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Chemical Name:
BCME;Bis-CME;bis-chloromethyl;bis(chloromethyl);chloromethylether;Chloromethyl ether;rcrawastenumberp016;oxybis(chloro-methan;Dichloromethyl ether;oxybis[chloro-methan
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:


Melting point:
Boiling point:
refractive index 
Flash point:
storage temp. 
-20°C Freezer
Exposure limits
TLV-TWA 0.0047 mg (0.001 ppm)/m3 (Hu man Carcinogen) (ACGIH); Human and Animal Carcinogen-Sufficient Evidence (IARC); Carcinogen (OSHA).
  • Risk and Safety Statements
  • NFPA
Hazard Codes  T+
Risk Statements  10-36/37/38-40-26-24-22-45
Safety Statements  26-36/37/39-45-53
RIDADR  2249
HazardClass  6.1(a)
PackingGroup  I

NFPA 704

Diamond Hazard Value Description
4 1
Health   4 Very short exposure could cause death or major residual injury (e.g. hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, methyl isocyanate, hydrofluoric acid)
Flammability   3 Liquids and solids (including finely divided suspended solids) that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions . Liquids having a flash point below 22.8 °C (73 °F) and having a boiling point at or above 37.8 °C (100 °F) or having a flash point between 22.8 and 37.8 °C (73 and 100 °F). (e.g. gasoline, acetone)
Instability   1 Normally stable, but can become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressures (e.g. propene)

(NFPA, 2010)


Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy

BIS(CHLOROMETHYL)ETHER Chemical Properties,Uses,Production

Chemical Properties

colorless liquid

Chemical Properties

Bis(chloromethyl) ether is a clear liquid with a strong unpleasant odor. It does not occur naturally. It dissolves easily in water, but degrades rapidly and readily evaporates into air. During earlier years, bis(chloromethyl) was used to make several types of polymers, resins, and textiles, but its use is now highly restricted. Only small quantities of bis(chloromethyl) ether are produced in the United States. The small quantities produced are only used in enclosed systems to make other chemicals. However, small quantities of bis(chloromethyl) ether may be formed as an impurity during the production of chloromethyl methyl ether. Along with other chemicals, rain, and sunlight, it undergoes chemical reactions and breaks down as formaldehyde and hydrochloric acid

Chemical Properties

Bis(chloromethyl)ether is a colorless, volatile liquid with a suffocating odor.


Reagent used in the formation of ether linked dimers


Bis(chloromethyl)ether (BCME) is used asan intermediate in anion-exchange quater nary resins. Its use as a chloromethylationreagent in industry is being discontinuedbecause of its high carcinogenic properties.Exposure risks associated with this com pound can arise during the use or productionof chloromethyl methyl ether when the lat ter compound comes in contact with tracesof water in the presence of hydrogen orhydroxyl ions. It may occur in trace amountsin chloromethyl methyl ether.


Bis(chloromethyl) ether is a clear liquid with a strong unpleasant odour. It does not occur naturally. It dissolves easily in water but degrades rapidly and readily evaporates into air. During earlier years, bis(chloromethyl) was used to make several types of polymers, resins, and textiles, but its use is now highly restricted. Only small quantities of bis(chloromethyl) ether are produced in the United States. The small quantities that are produced are only used in enclosed systems to make other chemicals. 

General Description

A colorless volatile liquid with a chloroform-like odor. Toxic by inhalation, skin absorption and ingestion. Dangerous fire risk - flash point below 0°F. Vapors much denser than air. Insoluble in water and denser than water. Used to make paints and varnish, and as a solvent.

Air & Water Reactions

Highly flammable. Insoluble in water. Reacts with water to form hydrochloric acid & formaldehyde.

Reactivity Profile

DICHLORODIMETHYL ETHER is incompatible with the following: Acids, water [Note: Reacts with water to form hydrochloric acid & formaldehyde.] .


A carcinogen. Toxic by ingestion.

Health Hazard

BCME is a highly toxic and carcinogeniccompound. The inhalation toxicity and car cinogenicity of this compound are greatestamong the haloethers
Exposure to its vapors can cause irritationof the eyes, nose, and throat in humans. Theprimary target organ is the lungs. Inhalationof 100 ppm of this compound in air for afew minutes can cause death to humans.Irritation of the eyes can be moderate tosevere and conjunctival. The acute oral anddermal toxicity of this compound, however,is moderate and comparable to that of bis(2-chloroethyl)ether
LC50 value, inhalation (rats): 33 mg (7ppm)/m3/7 hr
LD50 value, oral (rats): 210 mg/kg (NIOSH1986)
Tests on animals have confirmed the car cinogenic action of BCME. It is carcinogenicby inhalation and by subcutaneous and skinapplications. In humans it can produce lungcancer — a fact that is now well established.Tests on rats indicate that exposure to 0.1-ppm concentrations in air for 6 hours per dayfor 6 months produced tumors in the noseand lungs. Subcutaneous and skin applicationsproduced tumors at the site of application.

