INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME ON CHEMICAL SAFETY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CRITERIA 163 CHLOROFORM This report contains the collective views of an international group of experts and does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated policy of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, or the World Health Organization. First draft prepared by Dr. J. de Fouw National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, Bilthoven, Netherlands. Published under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, and the World Health Organization World Health Orgnization Geneva, 1994 The International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) is a joint venture of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, and the World Health Organization. The main objective of the IPCS is to carry out and disseminate evaluations of the effects of chemicals on human health and the quality of the environment. Supporting activities include the development of epidemiological, experimental laboratory, and risk-assessment methods that could produce internationally comparable results, and the development of manpower in the field of toxicology. Other activities carried out by the IPCS include the development of know-how for coping with chemical accidents, coordination of laboratory testing and epidemiological studies, and promotion of research on the mechanisms of the biological action of chemicals. WHO Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Chloroform. (Environmental health criteria ; 163) 1.Chloroform - adverse effects I.Series ISBN 92 4 157163 2 (NLM Classification: QV 81) ISSN 0250-863X The World Health Organization welcomes requests for permission to reproduce or translate its publications, in part or in full. Applications and enquiries should be addressed to the Office of Publications, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, which will be glad to provide the latest information on any changes made to the text, plans for new editions, and reprints and translations already available. (c) World Health Organization 1994 Publications of the World Health Organization enjoy copyright protection in accordance with the provisions of Protocol 2 of the Universal Copyright Convention. All rights reserved. The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the World Health Organization concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers' products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the World Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. Errors and omissions excepted, the names of proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters. CONTENTS ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CRITERIA FOR CHLOROFORM 1. SUMMARY 2. IDENTITY, PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES, AND ANALYTICAL METHODS 2.1. Identity 2.2. Physical and chemical properties 2.3. Conversion factors 2.4. Analytical methods 2.4.1. Sampling and analysis in air 18.104.22.168 Direct measurement 22.214.171.124 Adsorption-liquid desorption 126.96.36.199 Adsorption-thermal desorption 188.8.131.52 Cold trap-heating 2.4.2. Sampling and analysis in water 2.4.3. Sampling and analysis in biological samples 184.108.40.206 Blood and tissues 220.127.116.11 Urine 18.104.22.168 Fish 2.4.4. Sampling and analysis in soil gas 3. SOURCES OF HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE 3.1. Natural occurrence 3.2. Anthropogenic sources 3.2.1. Production 22.214.171.124 Direct production levels and processes 126.96.36.199 Indirect production 188.8.131.52 Emissions from direct production and use 184.108.40.206 Emissions from indirect production 3.2.2. Uses 4. ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSPORT, DISTRIBUTION AND TRANSFORMATION 4.1. Transport and distribution between media 4.1.1. Transport 4.1.2. Distribution 4.1.3. Removal from the atmosphere 4.2. Biotic degradation 4.3. Bioaccumulation 5. ENVIRONMENTAL LEVELS AND HUMAN EXPOSURE 5.1. Environmental levels 5.1.1. Ambient air 5.1.2. Indoor air 5.1.3. Water 220.127.116.11 Sea water 18.104.22.168 Rivers and lakes 22.214.171.124 Rain water 126.96.36.199 Waste water 188.8.131.52 Ground water 184.108.40.206 Drinking-water 5.1.4. Soil 5.1.5. Foodstuffs 5.2. General population exposure 5.2.1. Outdoor air 5.2.2. Indoor air 5.2.3. Drinking-water 5.2.4. Foodstuffs 5.3. Occupational exposure during manufacture, formulation or use 6. KINETICS IN LABORATORY ANIMALS AND HUMANS 6.1. Pharmacokinetics 6.1.1. Absorption 220.127.116.11 Oral 18.104.22.168 Dermal 22.214.171.124 Inhalation 6.1.2. Distribution 6.1.3. Elimination and fate 6.1.4. Physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling for chloroform 6.2. Biotransformation and covalent binding of metabolites 6.3. Human studies 6.3.1. Uptake 126.96.36.199 Oral 188.8.131.52 Dermal 184.108.40.206 Inhalation 6.3.2. Distribution 6.3.3. Elimination 6.3.4. Biotransformation 7. EFFECTS ON LABORATORY MAMMALS AND IN VITRO TEST SYSTEMS 7.1. Single exposure 7.1.1. Lethality 7.1.2. Non-lethal effects 220.127.116.11 Oral exposure 18.104.22.168 Subcutaneous and intraperitoneal exposure 22.214.171.124 Inhalation exposure 126.96.36.199 Dermal exposure 7.2. Short-term exposure 7.2.1. Oral exposure 188.8.131.52 Mice 184.108.40.206 Rats 7.2.2. Inhalation exposure 7.3. Long-term exposure 7.4. Skin and eye irritation 7.5. Reproductive toxicity, embryotoxicity and teratogenicity 7.5.1. Reproduction 7.5.2. Embryotoxicity and teratogenicity 220.127.116.11 Oral exposure 18.104.22.168 Inhalation exposure 7.6. Mutagenicity and related end-points 7.7. Carcinogenicity 7.7.1. Mice 7.7.2. Rats 7.7.3. Dogs 7.7.4. Studies on initiating-promoting activity 22.214.171.124 Mice 126.96.36.199 Rats 7.8. In vitro studies 7.9. Factors modifying toxicity; toxicity of metabolites 8. EFFECTS ON HUMANS 8.1. Acute non-lethal effects 8.2. Epidemiology 8.2.1. Occupational exposure 8.2.2. General exposure 8.3. Abuse and addiction 9. EFFECTS ON OTHER ORGANISMS IN THE LABORATORY AND FIELD 9.1. Freshwater organisms 9.1.1. Short-term toxicity 9.1.2. Long-term toxicity 9.2. Marine organisms 10. EVALUATION OF HUMAN HEALTH RISKS AND EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT 10.1. Evaluation of human health risks 10.1.1. Exposure 10.1.2. Health effects 10.1.3. Approaches to risk assessment 10.1.3.1 Non-neoplastic effects 10.1.3.2 Neoplastic effects 10.2. Evaluation of effects in the environment 11. FURTHER RESEARCH 12. PREVIOUS EVALUATION BY INTERNATIONAL BODIES REFERENCES RESUME RESUMEN WHO TASK GROUP ON ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CRITERIA FOR CHLOROFORM Members Dr M.W. Anders, Department of Pharmacology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA Dr D.Anderson, British Industrial Biological Research Association (BIBRA) Toxicology International, Carshalton, Surrey, United Kingdom Dr R.J. Bull, Washington State University, College of Pharmacy, Pullman, Washington, USA Dr C.D. Carrington, Food and Drug Administration, Washington DC, USA Dr M. Crookes, Environment Section, Building Research Establishment, Garston, Watford, United Kingdom Dr E. Elovaara, Institute of Occupational Health, Department of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, Helsinki, Finland Dr J. de Fouw, Toxicology Advisory Centre, National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM), Bilthoven, the Netherlands (Rapporteur) Dr M.E. Meek, Environmental Health Directorate, Health Protection Branch, Health and Welfare, Ottawa, Canada (Chairperson) Dr R. Pegram, Environmental Toxicology Division, Health Effects Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA Dr S.A. Soliman, Department of Pesticide Chemistry, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, King Saud University-Al-Qasseem, Bureidah, Saudi Arabia (Vice-Chairman) Dr L. Vittozzi, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Laboratorio di Tossicologia, Comparata ed Ecotossicologia, Rome, Italy (Vice-Chairman) Dr P.P. Yao, Institute of Occupational Medicine, Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Beijing, China Representatives of other Organizations Dr B. Butterworth, International Life Sciences Institute, Risk Science Institute, Washington DC, USA Secretariat Dr B.H. Chen, International Programme on Chemical Safety, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (Secretary) Dr P.G. Jenkins, International Programme on Chemical Safety, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland Dr C. Partensky, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France NOTE TO READERS OF THE CRITERIA MONOGRAPHS Every effort has been made to present information in the criteria monographs as accurately as possible without unduly delaying their publication. In the interest of all users of the Environmental Health Criteria monographs, readers are kindly requested to communicate any errors that may have occurred to the Director of the International Programme on Chemical Safety, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, in order that they may be included in corrigenda. * * * A detailed data profile and a legal file can be obtained from the International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals, Case postale 356, 1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland (Telephone No. 9799111). * * * This publication was made possible by grant number 5 U01 ES02617-15 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, USA, and by financial support from the European Commission. