Agent Name

Carbon tetrachloride

Alternative Name

Tetrachloromethane

CAS Number

56-23-5

Formula

C-Cl4

Major Category

Solvents

Synonyms

Carbon chloride; Carbon TET; Freon 10; Halon 104; Tetrachloromethane; [NIOSH]

Category

Chlorinated Aliphatics

Description

Colorless liquid with a characteristic ether-like odor; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used in the past as dry-cleaning agent and fumigant; Currently used as a chemical intermediate and in small amounts as a spot cleaner; [ACGIH; LaDou, p. 552] Has been used as a metal degreaser, cleaning agent in the semiconductor industry, and a solvent for lacquers, oils, and resins; [HSDB]

Comments

May cause severe hepatic injury and secondary renal tubular necrosis. [LaDou, p. 553] Carbon tetrachloride 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.

Restricted

EPA banned use as a pesticide except on encased museum specimens; [ATSDR Case Studies # 18]

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Yes

TLV (ACGIH)

5 ppm

STEL (ACGIH)

10 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

10 ppm, Ceiling(OSHA) = 25 ppm (200 ppm for 5-min peak in any 4 hrs.)

MAK

0.5 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

200 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Other human data: A severe case of poisoning was observed after a 3hour exposure to concentrations ranging from 75 to 600 ppm and averaging about 210 ppm [Barnes and Jones 1967]. It has been reported that exposures to 1,000 to 2,000 ppm for 0.5 to 1 hour have caused human fatalities from acute kidney damage [AIHA 1961]. It has also been reported that a 30minute exposure to about 300 ppm causes symptoms of intoxication [Kirk-Othmer 1964].

Vapor Pressure

91 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

140 ppm

Odor Threshold High

584 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 8,000 ppm/4 hr

Explanatory Notes

Detection odor threshold from AIHA (mean = 252 ppm);

Half Life

No reports found; [TDR, p. 293]

Reference Link

ATSDR - ToxFAQs - Carbon Tetrachloride

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

CNS Solvent Syndrome

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Primary

Nephrotoxin

Yes

IARC Carcinogen

Possible Carcinogen

NTP Carcinogen

Anticipated Human Carcinogen

ACGIH Carcinogen

Suspected Human

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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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: