1,4-Dioxane Background

March 5, 2020

Authored by: Susan Brice and John Kindschuh

1,4-Dioxane is considered an emerging contaminant.  This post provides some insight regarding the substance, underscoring its potential importance to you and your company.

What is 1,4-Dioxane?

1,4-Dioxane is a synthetic industrial chemical that is both a flammable liquid and is potentially explosive, especially at elevated temperatures.[1]  It is colorless, clear liquid and it has a faint, but pleasant, odor.

1,4-Dioxane was used as a solvent for extracting animal and vegetable oils as well as in the formulation of inks, coatings, and adhesives.[2]  Additionally, 1,4-Dioxane was used as a stabilizer or corrosion inhibitor for chlorinated solvents, such as 1,1,1-trichloroethane (“TCA”).[3]  Although 1,1,1 TCA has not been used since 1995, the historical contamination caused by this substance is currently sparking the attention of regulators.[4]

1,4-Dioxane was also used as a solvent in processing crude petroleum, petroleum refining, and petrochemicals.