Health Hazard

Acute toxicity is high by ingestion, inhalation, and skin irritation. Small quantities may cause death or permanent injury after very short exposure. Chloromethyl ether is an alkylating agent which is a recognized human carcinogen. There is a strong association between industrial exposure and excess lung cancer.

Health Hazard

Exposures to bis(chloromethyl) ether cause irritation to the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs, and in cases of severe exposures cause damage to the lungs (swelling and bleeding) and death. Breathing low concentrations will cause coughing and nose and throat irritation.

Fire Hazard

Container may explode in heat of fire. When heated to decomposition, BIS(CHLOROMETHYL)ETHER emits very toxic fumes of chlorides. Decomposed by water to hydrochloric acid and formaldehyde. Avoid water: hydrolyzes very rapidly (half life 10-40 seconds) on contact with water. Avoid decomposing heat, powerful oxidizers, areas of high fire hazard and moist air.

Potential Exposure

Exposure to bis(chloromethyl)ether may occur in industry and in the laboratory. This substance can form spontaneously in warm moist air by the combination of formaldehyde and hydrogen chloride. This compound is used as an alkylating agent in the manufacture of polymers; as a solvent for polymerization reactions; in the preparation of ion exchange resins; and as an intermediate for organic synthesis. Haloethers, primarily α-chloromethyl ethers, represent a category of alkylating agents of increasing concern due to the establishment of a causal relationship between occupational exposure to two agents of this class and lung cancer in the United States and abroad. The cancers are mainly oat cell carcinomas. Potential sources of human exposure to BCME appear to exist primarily in areas including: (1) its use in chloromethylating (crosslinking) reaction mixtures in anion-exchange resin production; (2) segments of the textile industry using formaldehydecontaining reactants and resins in the finishing of fabric and as adhesive in the laminating and flocking of fabrics; and (3) the nonwoven industry which uses as binders, thermosetting acrylic emulsion polymers comprising methylol acrylamide, since a finite amount of formaldehyde is liberated on the drying and curing of these bonding agents. NIOSH has confirmed the spontaneous formation of BCME from the reaction of formaldehyde and hydrochloric acid in some textile plants and is now investigating the extent of possible worker exposure to the carcinogen. However, this finding has been disputed by industrial tests in which BCME was not formed in air by the reaction of textile systems employing hydrochloric acid and formaldehyde.

First aid

If this chemical gets into the eyes, remove any contact lenses at once and irrigate immediately for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting upper and lower lids. Seek medical attention immediately. If this chemical contacts the skin, remove contaminated clothing and wash immediately with soap and water. Seek medical attention immediately. If this chemical has been inhaled, remove from exposure, begin rescue breathing (using universal precautions, including resuscitation mask) if breathing has stopped and CPR if heart action has stopped. Transfer promptly to a medical facility. When this chemical has been swallowed, get medical attention. Give large quantities of water and induce vomiting. Do not make an unconscious person vomit. Medical observation is recommended for 24 to 48 hours after breathing overexposure, as pulmonary edema may be delayed. As first aid for pulmonary edema, a doctor or authorized paramedic may consider administering a drug or other inhalation therapy.


UN2249 Dichlorodimethyl ether, symmetrical, Hazard class: 6.1; Labels: 6.1—Poisonous materials, 3— Flammable liquid.


May form explosive mixture with air. Incompatible with oxidizers (chlorates, nitrates, peroxides, permanganates, perchlorates, chlorine, bromine, fluorine, etc.); contact may cause fires or explosions. Keep away from alkaline materials, strong bases, strong acids, oxoacids, epoxides. Decomposes on contact with water, moist air, and heat, forming corrosive hydrochloric acid, hydrogen chloride, and formaldehyde vapors. May form shocksensitive compounds on contact with oxidizers, peroxides, and sunlight. Attacks many plastics.

Waste Disposal

Incineration, preferably after mixing with another combustible fuel. Care must be exercised to assure complete combustion to prevent the formation of phosgene. An acid scrubber is necessary to remove the halo acids produced.

BIS(CHLOROMETHYL)ETHER Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products


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