Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)
CAS number: 127–18–4
NIOSH REL: Minimize workplace exposure concentrations; NIOSH considers tetrachloroethylene to be a potential occupational carcinogen as defined by the OSHA carcinogen policy [29 CFR 1990].
Current OSHA PEL: 100 ppm TWA, 200 ppm CEILING,
300 ppm 5-minute MAXIMUM PEAK IN ANY 3 HOURS
1989 OSHA PEL: 25 ppm (170 mg/m3) TWA
1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 25 ppm (170 mg/m3) TWA, 100 ppm (685 mg/m3) STEL, A3
Description of substance: Colorless liquid with a mild, chloroform-like odor.
LEL:. . Noncombustible Liquid
Original (SCP) IDLH: 500 ppm
Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the statement by Negherbon  that a 95-minute exposure to 1,000 ppm produces slight drunkenness, but no narcosis [Rowe et al. 1952]. Negherbon  also reported that a 20- to 30-minute exposure to 206 to 235 ppm causes dizziness in humans (along with eye irritation, sinus congestion, nasal discharge, and sleepiness) [Rowe et al. 1952]. An IDLH of 500 ppm is used to prevent disorientation during escape.
Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed
ACUTE TOXICITY DATA:
Lethal concentration data:
|Species||Reference||LC50(ppm)||LCLo(ppm)||Time||Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF*)||Derived value|
|Rat||Carpenter et al. 1949||4,000||—–||4 hr||11,320 ppm (2.83)||1,132 ppm|
|Mouse||Friberg et al. 1953||5,200||—–||4 hr||14,716 ppm (2.83)||1,472 ppm|
|Rat||Pozzani et al. 1959||4,964||—–||8 hr||19,856 ppm (4.0)||1,986 ppm|
*Note: Conversion factor (CF) was determined with “n” = 2.0 [ten Berge et al. 1986].
Human data: It has been reported that 2,000 ppm caused slight narcosis in 5 minutes; 930-1185 ppm caused irritation of the eyes and throat, and marked dizziness after 2 minutes; 1,000 ppm caused slight drunkenness, but no narcosis after 95 minutes; 513-690 ppm caused eye, throat, and nose irritation, dizziness, loss of inhibition, and some incoordination after 10 minutes; 500 ppm for 2 hours caused slight discomfort; 206-356 ppm for 2 hours caused headache, burning of the eyes, sinus congestion, impaired coordination, and nausea; 206-235 ppm for 20-30 minutes caused eye irritation, sinus congestion, dizziness, and sleepiness; and 106 ppm caused only slight eye irritation [Negherbon 1959; Rowe et al. 1952].
|Revised IDLH: 150 ppmBasis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for tetrachloroethylene is 150 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Negherbon 1959; Rowe et al. 1952] [Note: NIOSH recommends as part of its carcinogen policy that the “most protective” respirators be worn for tetrachloroethylene at any detectable concentration.]|
1. Carpenter CP, Smyth HF Jr, Pozzani UC . The assay of acute vapor toxicity and the grading and interpretation of results on 96 chemical compounds. J Ind Hyg Toxicol 31:343-346.
2. Friberg L, Kylin B, Nystrom A . Toxicities of trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene and Fujiwara’s pyridine-alkali reaction. Acta Pharmacol Toxicol 9:303-312.
3. Negherbon WO . Handbook of toxicology. Vol. III. Insecticides, a compendium. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH: U.S. Air Force, Air Research and Development Command, Wright Air Development Center, Aero Medical Laboratory, WADC Technical Report 55-16, p. 737.
4. Pozzani UC, Weil CS, Carpenter CP . The toxicological basis of threshold limit values: 5. The experimental inhalation of vapor mixtures by rats, with notes upon the relationship between single dose inhalation and single dose oral data. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 20:364-369.
5. Rowe VK, McCollister DD, Spencer HC, Adams EM, Irish DD . Vapor toxicity of tetrachloroethylene for laboratory animals and human subjects. AMA Arch Ind Hyg Occup Med 5:566-579.
6. ten Berge WF, Zwart A, Appelman LM . Concentration-time mortality response relationship of irritant and systematically acting vapours and gases. J Haz Mat 13:301-309.
- Page last reviewed: December 4, 2014
- Page last updated: December 4, 2014
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