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CRITERIA FOR CHLOROFORM A WHO Task Group on Environmental Health Criteria for Chloroform met in Geneva from 15 to 19 November 1993. Dr B.H Chen, IPCS, welcomed the participants on behalf of the Director, IPCS, and the three IPCS cooperating organizations (UNEP/ILO/WHO). The Task Group reviewed and revised the draft document and made an evaluation of risks for human health and the environment from exposure to chloroform. The first draft was prepared by Dr J. de Fouw of the National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM), Bilthoven, Netherlands. The second draft was also prepared by Dr J.de Fouw incorporating comments received following the circulation of the first draft to the IPCS Contact Points for Environmental Health Criteria monographs. Dr M.E. Meek (Health and Welfare, Canada) made a considerable contribution to the preparation of the final text. Dr B.H. Chen and Dr P.G. Jenkins, both members of the IPCS Central Unit, were responsible for the overall scientific content and technical editing, respectively. The efforts of all who helped in the preparation and finalization of the monograph are gratefully acknowledged. ABBREVIATIONS ALAT alanine aminotransferase ASAT aspartate aminotransferase Brdu bromodeoxyuridine DENA diethylnitrosamine ENU ethylnitrosourea GGTase gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase LI labelling index NOAEL no-observed-adverse-effect level NOEC no-observed-effect concentration NOEL no-observed-effect level NOLC no-observed-lethal concentration PBPK physiologically based pharmacokinetics SCE sister-chromatid exchange SGPT serum glutamine-pyruvate transaminase UDS unscheduled DNA synthesis 1. SUMMARY Chloroform is a clear, colourless, volatile liquid with a characteristic odour and a burning, sweet taste. It is degraded photochemically, is not flammable and is soluble in most organic solvents. However, its solubility in water is limited. Phosgene and hydrochloric acid may be formed by chemical degradation. Chloroform is used in pesticide formulations, as a solvent and chemical intermediate. Its use as an anaesthetic and in proprietary medicines is banned in some countries. The commercial production amounted to 440 000 tonnes in 1987. Significant amounts of chloroform are also produced in the chlorination of water and the bleaching of paper pulp. There are several analytical methods for the analysis of chloroform in air, water and biological materials. The majority of these methods are based on direct column injection, adsorption on activated adsorbent or condensation in a cool trap, then desorption or evaporation by solvent extraction or heating and subsequent gas chromatographic analysis. It is assumed that most chloroform present in water is ultimately transferred to air, due to its volatility. Chloroform has a residence time in the atmosphere of several months and is removed from the atmosphere through chemical transformation. It is resistant to biodegradation by aerobic microbial populations of soils and aquifers subsisting on endogenous substrates or supplemented with acetate. Biodegradation may occur under anaerobic conditions. The bioconcentration in freshwater fish is low. Depuration is rapid. Based on estimates of mean exposure from various media, the general population is exposed to chloroform principally in food, drinking-water and indoor air in approximately equivalent amounts. The estimated intake from outdoor air is considerably less. The total estimated mean intake is approximately 2 µg/kg body weight per day. Available data also indicate that water use in homes contributes considerably to levels of chloroform in indoor air and to total exposure. For some individuals living in dwellings supplied with tap water containing relatively high concentrations of chloroform, estimated total intakes are up to 10 µg/kg body weight per day. Chloroform is well absorbed in animals and humans after oral administration but the absorption kinetics are dependent upon the vehicle of delivery. After inhalation exposure in humans, 60-80% of the inhaled quantity is absorbed. The primary factors affecting the absorption kinetics of chloroform following inhalation are its concentration and species-specific metabolic capacities. It is readily absorbed through the skin of humans and animals and significant dermal absorption of chloroform from water while showering has been demonstrated. Hydration of the skin appears to accelerate absorption of chloroform. Chloroform distributes throughout the whole body. Highest tissue levels are reached in the fat, blood, liver, kidneys, lungs and nervous system. Distribution is dependent on exposure route; extrahepatic tissues receive a higher dose from inhaled or dermally absorbed chloroform than from ingested chloroform. Placental transfer of chloroform has been demonstrated in several animal species and humans. Chloroform is eliminated primarily as exhaled carbon dioxide. Unmetabolized chloroform is retained longer in fat than in any other tissue. The oxidative biotransformation of chloroform is catalysed by cytochrome P-450 to produce trichloromethanol. Loss of HCl from trichloromethanol produces phosgene as a reactive intermediate. Phosgene may be detoxified by reaction with water to produce carbon dioxide or with thiols including glutathione or cysteine to produce adducts. The reaction of phosgene with tissue proteins is associated with cell damage and death. Little binding of chloroform metabolites to DNA is observed. Chloroform also undergoes P-450-catalysed reductive biotransformation to produce the dichloromethyl radical, which becomes covalently bound to tissue lipids. A role for reductive biotransformation in the cytotoxicity of chloroform has not been established. In animals and humans exposed to chloroform, carbon dioxide and unchanged chloroform are eliminated in the expired air. The fraction of the dose eliminated as carbon dioxide varies with the dose and the species. The rate of biotransformation to carbon dioxide is higher in rodent (hamster, mouse, rat) hepatic and renal microsomes than in human hepatic and renal microsomes. Also, chloroform is biotransformed more rapidly in mouse than in rat renal microsomes. The liver is the target organ for acute toxicity in rats and several strains of mice. Liver damage is characterized mainly by early fatty infiltration and balloon cells, progressing to centrilobular necrosis and then massive necrosis. The kidney is the target organ in male mice of other more sensitive strains. The kidney damage starts with hydropic degeneration and progresses to necrosis of the proximal tubules. Significant renal toxicity has not been observed in female mice of any strain. Acute toxicity varies depending upon the strain, sex and vehicle. In mice the oral LD50 values range from 36 to 1366 mg chloroform/kg body weight, whereas for rats, they range from 450 to 2000 mg chloroform/kg body weight. After a single inhalation exposure of 4 h, liver toxicity was observed in mice and rats at chloroform levels of 490 and 1410 mg/m3, respectively. The most universally observed toxic effect of chloroform is damage to the liver. The severity of these effects per unit dose administered depends on the species, vehicle and the method by which the chloroform is administered. The lowest dose at which liver damage has been observed is 15 mg/kg body weight per day administered to beagle dogs in a toothpaste base over a period of 7.5 years. Effects at lower doses were not examined. Somewhat higher doses are required to produce hepatotoxic effects in other species. Although duration of exposure varied in these studies, the no-observed-adverse-effect levels ranged between 15 and 125 mg/kg body weight per day. Effects in the kidney have been observed in male mice of sensitive strains and in the F-344 rat. Severe effects have been observed in a particularly sensitive strain of male mice at doses as low as 36 mg/kg body weight per day. Daily 6 h inhalation of chloroform for 7 consecutive days induced atrophy of Bowman's glands and new bone growth in the nasal turbinates of F-344 rats. The no-observed-effect level (NOEL) for these effects was 14.7 mg/m3 (3 ppm). The significance of these effects is being further investigated in longer-term studies. Chloroform induced hepatic tumours in mice when administered by gavage in corn oil at doses in the range of 138 to 477 mg/kg body weight per day. However, when similar doses were administered in drinking-water, there was no effect of chloroform on the yield of hepatic tumours in mice. Moreover, when chloroform was administered in drinking-water as a promoter in initiation/promotion studies, it actually appeared to inhibit the development of diethylnitrosamine- initiated liver tumours in mice. Thus, the vehicle utilized and/or the method in