Tetrachloroethlene; Perchloroethylene; "Perc"; Dry Cleaning Fluid
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Tetrachloroethylene is a chlorinated solvent found in metal cleaners and carpet spot removal products. It evaporates readily, is very easy to inhale, and causes cancer.

You should not use any product containing tetrachloroethylene.

HAZARD SUMMARY [1]
  • Tetrachloroethylene can affect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin.
  • Tetrachloroethylene should be handled as a CARCINOGEN.
  • Tetrachloroethylene may damage the developing fetus.
  • High exposure can cause you to become dizzy and lightheaded and to pass out.
  • It can cause the heart to beat irregularly or stop. This can cause death.
  • Severe liver and kidney damage can occur.
  • High exposure may cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
  • Contact can cause eye and skin burns.
  • Acute Health Effects
    The following acute (short-term) health effects may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to Tetrachloroethylene:
  • High exposure can cause you to become dizzy, lightheaded, and to pass out. Overexposure can cause the heart to beat irregularly or stop. It can also damage the liver and kidneys enough to cause death.
  • Breathing the vapor may irritate the lungs, causing coughing and/or shortness of breath. Higher exposure can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), a medical emergency. The start of these effects can be delayed for many hours.
  • Contact can cause severe skin burns, and can cause eye burns.
  • Exposure to the vapor can irritate the eyes, nose, mouth and throat.
  • Chronic Health Effects
    The following chronic (long-term) health effects can occur at some time after exposure to Tetrachloroethylene and can last for months or years:
    Cancer Hazard - Tetrachloroethylene may be a CARCINOGEN in humans since it causes liver cancer in animals. Many scientists believe there is no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen.

    Reproductive Hazard - Tetrachloroethylene may damage the developing fetus.

    Other Long-Term Effects - Tetrachloroethylene may damage the liver and kidneys with high single exposures or lower repeated exposures. Long-term exposure can cause drying and cracking of the skin.

    [1] This information is quoted from: New Jersey Workers' Right-to-Know Fact Sheet, which is on the internet at http://www.state.nj.us/health/eoh/rtkweb/1810.pdf