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This document summarizes current scientific information regarding the health and environmental effects of epichlorohydrin. Specifically, this document discusses the following topics: physical and chemical properties of epichlorohydrin; environmental occurrence; metabolism and toxicology; and factors most relevant to assessing quantitative health risks, particularly risk of cancer. Epichlorohydrin is moderately toxic by oral, dermal, and inhalation routes of exposure. Long-term animal studies provide evidence that epichlorohydrin is a weak contact carcinogen which appears to produce no metastases. Epichlorohydrin should be considered a potential human carcinogen (IARC category 2B). Epichlorohydrin causes gene and chromosomal mutations in vitro and in vivo, and has been shown to be clastogenic in human lymphocytes. Epichlorohydrin was not teratogenic in mice, rats, or rabbits, but was embryotoxic at doses which were toxic to the pregnant mouse. Transient infertility was observed in male rats exposed to epichlorohydrin. Epichlorohydrin is not expected to persist in air, water, or soil because of hydrolysis. The atmospheric residence time was calculated to be 5.8 days.
U.S. EPA. Health Assessment Document for Epichlorohydrin. Final Report. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/8-83/032F (NTIS PB85132363).