which chloroform is administered is an important variable in its induction of hepatic tumours in mice. Chloroform induced kidney tumours in rats at doses of 90 to 200 mg/kg body weight per day in corn oil by gavage. However, in this species, results were similar when the chemical was administered in the drinking-water, indicating that the response is not entirely dependent on the vehicle used. The carcinogenic effects of chloroform on the liver and kidney of rodents appear to be closely related to cytotoxic and cell replicative effects observed in the target organs. The effects on cell replication were found to parallel the modifications of carcinogenic responses to chloroform that were induced by vehicle and mode of administration. The weight of the available evidence indicates that chloroform has little, if any, capability to induce gene mutation or other types of direct damage to DNA. Moreover, chloroform does not appear capable of initiating hepatic tumours in mice or of inducing unscheduled DNA synthesis in vivo. On the other hand, hepatic tumours can be efficiently promoted by chloroform when it is administered in an oil vehicle. Consequently, it is likely that, in the case of prolonged administration of chloroform, cytotoxicity followed by cell proliferation is the most important cause for the development of liver and kidney tumours in rodents. There are some limited data to suggest that chloroform is toxic to the fetus, but only at doses that are maternally toxic. In general, chloroform elicits the same symptoms of toxicity in humans as in animals. In humans, anaesthesia may result in death due to respiratory and cardiac arrhythmias and failure. Renal tubular necrosis and renal dysfunction have also been observed in humans. The lowest levels at which liver toxicity due to occupational exposure to chloroform has been reported are in the range of 80 to 160 mg/m3 (with an exposure period of less than 4 months) in one study and in the range of 10 to 1000 mg/m3 (with exposure periods of 1 to 4 years) in another study. The mean lethal oral dose for an adult is estimated to be about 45 g, but large interindividual differences in susceptibility occur. There is some weight of evidence for an association between exposure to disinfection by-products in drinking-water and colorectal and bladder cancer in some epidemiological studies. However, these studies are compromised by inadequate account of potential confounding factors and other weaknesses. The evidence for the carcinogenicity of chlorinated drinking-water in humans is inadequate. In addition, the disinfection by-products cannot be attributed to chloroform per se. Chloroform is toxic to the embryo-larval stages of some amphibian and fish species. The lowest reported LC50 is 0.3 mg/litre for the embryo-larval stages of Hyla crucifer. Chloroform is less toxic to fish and Daphnia magna. The LC50 values for several species of fish are in the range of 18 to 191 mg/litre. There is little difference in sensitivity between freshwater and marine fish. The lowest reported LC50 for Daphnia magna is 29 mg/litre. Chloroform is of low toxicity to algae and other microorganisms. The Task Group concluded that the available data are sufficient to develop a tolerable daily intake (TDI) for non-neoplastic effects and risk-specific intakes for carcinogenic effects of chloroform on the basis of studies in animal species; the value will serve as guidance in the development of exposure limits by appropriate authorities. However, it is cautioned that where local circumstances require that a choice must be made between meeting microbiological limits or limits for disinfection by-products such as chloroform, the microbiological quality must always take precedence. Efficient disinfection must never be compromised. Based on the study by Heywood et al. (1979) in which slight hepatotoxicity (increases in hepatic serum enzymes and fatty cysts) was observed in beagle dogs ingesting 15 mg/kg body weight per day in toothpaste for 7.5 years, and incorporating an uncertainty factor of 1000 (x10 for interspecies variation, x10 for intraspecies variation and x10 for use of an effect level rather than a no-effect level and a subchronic study), a TDI of 15 µg/kg body weight per day is obtained. Based on the available mechanistic data, the approach considered most appropriate for provision of guidance based on mouse liver tumours is division of a no-effect level for cell proliferation by an uncertainty factor. Based on the NOEL for cytolethality and cell proliferation in B6C3F1 mice of 10 mg/kg body weight per day, following administration in corn oil for 3 weeks in the study of Larson et al. (1994a) and incorporating an uncertainty factor of 1000 (x10 for interspecies variation, x10 for intraspecies variation and x10 for severity of effect, i.e. carcinogenicity, and less-than-chronic study), a TDI of 10 µg/kg body weight per day is obtained. It is recognized that the kidney tumours in rats may similarly be associated with cell lethality and proliferation. However, since data on cell proliferation are not available in the strain where tumours were observed and identified information on cell proliferation and lethality are short-term (one single gavage and 7-day inhalation exposure), it is considered premature to deviate from the default model (i.e. linearized multistage) as a basis for estimation of lifetime cancer risk. The total daily intake considered to be associated with a 10-5 excess lifetime risk, based on the induction of renal tumours (adenomas and adenocarcinomas) in male rats in the study by Jorgenson et al. (1985), is 8.2 µg/kg body weight per day. Levels of chloroform in surface waters are generally low and would not be expected to present a hazard to aquatic organisms. However, higher levels of chloroform in surface water resulting from industrial discharges or spills may be hazardous to the embryo-larval stages of some aquatic species. 2. IDENTITY, PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES, AND ANALYTICAL METHODS 2.1 Identity Chemical formula: CHCl3 Chemical structure: H ' Cl - C - Cl ' Cl Common name: chloroform Common synonyms: trichloromethane, methane trichloride, trichloroform, methyl trichloride, methenyl trichloride CAS chemical name: chloroform CAS registry number: 67-66-3 RTECS registry number: FS 9100000 2.2 Physical and chemical properties The most important physical properties of chloroform (IARC, 1979; Windholz, 1983) are given in Table 1. Chloroform is a clear, colourless, very volatile liquid with a characteristic odour and a burning sweet taste. It is not flammable; however, the substance may be oxidized by strong oxidizing agents with the formation of phosgene and chlorine gas. Pure chloroform is light-sensitive. Reagent grade chloroform therefore usually contains 0.75% ethanol as a stabilizer to avoid photochemical transformation to phosgene and hydrogen chloride (IARC, 1979; Budavari, 1989). In the absence of light this reaction may be catalysed by iron. By the application of stabilizers, such as methanol or ethanol, the auto-oxidation may be prevented since the phosgene is fixed as carbon dioxide dimethyl (or ethyl) ester. Chloroform stabilized with 0.006% amylenes is now available. This is important for toxicology studies to avoid contamination with by-products that might be formed by reaction with ethanol. The substance is soluble in most organic solvents, such as alcohol, benzene, ether, petroleum ether, carbon tetrachloride, oils and carbon disulfide. Its solubility in water is limited. Table 1. Physical properties of chloroform Colour colourless Relative molecular mass 119.38 Boiling point at 101.3 kPa 61.3 °C Melting point -63.2 °C Relative density (20 °C) 1.484 Refraction index (Nd 20) 1.4467 Heat capacity (20 °C) 0.979 kJ/kg °C Critical temperature 263.4 °C Critical pressure 5.45 MPa Critical density 500 kg/m3 Auto-ignition temperature > 1000 °C Solubility of chloroform in water (25 °C) 7.5-9.3 g/litre Heat of combustion 373 kJ/mol Evaporation heat at standard boiling point 247 kJ/kg Vapour density (101.3 kPa, 0 °C) 4.36 kg/m3 Vapour pressure (0 °C) 8.13 kPa Vapour pressure (20 °C) 21.28 kPa Stability air- and light- sensitive, breaks down to phosgene, HCl and chlorine log Kow (octanol/water partition coefficient) 1.97 Chloroform produces a hydrate, CHCl3.17H2O, which decomposes at 1.6 °C and 8 kPa. In contact with water, at normal temperatures in the absence of oxygen, chloroform remains stable. It is stable at temperatures up to 290 °C. Heating it in the presence of a diluted caustic solution leads to the formation of formic acid. The pyrolysis of chloroform vapour at temperatures above 450 °C produces tetrachloroethane, hydrochloric acid and various chlorinated hydrocarbons. In the presence of potassium amalgam or hot copper, acetylene is formed. The reaction with primary amines in an alkaline environment is known as the isonitrile reaction; aromatic hydroxyaldehydes are formed in the presence of phenolates (Reimer-Tiemann reaction). In the Friedel-Crafts reaction, chloroform and benzene produce triphenyl methane. Chlorination of the compound produces tetrachloromethane; bromination of chloroform vapour at 225-275 °C produces CCl2Br2 and CClBr3. Chloroform reacts with aluminium bromide to form bromoform (CHBr3). Fluoroform (CHF3) is produced in the reaction with hydrogen fluoride in the presence of a metallic fluoride as a catalyst. Iodoform (CHI3) is produced by allowing chloroform to react with ethyl iodide in the presence of aluminium chloride. Unstabilized chloroform reacts with aluminium, zinc and iron. Chloroform mixed with methanolic sodium hydroxide or acetone, in the presence of a base, gives a violent reaction. 