Agent Name

Chloroform

Alternative Name

Trichloromethane

CAS Number

67-66-3

Formula

C-H-Cl3

Major Category

Solvents

Synonyms

Methane trichloride; Trichloromethane; [NIOSH] Formyl trichloride; Methenyl trichloride; Methyl trichloride; Trichloroform; [CHEMINFO]

Category

Chlorinated Aliphatics

Description

Colorless liquid with a pleasant odor; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Has been used mainly for extraction and spot cleaning; [LaDou, p. 510] Used mainly in production of chlorodifluoromethane; [CHEMINFO] Uses have included dry cleaning agent and solvent for resins, plasticizers, rubber chemicals, and flavors; [HSDB]

Comments

Anesthesia is produced at concentrations of 10,000 ppm. Laboratory animals develop dose-dependent hepatic necrosis. Chloroform is embryotoxic in high-dose inhalation studies of pregnant rats. [ACGIH] Can cause nonimmunologic contact urticaria; [Kanerva 2004, p. 102] Chloroform is in the list of "Some volatile substances which may be abused by inhalation" published on the web site of the U.N. International Drug Control Programme, indicating its potential to cause narcosis in workers. [Reference #1] Acute exposure to high concentrations of chloroform can cause liver and kidney injury, but much less than that caused by carbon tetrachloride. [Rosenstock, p. 575]

Restricted

No longer used as a fumigant in the U.S. [EPA Pesticides]

Reference Link

Volatile Substance Abuse

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

PEL (OSHA)

Ceiling(OSHA) = 50 ppm

MAK

0.5 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

It has been reported that inhalation of 10,000 ppm has produced clinical anesthesia [NIOSH 1974] and that exposure for 2 minutes to 1,107 ppm has caused dizziness and vertigo [Lehmann et al. 1936]. Workers exposed 4 hours/day to concentrations of 57 to 71 ppm complained of lassitude, loss of appetite, and nausea [Challen et al. 1958]. Exposures to 390 ppm were tolerated for 30 minutes without complaint, whereas 1,030 ppm resulted in dizziness, intracranial pressure, and nausea in 7 minutes, with headache for several hours [Lehmann and Flury 1943].

Vapor Pressure

160 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

133 ppm

Odor Threshold High

276 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 47,702 mg/m3/4H

Explanatory Notes

Detection odor threshold from AIHA (mean = 192 ppm);

Half Life

Whole body: 1.5 hours; [TDR, p. 318]

Reference Link

ATSDR - ToxFAQs - Chloroform

Adverse Effects
Nephrotoxin

Yes

Reproductive Toxin

Yes

Neurotoxin

CNS Solvent Syndrome

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

IARC Carcinogen

Possible Carcinogen

NTP Carcinogen

Anticipated Human Carcinogen

ACGIH Carcinogen

Confirmed Animal

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

Search PubMed

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure:

Activities

Activities with risk of exposure: