Chloroform

Overview

CAS No. 67-66-3

Chloroform (CHCl3) is a colorless liquid that quickly evaporates into gas. It can harm the eyes, skin, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. Chloroform can be toxic if inhaled or swallowed. Exposure to chloroform may also cause cancer. Workers may be harmed from exposure to chloroform. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done.

Chloroform is used in many industries. It is released from pulp and paper mills, hazardous waste sites, chlorinated water, and certain landfills. Chloroform is used in some refrigerants, solvents, and chemical manufacturing. Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to chloroform include the following:

  • Workers involved in paper manufacture or recycle industries
  • Service employees exposed to some air conditioner refrigerants
  • Equipment operators working at sanitary landfills
  • Workers who work in water treatment plants

NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries. If you work in an industry that uses chloroform, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheets for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.

The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to chloroform. Useful search terms for chloroform include “methane trichloride” and “trichloromethane.”

NIOSH Chemical Resources

Logo of NIOSH Pocket Guide

The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) helps workers, employers, and occupational health professionals recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.

Logo of Manual of Analytical Methods.

The NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.

Logo of Health Hazard Evaluations consisting of three letters: HHE

The Health Hazard Evaluation Program (HHE) conducts onsite investigations of possible worker exposure to chemicals. Search the HHE database for more information on chloroform.

Related NIOSH Resources

Selected Publications

Related Resources

International Resources

Page last reviewed: November 2, 2018