Draft Revision to Risk Determination Released for Carbon Tetrachloride

A draft revision to the risk determination for carbon tetrachloride was recently issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With this, the Agency is proposing to find that the chemical presents unreasonable risks to human health under its conditions of use.

Carbon Tetrachloride

Carbon tetrachloride is a colorless, liquid, organic solvent. It has been used in a wide range of industrial applications, including dry cleaning, fumigation, degreasing, as well as use in varnishes, fire extinguishers, refrigerants, and more.

Carbon Tetrachloride

Chemical NameTetrachloromethane
Chemical FormulaCCl4
CAS Registry Number56-23-5

While its principal exposure route is via inhalation, exposure to carbon tetrachloride via ingestion and via skin penetration (dermal exposure) are also possible. Effects of exposure to the chemical can be serious. Of particular note is its hepatotoxicity. Cases of liver necrosis, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer have been shown to result from carbon tetrachloride exposure. It has also been found to yield other harmful effects, including on the renal and nervous systems.

Revised Risk Determination

In its proposing to determine that carbon tetrachloride presents unreasonable risks to human health, the EPA utilized a whole chemical risk determination approach. In total, an assessment of 13 out of the 15 original conditions of use for carbon tetrachloride drove the EPA's draft revised whole chemical unreasonable risk determination.

  • Disposal
  • Industrial/Commercial Use (as a laboratory chemical)
  • Industrial/Commercial Use (as an additive)
  • Industrial/Commercial Use (as an industrial processing aid in the manufacture of petrochemical-derived products and agricultural products)
  • Industrial/Commercial Use (in metal recovery)
  • Industrial/Commercial Use (in specialty uses by the Department of Defense)
  • Industrial/Commercial Use (in the manufacture of other basic chemicals, including chlorinated compounds used in solvents, adhesives, asphalt, and paints and coatings)
  • Manufacturing - Domestic Manufacture
  • Manufacturing - Import (including loading/unloading and repackaging)
  • Processing as a Reactant (in the production of hydrochlorofluorocarbon, hydrofluorocarbon, hydrofluoroolefin, and perchloroethylene)
  • Processing: Incorporation into Formulation, Mixture or Reaction Products (petrochemical-derived manufacturing, agricultural products manufacturing, and other basic organic and inorganic chemical manufacturing)
  • Processing: Recycling
  • Processing: Repackaging (for use in laboratory chemicals)

Upon the revised risk determination’s finalization, further regulatory action will be proposed by the EPA. The Agency intends to focus its risk management efforts on the aforementioned conditions of use.

More detailed information on the draft revision to the risk determination for carbon tetrachloride may be found by reviewing Federal Register citation 87 FR 52766.

Additional Vital Information

Information obtained from the risk evaluation of chemicals is critically important for the protection of human health and the environment. For accessing detailed data on the risks associated with a myriad of chemical substances, ToxPlanet provides an invaluable resource. Encompassing hundreds of databases/collections and including more than 100 million documents, ToxPlanet offers a vast amount of relevant content spanning the universe of chemical substances. Our powerful solutions deliver seamless access to the information you need. Contact us to find out more and to register for a Free Trial. Experience the ToxPlanet difference and see how we can help address your toxicology and chemical hazard information requirements.