Technology Transfer Network - Air Toxics Web Site
Hazard Summary-Created in April 1992; Revised in January 2000
4-Nitrobiphenyl is no longer manufactured or used in the United States.
Limited information is available on the health effects of 4-nitrobiphenyl.
Acute (short-term) exposure to 4-nitrobiphenyl in humans results in irritation
of the eyes, mucous membranes, and respiratory tract, and headache, nausea,
vomiting, and fatigue. Chronic (long-term) exposure to high concentrations
of 4-nitrobiphenyl in workers has resulted in effects on the peripheral
and central nervous systems and the liver and kidney. No information
is available on the reproductive, developmental, or carcinogenic effects
of 4-nitrobiphenyl in humans. EPA has not classified 4-nitrobiphenyl
- 4-Nitrobiphenyl is no longer manufactured, imported, used, or sold in the United States. (1)
Sources and Potential Exposure
- Since 4-nitrobiphenyl is no longer manufactured or used in the United States, the only exposure to the chemical is from hazardous waste which was disposed of in past years. (1)
Assessing Personal Exposure
- No information is available on the assessment of personal exposure to 4-nitrobiphenyl.
Health Hazard InformationAcute Effects:
- 4-Nitrobiphenyl irritates the eyes, mucous membranes, and respiratory tract from acute exposure in humans. Other effects from acute exposure include headache, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. (1)
- Tests involving acute exposure of rats and rabbits have shown 4-nitrobiphenyl to have moderate acute toxicity from oral exposure. (2)
- Workers chronically exposed to high concentrations of 4-nitrobiphenyl have reported effects on the peripheral and central nervous systems and the liver and kidney. (1)
- No information is available on the chronic effects of 4-nitrobiphenyl in animals.
- EPA has not established a Reference Concentration (RfC) or a Reference Dose (RfD) for 4-nitrobiphenyl.
- No information is available on the reproductive or developmental effects of 4-nitrobiphenyl in humans or animals.
- No information is available on the carcinogenic effects of 4-nitrobiphenyl in humans. However, 4-nitrobiphenyl has been used in the production of 4-aminobiphenyl, which is a known human bladder carcinogen. (1,4)
- In one animal study, oral exposure to 4-nitrobiphenyl resulted in bladder tumors in dogs. (1,4)
- EPA has not classified 4-nitrobiphenyl for carcinogenicity.
- IARC has classified 4-nitrobiphenyl as a Group 3; the chemical is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans. (4)
- 4-Nitrobiphenyl exists as yellow or white needles with a sweetish odor. (3)
- The chemical formula for 4-nitrobiphenyl is C12H9NO2, and the molecular weight is 199.22 g/mol. (3)
- The log octanol/water partition coefficient (log Kow) for 4-nitrobiphenyl is 3.77. (3)
Note: There are very few health numbers or regulatory/advisory numbers for 4-nitrobiphenyl; thus, a graph has not been prepared for this compound. The health information cited in this fact sheet was obtained in December 1999.
To convert concentrations in air (at 25 °C) from ppm to mg/m3: mg/m3 = (ppm) × (molecular weight of the compound)/(24.45). For 4-nitrobiphenyl: 1 ppm = 8.15 mg/m3.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB, online database). National Toxicology Information Program, Bethesda, National Library of Medicine, MD. 1993.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS, online database). National Toxicology Information Program, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD. 1993.
- M. Sittig. Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens. 2nd ed. Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ. 1985.
- International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Man. Volume 4. World Health Organization, Lyon. 1974.