1,4-Dioxane, often just called dioxane, is a clear, colorless heterocyclic organic compound which is a liquid at room temperature and pressure. It has the molecular formula C4 H8 O2 and a boiling point of 101 °C. It is commonly used as an aprotic solvent. 1,4-Dioxane has a weak smell similar to that of diethyl ether. There are also two other less common isomeric compounds, 1,2-dioxane and 1,3-dioxane. 1,2-dioxane is a peroxide which forms naturally in old bottles of tetrahydrofuran. 1,4-Dioxane is classified as an ether, with each of its two oxygen atoms forming an ether functional group. It is more polar than diethyl ether, which also has four carbons, but only one ether functional group. Diethyl ether is rather insoluble in water, but 1,4-dioxane is miscible with water and is hygroscopic. Its higher polarity and slightly higher molecular mass also gives it a substantially higher boiling point than diethyl ether.
This compound is irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. Exposure may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys. Accidental worker exposure to 1,4-dioxane has resulted in several deaths. Dioxane is classified by the IARC as a Group 2B carcinogen: possibly carcinogenic to humans because it is a known carcinogen in other animals. Dioxane is toxic to rats. 1,4-Dioxane is very harmful in vapor phase. Copyright Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for details. Source: Wikipedia, 1,4-dioxane (Wikipedia)
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