2.3 Conversion factors 1 mg chloroform/m3 air = 0.204 ppm at 25 °C and 101.3 kPa (760 mmHg) 1 ppm = 4.9 mg chloroform/m3 air 2.4 Analytical methods Many analytical methods for the determination of chloroform residues in air, water and biological samples have been reported. Table 2 summarizes some of the procedures used in the literature for sampling and determining chloroform in different media. The detection limits are included in Table 2. Although all of these methods were developed to detect chloroform at very low levels, some of them can be used only in cases where chloroform is present at relatively high levels. Since chloroform is very volatile, care must be taken while sampling and handling samples to prevent any chloroform from being lost during such procedures. In this case, accuracy depends very much on the repeatability of the method being used. All but one of the methods given in Table 2 use gas chromatographic techniques with electron capture detection (ECD), flame ionisation detection (FID), photo-ionisation detection (PID) or mass spectrometry (MS) for Table 2. Sampling and analysis of chloroform Medium Sample method Analytical method Detection limit Sample size Comments Reference Air aspiration velocity of MIRAN-infrared 300 µg/m3 can be used only when Lioy & Lioy 28 litres/min, trajectory spectrometer CHCl3 is presented at (1983) of 20 m high levels Air direct injection GC with a 0.5 µg/m3 5 ml injected method involves the use of Lasa et al. coulometric ECD a continuously operating (1979) automatic GC monitor Air direct injection, GC with two > 0.4 µg/m3 8 ml injected efficiency followed from Lillian & calibration gas used for ECDs installed (estimated) signal ratios of the Singh (1974) reliability serially two ECDs Air AIRSCAN/PHOTOVAC GC-PID 0.5 µg/m3 0.05-1 ml portable machine, suitable Leveson et direct injection for field monitoring al. (1981) Air adsorption on activated GC-ECD approximately 1 m3/24 h in 1984 the draft standard NNI (1984) charcoal, desorption 0.1 µg/m3 NVN 2794 needed to be with CS2 tested for usefulness Air adsorption on Porapak-N, GC-ECD 1 µg/m3 20 litres advantage of methanol is the Van Tassel et desorption with 1-2 ml absence of a background al. (1981) methanol signal in the ECD Air adsorption on Porapak-N, GC-ECD estimated to 0.3-3 litres confirmation of results by Russell & thermal desorption at be 0.05 µg/m3 use of GC-MS Shadoff (1977) 200 °C Air adsorption on GC-ECD-FID two approximately 1-3 litres Heil et al. Chromosorb-102, thermal detectors 0.06 µg/m3 (1979) desorption at 150 °C positioned in parallel Table 2 (contd) Medium Sample method Analytical method Detection limit Sample size Comments Reference Air adsorption on Tenax, GC-FID 0.08 µg/m3 2 ml injected Kebbekus & sample rate 10-15 ml/min, GC-MS Bozzelli (1982) thermal desorption and cryofocusing Air adsorption on Tenax-GC, GC-MS 0.2 µg/m3 20 litres Krost et al. cooled with liquid (1982) nitrogen, thermal desorption at 270 °C Air adsorption on activated GC-FID with 0.15 mg up to 30 these two types of detection Morele et coal, desorption with TCEP, detector litres can be appeared to complement al. (1989) CS2, using Chromosorbsen sitivity sampled each other methylcyclohexane as IS column adsorption on activated GC-ECD with 5% 2 µg is coal, desorption with CV17, Chromosorb minimum ethanol, using column quantifiable trichloroethylene as IS value Air collection on charcoal, GC-FID 0.01 mg per up to 15 suitable for simultaneous US NIOSH desorption with CS2 using sample litres can be analysis of two or more (1984) n-undecane as IS estimated sampled substances Air cold trap, heating the GC-ECD 0.01 µg/m3 30 ml in air samples were taken Harsch & cold trap cold trap in the stratosphere Cronn (1978) Air injection into cold trap, GC-MS (SIM) 0.03 µg/m3 100 ml in Cronn & heating the cold trap cold trap Harsch (1979) Table 2 (contd) Medium Sample method Analytical method Detection limit Sample size Comments Reference Air cold trap after desication GC-PID-ECD-FID, 0.005 µg/m3 1 litre during the process the Rudolph & with magnesium 3 detectors column is kept at -103 °C Jebsen (1983) perchlorate, heating the placed (cryofocusing) cold trap to 257 °C sequentially Breath collection on Tenax GC GC-MS 0.11 µg/m3 suitable for quantitative Pellizzari cartridge, thermal analysis, one sample in et al. desorption 1.5 h (1985b) Water headspace, CH2Br2 was headspace GC-ECD 0.02 µg/litre 500 µl suitable for routine Herzfeld et used as IS injected analysis over a wide range al. (1989) of differently composed river waters Water pentane extraction GC-ECD using 1 µg/litre 100 ml suitable for routine Oliver (1983) 2 mm x 4 mm i.d. extracted with measurements in column backed with 10 ml pentane, drinking-water Squalane on 24 litres of Chromosorb P extract used for injection Water liquid-liquid extraction GC with a Hall 0.10 µg/litre 3 µl injected suitable for routine Mehran et al. with pentane electrolyte analyses (1984) conductivity detector, Tenax-GC column Water direct aqueous injection GC-ECD with a 0.02 µg/litre 2 µl injected suitable for analyses of Grob (1984) of sample into GC fused silica halocarbons in the 0.01-10 capillary column ppb range Table 2 (contd) Medium Sample method Analytical method Detection limit Sample size Comments Reference Water direct aqueous injection GC-ECD with a 0.1 µl/litre 1 µl injected easy, fast and reliable Temmerman & of sample into GC methyl-silicone technique for everyday Quaghebeur fused silica quality control (1990) capillary column Aqueous diethyl ether extraction GC-MS with a < 1 µg/litre 200 ml suitable for water and Meier et al. with 25 µg fused silica and recovery extracted, homogenized environmental (1985) p-bromofluorobenzene capillary column efficiency of extract samples as IS 0.85 concentrated to 1 ml, 2 µl injected Blood headspace, magnesium headspace 0.0225 µg/litre 200 µl suitable for direct Aggazzotti sulfate heptahydrate and GC-ECD, with (2.5 times injected measurements of CHCl3 et al. n-octyl alcohol were Chromosorb standard (1987) added to the plasma W AW column deviation) Blood passing inert gas over GC-MS 3 µg/litre 1-10 ml suitable for quantitative Pellizzari warmed blood sample, analysis of CHCl3 in et al. collection on Tenax-GC, blood (1985a) thermal desorption Blood diethyl ether extraction GC-MS with a qualitative (no 1-5 ml, suitable for identification Mink et al. plasma (1:1) with 3 different fused silica detection limit extract of CHCl3 in biological (1983) and internal standards added capillary column was given) concentrated samples stomach to the concentrated to 1 ml of contents extract of which 2µl is injected Table 2 (contd) Medium Sample method Analytical method Detection limit Sample size Comments Reference Tissue maceration in water, GC-MS 6 µg/kg 5 g suitable for semi- Pellizzari collection on Tenax-GC, quantitative analysis of et al. thermal desorption chloroform in tissues (1985a) Urine pentane extraction GC-ECD < 1 µg/litre 2 µl of convenient and sensitive Youssefi extract means for determining et al. injected light halogenated (1978) hydrocarbons Fish extraction with pentane GC-ECD with a 1 µg/kg in 2 µl extraction efficiency of Baumann and isopropanol, fused silica fresh injected 67% Ofstad et bromotrichloromethane capillary column material al. (1981) used as IS Abbreviations: ECD = electron capture detector; FID = flame ionisation detector; GC = gas chromatography; IS = internal standard; MS = mass spectrometry; PID = photo-ionisation detector; SIM = selected ion monitoring measuring chloroform residues. Only the first method listed depends on the use of a MIRAN-infrared spectrometer. The sensitivity of this method is very poor. 2.4.1 Sampling and analysis in air The methods reported in Table 2 for sampling and analysis of chloroform levels in air can be grouped into four different categories. 188.8.131.52 Direct measurement In this type of procedure, air is aspirated or injected directly into the measuring instrument without pretreatment. Although these methods are simple, they can be used only when chloroform is present in the air at relatively high levels (e.g., urban source areas, see section 5.1.1). 184.108.40.206 Adsorption-liquid desorption Air samples analysed for their chloroform levels are conducted through an activated adsorbing agent (e.g., charcoal or Porapak-N). The adsorbed chloroform is then desorbed with an appropriate solvent (e.g., carbon disulfide or methanol) and subsequently passed through the gas chromatograph (GC) for measurement. 