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What is Naphthalene?

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Naphthalene is a chemical used to make lubricant, insecticide, resin, solvents, and many other commercial and consumer products. This odorous, white solid is most well known as mothballs, and sometimes called moth flakes, naphtha, nafta, or tar camphor. It occurs in the ash of plant material, as well as a trace element in petroleum products like crude oil. Naphthalene naturally resides in a few substances on earth. For example, we find naphthalene in fossil fuels and in the ash of timer and tobacco. It can be isolated for use in manufacturing and consumer products. Perhaps the strongly smelling chemical is best well known as mothballs. The flakes or balls get wrapped in wool blankets, coats, and sweaters to keep away munching moths. Although naphthalene comes as a solid, it is easily converted to liquid and gas. As a particulate suspended in gas, it can combust, therefore it is used in explosives. Naphthalene also dissolves in alcoholic liquids like acetone. Often, it's used in ... more
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Naphthalene is a white solid that is found naturally in fossil fuels. Burning tobacco or wood produces naphthalene. It has a strong, but not unpleasant smell. The major products made from naphthalene are moth repellents. It is also used for making dyes, resins, leather, tanning agents, and the insecticide, carbaryl.
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Naphthalene is either a white solid or a liquid with a strong odor like mothballs. It s used to make dyes, explosives, plastics, and lubricants. Naphthalene is found naturally in crude oil. It is also found in coal tar wastes at former manufactured gas plants. Coal tars were by-products at these plants. In homes, naphthalene may be used as a moth repellent or may be released from dyes or new plastic items. Naphthalene evaporates quickly. Some of the naphthalene that ends up in lakes, streams or soil evaporates into the air. Naphthalene that seeps through soil into groundwater can remain unchanged for many years. HOW ARE PEOPLE EXPOSED TO NAPHTHALENE? Breathing: People breathe naphthalene most often when they re working with it on the job. People could also breathe the chemical as they visit a chemical cleanup site, use mothballs around their house, do laundry or bathe with contaminated water. Drinking/Eating: People can be exposed to low levels when they use contaminated water for ... more
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