
highly reactive chemical would not generate meaningful data.
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