Vinyl chloride

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A colorless gas with an ether-like odor. Vinyl chloride was first made synthetically in 1835. It is primarily used to make Polyvinyl chloride. At one time vinyl chloride was used as a refrigerant and as a propellant in aerosol cans, but those uses were banned because of its toxicity.

Synonyms and Related Terms

VC; chloroethene; chloroethylene


  • Human carcinogen, mutagen, and teratogen.
  • Extremely toxic by inhalation.
  • Contact with liquid will cause frostbite.
  • Flammable. Flash point = -78 C
  • Explosive in air (at 4-22%).
  • Airgas: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in ethanol, ether, carbon tetrachloride, benzene. Slightly soluble in water.

Composition CH2:CHCl
CAS 75-01-4
Melting Point -153 C
Density 0.9 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 62.50
Refractive Index 1.3700
Boiling Point -13.37 C

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 10132
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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