220.127.116.11 Adsorption-thermal desorption In this technique, air samples are also passed through an activated absorbing agent (e.g., Tenax-GC, Porapak-Q, Porapak-N or carbon molecular sieve). The adsorbed chloroform is then thermally desorbed and driven into the GC column for determination. 18.104.22.168 Cold trap-heating In this type of procedure, air samples are injected into a cold trap (liquid nitrogen or liquid oxygen are used for cooling). The trap is then heated while transferring its chloroform content into the packed column of a GC for measurement. 2.4.2 Sampling and analysis in water Several methods of sampling and analysing water for chloroform content are included in Table 2. In some of these methods, water samples are directly injected into a wide bore or fused silica capillary column to which an ECD is attached. In some other water analysis procedures mentioned in Table 2, the chloroform in the water samples is first extracted by means of a non-polar, non-halogenated solvent (e.g., n-pentane). Samples of the obtained extracts are then injected into the GC for determining chloroform. In another procedure, referred to as "close-loop-stripping analysis" (CLSA), chloroform is removed from the water sample by purging it with a large volume of a gas (e.g., nitrogen); the gas is then passed through an adsorption tube and subsequently analysed by GC-MS. Using this latter method, a million-fold concentration can be achieved, so that chloroform can be quantified even at very low levels. A headspace GC technique with ECD has also been used for measuring chloroform levels in water samples (see Table 2). 2.4.3 Sampling and analysis in biological samples 22.214.171.124 Blood and tissues Several procedures for determining chloroform in blood and tissue samples are presented in Table 2. A headspace GC technique has been used for direct measurement of chloroform in plasma obtained from subjects exposed to low levels in air (Aggazzotti et al., 1987). The second procedure (Kroneld, 1985) depends on liquid-liquid extraction of chloroform from blood samples and subsequent injection of the extract into a GC system for quantification. In the method of Pellizzari et al. (1985a), chloroform is evaporated by passing an inert gas over a warmed plasma or macerated tissue sample with adsorption of the vapour on a Tenax GC column, and is then recovered by thermal desorption and analysed by GC-MS. 126.96.36.199 Urine Youssefi et al. (1978) measured chloroform concentration in urine using pentane extraction and GC-ECD analysis. 188.8.131.52 Fish The procedure of Baumann Ofstad et al. (1981) for determining chloroform in fish samples is based on extraction by n-pentane and subsequent analysis of the extracts by GC/ECD. It has been reported that the sensitivity of this method is greatly affected by the fat content of the fish samples. 2.4.4 Sampling and analysis in soil gas Kerfoot (1987) determined the level of chloroform in soil gas samples in order to use the results as an indication of ground water contamination by this pollutant. In the procedure used, a 75-ml soil gas sample was drawn from a depth of 1.3 m by means of a sampling probe. The chloroform content of the subsample was directly measured in the field using an on-site GC-ECD. The detection limit for chloroform in soil gas by this method was reported to be 5 parts per billion by volume. 3. SOURCES OF HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE 3.1 Natural occurrence Information on the natural occurrence of chloroform has not been identified. 3.2 Anthropogenic sources 3.2.1 Production 184.108.40.206 Direct production levels and processes Chloroform was prepared, almost simultaneously in 1831, by the action of alkali on chloral (Liebig) and by treating bleaching powder with ethanol or acetone (Soubeirain) (Hardie, 1964). It is currently manufactured in the USA by hydrochlorination of methanol or by chlorination of methane. All chloroform production in Japan and western Europe is by chlorination of methane (IARC, 1979). It can also be manufactured by oxychlorination of methane (ECDIN, 1992). In the years 1984-1987, the worldwide production of chloroform increased from 360 to 440 kilotonnes (see Table 3). 220.127.116.11 Indirect production An important contribution to the total emission of chloroform is made through its formation from other substances. In particular the reaction of chlorine with organic compounds may produce substantial quantities of chloroform. With respect to the formation of chloroform in the aquatic medium, it may be assumed that the quantities produced are ultimately emitted totally to the atmosphere. The following sources are known to contribute to the formation and emission of chloroform: * Paper bleaching with chlorine (US EPA, 1984; Rosenberg et al., 1991). * Chlorination of drinking-water (US EPA, 1984). * Chlorination of swimming pool water (Bätjer et al., 1980). A study on emissions in indoor public swimming pools in Bremen (Germany) revealed that an average of 10 g chloroform may be produced daily. * Chlorination of cooling water. The quantity of chloroform formed depends on a vast range of factors, such as acidity and the concentration of organic materials. Table 3. Chloroform production and production capacity expressed in kilotonnes over a period of 15 years (1973-1988) Country Year Production Capacity USA 1975 118 - 1980 160 - 1984 179 - 1985 - 200 1986 191 - 1987 204 - 1988 - 218 Japan 1984 46 - 1985 - 55 1987 55 - 1988 - 60 Italy 1973 13 - 1988 - 55 France 1973 14 - 1987 45 - 1988 - 55 Federal Republic of Germany 1973 22 - Netherlands 1973 8 - Belgium 1973 15 - European Economic Community 1979 80 - 1980 95 - 1982 - 155 1984 130 - 1985 - 160 1987 150 - 1988 - 200 World 1984 360 - 1987 440 - 1988 - 500 From: ECDIN (1992) * Chlorination of waste water. * Exhaust emissions from traffic. The exhaust fumes of vehicles have been demonstrated to contain chloroform; this originates from the decomposition of 1,2-dichloroethane, which is added to petrol as a lead scavenger (US EPA, 1984). Rem et al. (1982) estimated the amount of chloroform to be 1% of the amount of 1,2-dichloroethane added. * Decomposition of trichloroethene in the atmosphere. At high concentrations (1 ppm) in the presence of light and NO2, 1% was estimated to be converted (Appleby et al., 1976). US EPA (1984) estimates this emission to be 780 tonnes/year in the USA. * Decomposition of 1,1,1-trichloroethane has also been suggested as a source (van der Heijden et al., 1986). Appleby et al. (1976) found that, at relatively high concentrations (1 ppm), trichloroethene may yield about 1% chloroform under the influence of light and NOx. The estimated production of chloroform from trichloroethene is, at most, about 3 x 106 kg/year; in reality the value is likely to be lower. A possible source of chloroform (van der Heijden et al., 1986) is its production from 1,1,1-trichloroethane via the photolysis of the formed chloral. The increase of chloroform levels in the southern hemisphere since 1974 (from 3 to 11 ppt), is in accordance with the increase in the levels of 1,1,1-trichloroethane during the same period (from 25 to 116 ppt). 18.104.22.168 Emissions from direct production and use Almost all of the emissions arise from production, storage, transit and use. Estimations of emission factors for the production of chloroform range from 0.51 kg chloroform/tonne chloroform (controlled) to 3.35 kg chloroform/tonne chloroform (uncontrolled) (US EPA, 1984). The Federal Office of the Environment (1981) published a higher emission factor of 18 kg chloroform/tonne chloroform. With respect to emissions of chloroform in the production of chlorodifluoromethane, emission factors ranging from 0.077-0.33 kg chloroform/tonne chlorodifluoromethane (controlled) to 0.59-2.5 kg chloroform/tonne chlorodifluoromethane (uncontrolled) have been reported (US EPA, 1984). The Federal Office of the Environment (1981) reported an emission factor of 8 kg chloroform/tonne chlorodifluoromethane. 22.214.171.124 Emissions from indirect production Significant losses of chloroform can also be expected from indirect production of chloroform during the chlorination of water and paper pulp. Data on the magnitude of such emissions have not been identified. 3.2.2 Uses In the period 1980-1987, the use of chloroform increased in the USA from 170 to 200 kilotonnes and in the EEC from 90 to 110 kilotonnes. The use in Japan was 70 kilotonnes in 1987 (ECDIN, 1992). Chloroform is used in pesticide formulations, in the production of other chemicals, and as a solvent. More than 80% of the produced chloroform is used for the production of chlorodifluoromethane (ECDIN, 1992). This use is likely to decrease in the future due to planned phase-out under the Copenhagen Amendment to the Montreal Protocol (1992). Chloroform was formally used as an anaesthetic (IARC, 1979). In many countries the use of chloroform is banned as an ingredient (active or inactive) in human drug and cosmetic products (US FDA, 1976). However any drug product containing chloroform in residual amounts, resulting from its use as a processing solvent in manufacture or as a by-product from the synthesis of an ingredient, is not considered to contain chloroform as an ingredient (US FDA, 1976). Chloroform is registered for use in the USA as an insecticidal fumigant for stored barley, corn, oats, popcorn, rice, rye, sorghum and wheat (US EPA, 1971). 4. ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSPORT, DISTRIBUTION AND TRANSFORMATION 4.1 Transport and distribution between media 4.1.1 Transport Owing to its relatively high volatility, chloroform is preferentially transferred from surface water to air. The experimental half-life of chloroform in water (1 ppm solution with a depth of 6.5 cm at 25 °C) was found to be 18.5 to 25.7 min in a volatilization study by Dilling (1977). In the case of ground waters, however, exchange with the atmosphere may not take place as readily (Uchrin & Mangels, 1986). 4.1.2 Distribution Adsorption - desorption Uchrin & Mangels (1986) described the sorptive behaviour of chloroform to solids from the Cohansey (90% sand, 8% silt, 2% clay, 4.4% organic matter) and Potomac-Raritan-Magothy (70.4% sand, 24% silt, 5.6% clay, 2.2% organic matter) aquifer systems, located in the southern New Jersey coastal plain. The fact that chloroform showed a greater tendency to adsorb to the Cohansey material than to the Potomac-RM material might be explained by the difference in organic matter content. The organic carbon normalized partition coefficient Koc was calculated by Uchrin & Mangels (1986) in two ways and appeared to be 57.5 or 70.8. These values are in agreement with the Koc values of 86.7 and 63.4 obtained for Cohansey and Potomac-RM aquifer solids, respectively. Results from the consecutive desorption experiments suggest that the sorption processes in the systems used are not completely reversible. 4.1.3 Removal from the atmosphere Since no data on the removal rate of chloroform through deposition are available, the values are based on estimates and calculations. These values, however, differ widely. The estimated half-lives range from 92 to 900 years for wet deposition and from 20 days to 22 years for dry deposition. The calculated half-lives for chloroform degradation are reported to be approximately 100 to 180 days. Reaction with hydroxyl radicals is likely to be the only mechanism for the decomposition of chloroform in the atmosphere (van der Heijden et al., 1986). Cox et al. (1976) determined the relative rate constant for chloroform in comparison with methane in smog chamber studies to be K = 270 ppm-1 min-1. However, it is known that the decomposition of chlorinated hydrocarbons may lead to intermediary products that can accelerate the decomposition process. Dimitriades et al. (1983) noted that, in a smog chamber, tetrachloroethene is degraded more rapidly than might be expected on the basis of the reaction rate constant. Another drawback of the method of Cox et al. (1976) is the false assumption that the decomposition of hydrocarbons always leads to a transformation of two NO molecules for each carbohydrate molecule transformed. The absolute rate constants determined by Howard Carleton & Evenson (1976) and by Davis et al. (1976) are in agreement with each other, and are K(OH) = 170 ± 20 ppm-1 min-1 and K(OH) = 160 ± 10 ppm-1 min-1, respectively. Based on these rate constants of 170 and 160 ppm-1 min-1, a half-life of approximately 60 days can be calculated for the decomposition of chloroform in the atmosphere, assuming a 12-h daytime average hydroxyl radical concentration of 2 x 10-15 mol/litre (Lyman et al., 1982). When chloroform is irradiated in the presence of chlorine, a rapid reaction takes place, resulting in the formation of radicals. At later stages the trichloromethyl radical may also be formed from the reaction of CHCl3 with the hydroxyl radical. The trichloromethyl radical subsequently reacts with oxygen to form the trichloromethyl peroxyl radical, which ultimately leads to the formation of phosgene (Spence et al., 1976). This is a possible mechanism for the formation of phosgene in ambient air from chlorination. 4.2 Biotic degradation Strand & Shippert (1986) reported that chloroform is resistant to biodegradation by aerobic microbial communities of soils and aquifers subsisting on endogenous substrates or supplemented with acetate (Wilson et al., 1981; Bouwer & McCarty 1983). Strand & Shippert (1986) used Indianola sandy loam to study the oxidation of chloroform to carbon dioxide in natural gas-enriched soils. It appeared that some chloroform was oxidized by soils that were exposed to cylinder air only, but that the rate in natural gas-enriched soils was four times higher. Chloroform oxidation rates increased with increasing chloroform concentrations up to 5 µg/g soil (see Table 4). Chloroform oxidation continued up to 31 days but was inhibited by acetylene and higher concentrations of methane, indicating that methane-oxidizing bacteria may catalyse chloroform oxidation. Bouwer et al. (1981) found significant degradation of chloroform in seeded cultures, relative to controls, at initial concentrations of 16 and 34 µg/litre. At a high initial chloroform concentration of 157 µg/litre, degradation was less evident, although there was a gradual reduction in chloroform concentration relative to the sterile controls. The anaerobic degradation appeared to be the result of biological action, although a combination of chemical and biological mechanisms is also possible. Table 4. Effect of chloroform concentration on chloroform oxidation Applied chloroform concentration Chloroform oxidized (µg/g soil) (ng/5 g soil)a 0.02 2.8 ± 1.3 0.11 8.9 ± 7.7 0.55 3.2 ± 7.7 1.09 11.1 ± 3.6 5.47 20.7 ± 9.6 a Measured during an 8-day incubation in 5 g of aerobic soil acclimated to natural gas Chloroform can be degraded by reductive dehalogenation under anaerobic conditions. It can be reduced by pure cultures of the methanogen Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum or the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfobacterium autotrophicum (Egli et al., 1987). In anaerobic sediments, chloroform is probably degraded to carbon dioxide via a carbene mechanism (Bouwer & McCarty, 1983). Van Beelen & Van Keulen (1990) studied the degradation of radiolabelled chloroform under natural conditions in microcosm experiments. In these experiments, the degradation was monitored by the appearance of radiolabelled carbon dioxide rather than by the disappearance of chloroform. This has the advantage that sorption, which can also lead to disappearance of chloroform, does not interfere with the measurements. At a concentration of 4 µg chloroform/litre, the degradation followed first-order kinetics, with half-lives of 12 days at 10 °C and 2.6 days at 20 °C. At a concentration of 400 µg chloroform/litre, the degradation rate increased with time. After 63 days, the final percentages of label in carbon dioxide and chloroform happened to be similar to the values of the 4-µg/litre experiment. At the other time intervals the percentages of formed carbon dioxide were lower at the higher chloroform concentration. Evidently the degradation rate of chloroform at 400 µg/litre increases with time due to adaptation of the bacteria in the sediment. 4.3 Bioaccumulation Anderson & Lusty (1980) determined bioaccumulation in four species of fish (Salmo gairdneri, Lepomis macrochirus, Micropterus salmoides and Ictalurus punctatus). The bioaccumulation factor (on a fresh weight basis) appeared to be maximal in Salmo gairdneri (approximately 10). Depuration was complete in this species within 48 h. A similar value of 6 (whole body; fresh weight) in Lepomis macrochirus was reported by Veith et al. (1978). 5. ENVIRONMENTAL LEVELS AND HUMAN EXPOSURE 5.1 Environmental levels 5.1.1 Ambient air An overview of the concentrations of chloroform measured in areas far from anthropogenic sources is presented in Table 5. Table 5. Reported concentrations of chloroform in remote areas (From: van der Heijden et al., 1986). Northern hemisphere Southern hemisphere Locality Year Level Locality Year Level (µgm3) (µgm3) Cork, Ireland 1974 0.133 Cape Town 1974 < 0.015 Pacific Ocean 1976 0.044 South Africa 1977 < 0.015 (N.W.) California 1976 0.085 Pacific Ocean 1981 0.105 30-40°S, 138-146°E California 1977 0.100 South Pole 1981 0.08 Kansas 1978 0.08 Australia 1981 0.110 Marshall Islands 1981 0.130 Samoa 1981 0.110 Cape Meares, Oregon 1981 0.225 Eastern Pacific 1981 0.055 0-40°S Pt Barrow, Alaska 1981 0.195 Hawaii 1981 0.160 Eastern Pacific 1981 0.105 0-40°N Chloroform levels in urban centres may be elevated in comparison with concentrations in remote areas. As in the case of other countries, levels in ambient air in remote areas of the USA range from 0.1 to 0.25 µg/m3. In urban and source-dominated areas, concentrations are 0.3-9.9 µg/m3 and 4.1-110 µg/m3, respectively (ATSDR, 1991). The population-weighted mean concentration of chloroform at 17 urban sites sampled across Canada in 1989 was 0.2 µg/m3 (Environment Canada, 1991). Su & Goldberg (1976) reported chloroform levels of 1-15 µg/m3 in Japanese and European cities. Hourly average concentrations of chloroform in the Netherlands, determined during 1979-1981, were generally 0.15 µg/m3 or less (estimated detection limit), the maximum value being 10 µg/m3 (Den Hartog, 1980, 1981). Average concentrations of chloroform during 1990 in four German cities (Berlin, Tübingen, Freudenstadt and Leipzig) ranged from 0.26 to 0.9 µg/m3; the maximum value was 30 µg/m3 detected in Tübingen (Toxicology and Environmental Health Institute of Munich Technical University, 1992). 