Where is tetrachloroethylene found?

Asked by: Shirley Quitzon MD
Score: 4.5/5 (52 votes)

Tetrachloroethene is found in consumer products, including some paint and spot removers, water repellents, brake and wood cleaners, glues, and suede protectors.

Is perchloroethylene the same as tetrachloroethylene?

Tetrachloroethylene, also known under the systematic name tetrachloroethene, or perchloroethylene, and many other names (and abbreviations such as "perc" or "PERC", and "PCE"), is a chlorocarbon with the formula Cl2C=CCl2.

Why is tetrachloroethylene harmful?

Exposure to tetrachloroethylene may cause irritation eyes, skin, nose, throat, and respiratory system. It may also cause liver damage and is a potential occupational carcinogen. Workers may be harmed from exposure to tetrachloroethylene. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done.

What is TCE found in?

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is used as a solvent for degreasing metal parts during the manufacture of a variety of products. It can be found in consumer products, including some wood finishes, adhesives, paint removers, and stain removers.

21 related questions found

How long does TCE stay in your system?

If you have been exposed to TCE recently, it can be detected in your breath, blood, or urine. For small amounts of TCE, breath testing must occur within an hour or two after exposure. For large amounts of TCE, blood and urine tests can find TCE and its byproducts up to a week after exposure.

What products contain trichloroethylene?

What kinds of products may use it?
  • Stain removers (for clothes or carpet)
  • Aerosol degreasers.
  • Cleaning wipes.
  • Adhesives and sealants.
  • Adhesive for lace wigs and hair extensions.
  • Lubricants.
  • Tap and die fluid (lubricant used for metal working)
  • Paints and coatings.

What are the side effects of tetrachloroethylene?

Effects resulting from acute (short term) high-level inhalation exposure of humans to tetrachloroethylene include irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes, kidney dysfunction, and neurological effects such as reversible mood and behavioral changes, impairment of coordination, dizziness, headache, sleepiness, ...

Is trichloroethylene a carcinogen?

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) considers trichloroethylene to be a known human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified trichloroethylene as carcinogenic to humans.

What are the health effects of trichloroethylene?

Acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) inhalation exposure to trichloroethylene can affect the human central nervous system (CNS), with symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, confusion, euphoria, facial numbness, and weakness.

Can Tetrachloroethylene get you high?

In the home, dry-cleaned clothes can release small amounts of perchloroethylene. Perchloroethylene exposure can result from some hobbies. Some people have abused this chemical to get “high.”

How is Tetrachloroethylene produced?

Currently, the majority of perchloroethylene produced in the United States is made by one of three processes: Direct chlorination of certain hydrocarbons: This process involves the reaction of chlorine with a hydrocarbon such as methane, ethane, propane, or propylene at high temperatures, with or without a catalyst.

Do they still use formaldehyde?

Sometimes, although formaldehyde is not used, substances that release formaldehyde are. These have been found in cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, lotions and sunscreens, and cleaning products. Formaldehyde can be added as a preservative to food, but it can also be produced as the result of cooking and smoking.

What does tetrachloroethylene smell like?

Perchloroethylene or Tetrachloroethylene is a colorless, non-flammable liquid comprising 80-85% of the dry-cleaning fluids used in the United States. PCE has a sharp, sweet, ether-like odor which can be detected at concentrations as low as 1 ppm.

What is another name for tetrachloroethylene?

Other names for tetrachloroethene include PERC, tetrachloroethylene, perchloroethylene, and PCE. PERC is a commonly used name and will be used in the rest of the fact sheet. PERC is a nonflammable, colorless liquid at room temperature.

What household products have TCE?

It is used primarily to make refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons and as a degreasing solvent for metal equipment. TCE is also used in some household products, such as cleaning wipes, aerosol cleaning products, tool cleaners, paint removers, spray adhesives, and carpet cleaners and spot removers.

When was trichloroethylene banned?

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA, 1977) banned these uses of trichloroethylene because of its toxicity; its use in cosmetic and drug products was also discontinued (Mertens, 1993).

Is trichloroethylene a toxic chemical?


EPA classifies TCE as carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure. EPA has found that TCE has the potential to induce neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, developmental toxicity, liver toxicity, kidney toxicity, and endocrine effects.

Is trichloroethylene banned in Canada?

TCE is not manufactured in Canada, and the solvent degreasing regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999, which came into force in July 2003, are designed to significantly reduce the use and release of TCE into the environment in Canada.

How does tetrachloroethylene affect the environment?

Tetrachloroethylene and its products of degradation contribute to photochemical smog. Although most of the tetrachloroethylene released is to the air, when released to the soil it will either evaporate or leach into the ground water (bores). It will also quickly evaporate if released to surface water.

How does benzene affect the body?

Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.

Is tetrachloroethylene a hazardous substance?

Tetrachloroethylene as a HAZARDOUS WASTE. Contact your state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or your regional office of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for specific recommendations. Prior to working with Tetrachloroethylene you should be trained on its proper handling and storage.

Can TCE cause leukemia?

Does TCE cause cancer? The United States Environmental Protection Agency has determined that TCE can cause cancer in humans – especially kidney cancer and possibly liver cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma—which is cancer of the lymph system.

When was trichloroethylene discovered?

Emil Fischer discovered trichloroethylene while working on the preparation of tetrachlorethane in 1864. It became known as a useful compound for degreasing metal parts, and as an organic sol- vent, but when it was used for these purposes toxic effects soon began to be reported.

Does Pine Sol contain trichloroethylene?

Pine Sol, one of the most widely used pine oil cleaners, contains 8% to 12% pine oil, 3% to 7% alkyl alcohol ethoxylates, 1% to 5% isopropanol, and 1% to 5% sodium petroleum sulfonate in its “Original” formulation19; other cleaners branded as Pine Sol contain no pine oil.