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Environmental Assessment

IRIS Toxicological Review and Summary Documents for Carbon Tetrachloride

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Carbon tetrachloride is a volatile haloalkane with a wide range of industrial and chemical applications. It is produced commercially from chlorination of a variety of low molecular weight hydrocarbons such as carbon disulfide, methanol, methane, propane, and ethylene dichloride. It is also produced by thermal chlorination in the production of tetrachloroethylene. Major uses of carbon tetrachloride have been in the recovery of tin from tin plating waste, in formulation of petrol additives and refrigerants, in metal degreasing and agricultural fumigants, in chlorination of organic compounds, in the production of semiconductors, in the reduction of fire hazard, as a solvent for rubber cement, and as a catalyst in polymer technology. Its production has been decreasing and it is no longer permitted in products intended for home use. Despite this ban, carbon tetrachloride has been detected at 314 hazardous waste sites. EPA's assessment of noncancer health effects and carcinogenic potential of carbon tetrachloride was last prepared and added to the IRIS database in 1991. The IRIS program is preparing an assessment that will incorporate health effects information available for carbon tetrachloride, and current risk assessment methods. The IRIS assessment for carbon tetrachloride will consist of a Toxicological Review and IRIS Summary. The Toxicological Review is a critical review of the physiochemical and toxicokinetic properties of a chemical, and its toxicity in humans and experimental systems. The assessment will present reference values for the noncancer effects of carbon tetrachloride (RfD and RfC) and a cancer assessment. The Toxicological Review wil be subject to an internal Agency review, Interagency review, and external scientific peer review. The final product will reflect the Agency opinion on the overall toxicity of carbon tetrachloride.

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Susan H. Rieth
  • by phone at:   703-347-8582
  • by email at:  rieth.susan@epa.gov

Citation

U.S. EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review and Summary Documents for Carbon Tetrachloride. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.

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