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CAS Registry No.: 79-01-6
Other Names: TCE; 1,2,3-Trichloroethylene
Main Uses: Degreasing, solvent, chemical intermediate.
Appearance: Clear colourless volatile liquid.
Canadian TDG: UN1710
D1B - Toxic; D2A - Very Toxic (Carcinogenicity; Mutagenicity); D2B - Toxic (Skin irritant; Eye irritant)
Emergency Overview: Clear colourless volatile liquid. Ethereal odour. Can ignite if strongly heated. Can form very hazardous decomposition products. Can accumulate in hazardous amounts in low-lying areas especially inside confined spaces. TOXIC if inhaled. May cause respiratory irritation. May cause drowsiness and dizziness. IRRITANT. Causes moderate or severe eye and skin irritation. CANCER HAZARD. May cause cancer. MUTAGEN. May cause genetic defects.
Main Routes of Exposure: Inhalation; skin contact; eye contact.
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 1 - Carcinogenic to humans.
American Conference for Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH): A2 - Suspected human carcinogen.
Inhalation: Take precautions to ensure your own safety before attempting rescue (e.g. wear appropriate protective equipment). Move victim to fresh air. Call a Poison Centre or doctor.
Skin Contact: Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective clothing if necessary. Quickly take off contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Immediately flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 15-20 minutes. Call a Poison Centre or doctor. Thoroughly clean clothing, shoes and leather goods before reuse or dispose of safely. Double bag, seal, label and leave contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods at the scene for safe disposal.
Eye Contact: Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective gloves if necessary. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 15-20 minutes, while holding the eyelid(s) open. If a contact lens is present, DO NOT delay flushing or attempt to remove the lens. If irritation or pain persists, see a doctor.
Ingestion: Have victim rinse mouth with water. Immediately call a Poison Centre or doctor.
First Aid Comments: If exposed or concerned, see a doctor for medical advice. All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the chemical and its conditions of use in the workplace.
Flammable Properties: Can ignite if strongly heated and/or exposed to a high energy ignition source (e.g. a welding arc).
Suitable Extinguishing Media: Use extinguishing agent suitable for surrounding fire. If trichloroethylene is burning use: carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, appropriate foam, water spray or fog.
Specific Hazards Arising from the Chemical: Vapour may accumulate in hazardous amounts in low-lying areas especially inside confined spaces, resulting in a toxicity hazard. Closed containers may rupture violently when heated releasing contents. In a fire, the following hazardous materials may be generated: very toxic carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide; corrosive hydrogen chloride; corrosive chlorine; corrosive phosgene; toxic halogenated compounds; and other chemicals.
Personal Precautions: Keep unnecessary and unprotected personnel out of spill area. Use personal protective equipment as required. Ventilate area. Do not touch damaged containers or spilled product unless wearing appropriate protective equipment. Increase ventilation to area or move leaking container to a well-ventilated and secure area. Eliminate ignition sources.
Methods for Containment and Clean-up: Do not touch spilled material. Stop or reduce leak if safe to do so. Dike and recover contaminated water for appropriate disposal. Place used absorbent into suitable, covered, labelled containers for disposal. Flush spill area. Contaminated absorbent poses the same hazard as the spilled product.
Handling: Before handling, it is important that all engineering controls are operating and that protective equipment requirements and personal hygiene measures are being followed. Only trained personnel should work with this product. In event of a spill or leak, immediately put on escape-type respirator and exit the area. Immediately report leaks, spills or failures of the safety equipment (e.g. ventilation system). Prevent uncontrolled release of product. Prevent accidental contact with incompatible chemicals. Do not use near welding operations or other high energy sources. Keep containers tightly closed when not in use or empty. Never reuse empty containers, even if they appear to be clean.
Storage: Store in an area that is: cool, dry, well-ventilated, out of direct sunlight and away from heat and ignition sources, separate from incompatible materials, an approved, fire-resistant area. Keep amount in storage to a minimum. Store in the original, labelled, shipping container. Label container with date received, date opened and disposal date. Use a first-in, first-out inventory system. Empty containers may contain hazardous residue. Store separately. Keep closed. Avoid bulk storage indoors.
ACGIH® TLV® - TWA: 10 ppm A2 BEI®
ACGIH® TLV® - STEL [C]: 25 ppm A2
Exposure Guideline Comments: TLV® = Threshold Limit Value. TWA = Time-Weighted Average. STEL = Short-term Exposure Limit. C = Ceiling limit. A2 = Suspected human carcinogen. BEI® = Biological Exposure Index.
NOTE: In many (but not all) Canadian jurisdictions, the exposure limits are similar to the ACGIH® TLVs®. Since legislation varies by jurisdiction, contact your local jurisdiction for exact details. A list is available in the OSH Answers on Canadian Governmental Occupational Health & Safety Departments.
A list of which acts and regulations that cover exposure limits to chemical and biological agents is available on our website. Please note that while you can see the list of legislation for free, you will need a subscription to view the actual documentation.
Engineering Controls: It may be necessary to use stringent control measures such as process enclosure to prevent product release into the workplace. Use a ventilation system separate from other exhaust ventilation systems. Filter the contaminated air before it is directly exhausted to the outside. Provide eyewash and safety shower if contact or splash hazard exists.
Eye/Face Protection: Wear chemical safety goggles. A face shield (with safety goggles) may also be necessary.
Skin Protection: Wear chemical protective clothing e.g. gloves, aprons, boots. Suitable materials include: polyvinyl alcohol, Viton®, Barrier® - PE/PA/PE, Silver Shield® - PE/EVAL/PE, Trellchem® HPS, Trellchem® VPS, Tychem® BR/LV, Tychem® Responder® CSM, Tychem® TK.
At concentrations above the NIOSH REL, or where there is no REL, at any detectable concentration:
(APF = 10,000) Any self-contained breathing apparatus that has a full facepiece and is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode; or Any supplied-air respirator that has a full facepiece and is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode in combination with an auxiliary self-contained positive-pressure breathing apparatus.
APF = Assigned Protection Factor
Recommendations apply only to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirators. Refer to the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards for more information.
NOTE: NIOSH has classified this substance as a potential occupational carcinogen, according to specific NIOSH criteria. This classification is reflected in these recommendations for respiratory protection, which specify that only the most reliable and protective respirators be worn at any detectable concentration. NIOSH has changed their policy on respiratory protection for possible carcinogens but not yet revised these recommendations for respiratory protection. The requirements in Canadian jurisdictions may vary.