Tetrachloroethylene (Perchloroethylene)

CASRN 127-18-4

IRIS Toxicological Review of Tetrachloroethylene (Perchloroethylene) (External Review Draft)

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EPA conducted a peer review of the scientific basis supporting the human health hazard and dose-response assessment of tetrachloroethylene that will appear on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database. Peer review is meant to ensure that science is used credibly and appropriately in derivation of the toxicological characterization and dose-response assessments.

This draft health assessment addresses both non-cancer and cancer human health effects that may result from chronic exposure to tetrachloroethylene (also called Perchloroethylene or Perc) . This is an update of an existing assessment posted on IRIS in 1988. This draft Toxicological Review includes a chronic Reference Concentration (RfC) and carcinogenicity assessment, which are not currently available on IRIS, as well as an update of the 1988 IRIS Reference Dose (RfD).


U.S. EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review of Tetrachloroethylene (Perchloroethylene) (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/635/R-08/011A, 2008.

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Tetrachloroethylene is a chemical solvent that is widely used for dry cleaning of fabrics, metal degreasing, and in making some consumer products and other chemicals. An estimated 27,000 dry cleaners currently use tetrachloroethylene in the United States. It has been detected in ambient air in and near dry cleaning facilities as well as in adjacent residences.

Discharges of tetrachloroethylene from factories and dry cleaners can also contaminate groundwater and tetrachloroethylene has been found in drinking water. It is also found in the soil of about half of the Superfund National Priority List hazardous waste sites.


Date Description
01-Jan 1987EPA posted the first tetrachloroethylene assessment on the IRIS database (RfD).
02-Mar 1988EPA revised the tetrachloroethylene assessment on the IRIS database (RfD).
03-Dec 2003EPA released for public comment the draft discussion paper on neurotoxicity of tetrachloroethylene.
04-Feb 2004EPA sponsored a peer consultation workshop on the draft discussion paper on neurotoxicity of tetrachloroethylene. Following the workshop, EPA released a Summary Report of the Peer Review Workshop on the Neurotoxicity of Tetrachloroethylene (Perchloroethylene) Discussion Paper.
05-Jun 2008EPA released the draft tetrachloroethylene assessment for external peer review. This draft assessment was provided for public viewing and comment. Public comments received on the Toxicological Review within 90 days after the release of the FRN would be provided to the external peer reviewers for their consideration.
06-Jul 2008EPA replaced the document when they discovered that several tables were inadvertently omitted from Appendix 4B in the initial June posting. The document link below includes these tables in Appendix 4B, pages 4-216 to 4-237.
07-Aug 2008EPA hosted a public listening session as announced in the July 29, 2008 Federal Register Notice.
08-Nov 2008National Academy of Sciences (NAS) conducted an external peer review meeting to review the draft document on Nov. 13-14, 2008 in Washington DC. October 16, 2008 Federal Register Notice
09-Jan 2009NAS held their second external review meeting to discuss the draft report on Jan 29-30, 2009 in Washington DC.
10-Feb 2009Revised charge to external peer reviewers replaced on the web site.
11-Apr 2009NAS announced a third external review meeting to discuss the draft report on Apr 2-3, 2009 in Irvine, CA.
12-Feb 2010The National Research Council released the Review of the Environmental Protection Agency's Draft IRIS Assessment of Tetrachloroethylene. [NAS Press Release February 9, 2010]


Following external peer review the assessment will be revised taking into consideration external peer review and public comments, will undergo a final EPA internal review and a review by and science discussion with other federal agencies and White House offices, and will be posted to the IRIS database.

The final Tetrachloroethylene IRIS document is expected to be publicly available during the 4th quarter of FY 2011.

Additional Information

Comments on this document may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Web site. From the site, select Environmental Protection Agency and the keyword EPA-HQ-ORD-2008-0461 (for the docket ID) to comment on this report.

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This download(s) is distributed solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. It has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy.

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