5.1.2 Indoor air In a study conducted by the US EPA, volatile organic compounds including chloroform were determined in breath, breathing zone air, fixed outdoor air, drinking-water and some foodstuffs of populations in the USA (Wallace, 1987). The observed increase in the median concentration of indoor versus outdoor air (approximately 85%) was considered to be consistent with assumptions concerning daily water use and likely release of chloroform from water into air (Wallace, 1987). Based on a survey conducted in 1981 in the Federal Republic of Germany, Bauer (1981) reported that levels of chloroform may be higher in kitchens where foodstuffs and water are heated. Taketomo & Grimsrud (1977) reported average indoor air concentrations of chloroform to be 0.3 µg/m3 in a family house and 1.0-3.4 µg/m3 in an apartment in Montana, USA, compared to 0.2 µg/m3 in outdoor air. In a nationwide survey of 757 randomly selected one-family houses in Canada sampled over a 10-month period in 1991, the mean level of chloroform in indoor air was 4.1 µg/m3; the maximum value was 69 µg/m3 (Otson et al., 1992). Ullrich (1982) reported comparable concentrations in indoor air (1-3 µg/m3) in Germany, although data on outdoor air levels in the vicinity were not presented. Taketomo & Grimsrud (1977) reported indoor air chloroform concentrations of between 2 and 10 µg/m3 in buildings other than residences, e.g., restaurants and shops. Higher levels of chloroform occur in the air of enclosed swimming pools, resulting from water chlorination with sodium hypochlorite and subsequent release to air. Over a period of eleven months, the levels of chloroform directly above the water surface in indoor public swimming pools in Bremen, Germany, ranged from 10 to 380 µg/m3, with an average of about 100 µg/m3 (Bätjer et al., 1980; Lahl et al., 1981a). Ullrich (1982) reported a similar mean value in four public swimming pools in Germany. Chloroform levels in the air of enclosed swimming pools are a function of several factors such as the degree of ventilation, the level of chlorination, water temperature, the degree of mixing at the water surface, and the quantity of organic precursors present (Lahl et al., 1981a). 5.1.3 Water 126.96.36.199 Sea water The maximum concentration of chloroform determined in a survey of bay water at 172 locations was 1 µg/litre (Pearson & McConnell, 1975). Reported levels in the open ocean (east Pacific) and off the coast of California were 0.015 µg/litre and 0.009-0.012 µg/litre, respectively (Su & Goldberg, 1976). 188.8.131.52 Rivers and lakes Concentrations of chloroform in surface water vary, depending upon the proximity to industrial sources. Concentrations of up to 394 µg/litre have been reported in rivers in highly industrial cities (Ewing et al., 1977; Pellizzari et al., 1979). Levels in areas not affected heavily by industrial sources ranged from trace to 22 µg/litre (Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, 1980, 1982). Concentrations in river water in Germany and Switzerland ranged from about 0.01 to 30 µg/litre (Reynolds & Harrison, 1982). Average concentrations of chloroform detected in 1989 in German rivers ranged from 0.131 to 3.17 µg/litre, with a maximum level of 5.1 µg/litre detected in the River Main (Toxicology and Environmental Health Institute of Munich Technical University, 1992). 184.108.40.206 Rain water Kawamura & Kaplan (1983) measured 0.25 µg chloroform/litre in Los Angeles rain water samples taken in the spring of 1982. 220.127.116.11 Waste water Based on two to four samplings at each of 37 plants (22 branches of industry), Van Luin & Van Starkenburg (1984) detected chloroform mainly in the waste water of flavouring and pharmaceutical industries at concentrations of 300 and 16 µg/litre, respectively. Concentrations were lower in the waste water of slaughter-houses, laundries, and textile, rubber and dye industries. In waste-water discharges from the treatment of sewage and industrial wastes in the USA, chloroform was detected at concentrations ranging from 7.1 to 12.1 µg/litre (Europ-Cost, 1976). 18.104.22.168 Ground water Concentrations of chloroform in ground water vary widely, depending principally on proximity to hazardous waste sites (ATSDR, 1993). Chloroform was detected at levels ranging from 11 to 866 µg/litre in samples from 5 out of 6 monitoring wells drilled 64 m apart in a direction perpendicular to the northward flow of ground water at a contaminated site in Pittman, Nevada, USA (the depth of unconfined ground water was 2 to 4 m at this selected site) (Kerfoot, 1987). In a survey of potentially contaminated sites conducted by the US EPA, chloroform was detected at 45% of the sites. The median and maximum concentrations were 1.5 and 300 µg/litre, respectively (Westrick et al., 1989). In 8 out of 29 deep wells in the Netherlands sampled at least twice since 1980 at several depths (± 10 and 25 m below ground level), chloroform was detected (limit of detection, 0.1 µg/litre) (Van der Heijden et al., 1986). 22.214.171.124 Drinking-water Chloroform can be formed from naturally occurring organic compounds during the chlorination of drinking-water with the rate and degree of formation being a function primarily of the concentrations of chlorine and humic acid, temperature and pH. Levels vary seasonally, the concentrations generally being greater in summer than winter. Stander (1980) detected chloroform in 16 out of 20 tap water samples from the USA and western Europe. The highest concentration was 60 µg/litre. In a national survey of 450 community water supplies in the USA sampled in 1978, chloroform was detected in 94% of surface water supplies and 34% of ground-water supplies. Median concentrations in surface and ground-water supplies were 60 µg/litre and less than the detection limit (0.5 µg/litre), respectively (Brass et al., 1981). Finished drinking-water collected in 1988 from 35 sources in the USA, of which 10 were located in California, sampled in all four seasons (spring, summer and autumn in 1988 and winter in 1989), contained median concentrations of chloroform ranging from 9.6 to 15 µg/litre. The overall median for all four seasons was 14 µg/litre (Krasner et al., 1989). In a survey conducted in the USA between October 1987 and March 1989, the mean concentration in finished water for surface water systems serving more than 10 000 people was 38.9 µg/litre (90th percentile, 74.4 µg/litre). The comparable mean value in the distribution system was 58.7 µg/litre (US EPA, 1992). In a national survey of the water supplies of 70 communities in Canada conducted during the winter of 1976/1977, concentrations of chloroform in treated water of the distribution system 0.8 km from the treatment plant averaged 22.7 µg/litre (Williams et al., 1980). Concentrations at 10 different locations in southern Ontario sampled in the early 1980s were 4.5 to 60 µg/litre in water leaving the treatment plant and 7.1 to 63 µg/litre one mile from the plant (Oliver, 1983). Chloroform levels in drinking-water in 100 German cities sampled in 1977 ranged from < 0.1 to 14.2 µg/litre and averaged 1.3 µg/litre. Concentrations were similar in other surveys conducted in Germany in the late 1970s and early 1980s (Lahl et al., 1981a). Concentrations of chloroform in chlorinated samples of Rhine river water were 9 µg/litre, compared to 0.1 µg/litre in untreated water from the river (Zoeteman et al., 1982) In Japan, chloroform was detected at concentrations of 18 and 36 µg/litre in drinking-water (Kajino, 1977). 5.1.4 Soil No data on concentrations of chloroform in uncontaminated soil have been identified. Chloroform has been detected, however, in 9.9% of hazardous waste sites in the USA; the median concentration was 12.5 µg/kg (ATSDR, 1993). 5.1.5 Foodstuffs Chloroform has been detected in several foodstuffs, in particular in decaffeinated coffee (20 µg/kg), olive oil (28 µg/kg), pork (10 µg/kg) and sausages (17 µg/kg). Occasionally, concentrations were higher: up to 80 µg/kg in coffee and 90 µg/kg in sausages. Levels of 1 to 10 µg/kg have been detected in flour products, potatoes, cod liver oil, margarine, lard, fish, mussels and milk; levels in most foodstuffs, however, were less than 1 µg/kg (Bauer, 1981). Daft (1988) reported that chloroform was detected in about 90 of 300 samples in a market-basket survey of 231 "table ready" foodstuffs (prepared and cooked as normally served) in the USA, most often in fat-containing samples. In a later account, it was reported that 2 to 830 µg chloroform/kg food was detected in 68% of 549 samples of foodstuffs obtained in a market-basket survey, grouped as fat, non-fat, grain-based and non-grain-based (average of 71 µg/kg) (Daft, 1989). Entz et al. (1982) did not detect chloroform in composite samples of meat/fish/poultry or in composite samples of oil/fat in 39 different foods in the USA, although it should be noted that the quantification limits were higher (18 to 28 µg/kg) than those in the studies described above. However, the authors did detect chloroform at a concentration of 17 µg/litre in the composite of dairy foods. Concentrations of chloroform in soft drinks range from 3 to 50 µg/litre, with levels for cola being at the upper end of the range (Abdel-Rahman, 1982; Entz et al., 1982; Wallace et al., 1984). 