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Vinylidene chloride is a highly reactive, flammable, clear colorless liquid. In the absence of chemical inhibitors, it can produce violently explosive, complex peroxides. The estimated, ambient air level of vinylidene chloride in urban-suburban areas of the United States is 20ng/cu m. Following oral or inhalation exposure, mammals readily absorb vinylidene chloride. The acute hepatotoxicity of vinylidene chloride is greater than that of any other chloroethylene. Vinylidene chloride is a mutagen in the Ames assay in the presence of a metabolic activation system. Kidney tumors, produced in male Swiss mice, appear to be a strain-specific response and may be produced by a non-specific mechanism as a result of severe kidney toxicity and accompanying compensatory growth. Applying the International Agency for Research in Cancer's (IARC's) criteria for animal studies, the evidence currently available suggesting the carcinogenicity of vinylidene chloride is limited and insufficient to determine its human carcinogenic potential.
Basu, D., J. Becker, J. Colman, M. Neal, AND J. Santodonato. Health Assessment Document for Vinylidene Chloride. External Review Draft. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/8-83/031A (NTIS PB84126762), 1983.