5.2 General population exposure Based on estimates of mean exposure from various media, the general population is exposed to chloroform principally in food (approximately 1 µg/kg body weight per day), drinking-water (approximately 0.5 µg/kg body weight per day) and indoor air (0.3 to 1 µg/kg body weight per day) in approximately equivalent amounts. Estimated intake from outdoor air is considerably less (0.01 µg/kg body weight per day). For some individuals living in dwellings supplied with tap water containing relatively high concentrations of chloroform, exposures may be as high as 10 µg/kg body weight per day. 5.2.1 Outdoor air Based on a daily inhalation volume for adults of 22 m3, a mean body weight for males and females of 64 kg, the assumption that 4 out of 24 h are spent outdoors (WHO, in press), and the mean levels of chloroform in ambient air in cities presented in section 5.1.1 (0.2 µg/m3), mean intake of chloroform from ambient air for the general population is estimated to be 0.01 µg/kg body weight per day. 5.2.2 Indoor air Based on a daily inhalation volume for adults of 22 m3, a mean body weight for males and females of 64 kg, the assumption that 20 out of 24 h are spent indoors (WHO, in press), and the mean levels of chloroform in indoor air presented in section 5.1.2 (1 to 4 µg/m3), mean intake of chloroform from indoor air for the general population is estimated to be 0.3 to 1.2 µg/kg body weight per day. Aggazzotti et al. (1990) determined levels of chloroform in samples of plasma of swimmers and visitors taken "a few minutes after" exposure at indoor swimming pools with water chloroform concentrations of 16.9-47 µg/litre. Concentrations of chloroform in the plasma of all 127 subjects who attended the pools averaged 0.82 µg/litre and ranged from 0.1 to 3 µg/litre, whereas in the plasma samples of 40 nonexposed subjects, chloroform was not detected (limit of quantification, 0.1 µg/litre). The mean level of chloroform in the plasma was significantly higher in swimmers who breathed under stress for a long time directly at the surface of the water (training for competitions). Individuals may be exposed to elevated concentrations of chloroform (from chlorinated tap water) during showering (Jo et al., 1990a,b). After showering for 10 min in water containing 5 to 36 µg chloroform/litre, the concentrations of chloroform in the breath of six individuals ranged from 6.0 to 21 µg/m3, while none was detected (detection limit 0.86 µg/m3) in any of the samples of breath collected prior to a shower (Jo et al., 1990b). Based on assumptions of an absorption efficiency from the respiratory tract of 0.77, a breathing rate of 0.014 m3/min for a 70-kg adult, a shower air concentration of 157 µg chloroform/m3 and a ratio of body burden resulting from dermal exposure to that of inhalation exposure of 0.93, the authors estimated that the average intake of chloroform (inhalation and dermal absorption) was 0.5 µg/kg body weight per shower for a person weighing 70 kg. Based on a review of relevant estimates, Maxwell et al. (1991) concluded that the ratio of the dose of chloroform received over a lifetime from inhalation to that received from ingestion of drinking-water is probably in the range of 0.6-1.5 but could be as high as 5.7. The ratio of the dose received dermally compared to that received orally over a lifetime from drinking-water was considered to be approximately 0.3 but could be as high as 1.8. 5.2.3 Drinking-water Based on a daily volume of ingestion for adults of 1.4 litres and a mean body weight for males and females of 64 kg (WHO, in press), and the mean levels of chloroform presented in section 5.1.3 (generally < 20 µg/litre), estimated mean intake of chloroform from drinking-water for the general population is less than 0.5 µg/kg body weight per day. As discussed by Bauer (1981), actual levels of exposure may be less than those estimated on the basis of mean levels in drinking-water since most of the chloroform would be expelled from drinking-water that is heated before consumption (tea, coffee, soups, sauces). For example, approximately 96% of the total volatile halogenated hydrocarbon fraction was eliminated in water boiling for 5 min, whereas 50-90% was eliminated upon heating at 70-90 °C (Bauer, 1981). It should be noted, however, that owing to the wide variations in concentrations of chloroform in water supplies, intake from drinking-water could be considerably greater than estimated here for some segments of the general population. 5.2.4 Foodstuffs Based on a daily volume of ingestion of solid foodstuffs for reference adults of 1.536 kg and a mean body weight for males and females of 64 kg (WHO, in press), and the mean level and percentage detection of chloroform in foodstuffs in a market-basket survey reported by Daft (1989) (section 5.1.5), estimated daily intake of chloroform from foodstuffs is approximately 1 µg/kg body weight per day. 5.3 Occupational exposure during manufacture, formulation or use Workers may be exposed to chloroform during, for example, the production of chloroform itself, the synthesis of substances derived from chloroform (for example chlorodifluoromethane), the use of chloroform as a solvent in bleaching of paper, and in sewage treatment facilities. Based on a national survey conducted from 1981 to 1983, NIOSH estimated that approximately 96 000 workers in the USA are potentially exposed to chloroform (ATSDR, 1993). Chloroform is used as a solvent both industrially and in the laboratory; several studies on concentrations in laboratories have been published. Taketomo & Grimsrud (1977) reported levels of 2.3-8.6 mg/m3 in three laboratories in Montana, USA. In an office situated in the same building but distant from the laboratories, levels were similar; this was attributed to transfer through the air-conditioning system. Levels found by NIOSH in laboratories ranged from 0.5 to 24.9 mg/m3 (Salisbury, 1982). Time-weighted (4 h) average levels during laboratory practicals were 0-375 mg/m3 (Hertlein, 1980). Some data on exposure of workers at sewage treatment facilities and at indoor pools and spas have also been reported. Lurker et al. (1983) reported a maximum level of 0.02 mg/m3 in sewage treatment facilities. Maintenance workers, attendants and life guards at indoor pools and spas were exposed to 0.025 and 0.075 mg/m3, respectively (Armstrong & Golden, 1986; Benoit & Jackson, 1987). Generally low levels of chloroform were detected by Rosenberg et al. (1991) in a softwood and hardwood kraft pulp mill. Chloroform levels ranged from 50 to 290 µg/m3 and from 220 to 5400 µg/m3 in the softwood and the hardwood bleaching plants, respectively. Chloroform has been and still is often used in dentistry as one of the ingredients of root canal sealers or as a solvent. The results of a study by Allard & Andersson (1992) showed that a dental team could be exposed to quite high concentrations, ranging from 2.2 to 19.1 mg/m3. 6. KINETICS IN LABORATORY ANIMALS AND HUMANS 6.1 Pharmacokinetics 6.1.1 Absorption 126.96.36.199 Oral Chloroform is well absorbed after oral administration. After intragastric administration of chloroform (75 mg/kg body weight) in water or vegetable oil to male Wistar rats, peak blood concentrations were observed in about 6 min, but blood concentrations were higher (39.3 versus 5.9 µg/ml) with water than with olive oil as the vehicle (Withey et al., 1983). The area under the blood concentration-time course curve (AUC) after chloroform administration in water was 8.7 times greater than the AUC derived from vegetable oil delivery. Corley et al. (1990) used the data of Withey et al. (1983) to compute gavage absorption rate constants, which were 0.6 h-1 and 5.0 h-1 for corn oil and water, respectively. 188.8.131.52 Dermal Chloroform is absorbed through the intact skin. Most studies have examined the systemic appearance of chloroform (or its appearance in expired air) to quantify absorption. Tsuruta (1975) estimated an absorption rate of 329 nmol/min per cm2 of skin surface for pure chloroform in mice, but this study did not correct for metabolism. Morgan et al. (1991) measured blood chloroform levels in male F-344 rats during 24-h dermal exposures of a shaved region of the back to pure chloroform or to aqueous chloroform solutions. The blood chloroform level peaked at 51 mg/litre after exposure to the pure chemical for 4 to 8 h, and remained about constant for the duration of the exposure period. More rapid absorption rates were observed during exposure to the aqueous solutions, which resulted in peak blood chloroform levels after about 2 h. The authors attributed this difference to hydration of the skin. Bogen et al. (1992) applied aqueous solutions of [14C]-chloroform to most of the body surface of hairless guinea-pigs and obtained a permeability coefficient of 0.13 ml/cm2 per h. This study recovered metabolites as well as expired chloroform to measure absorption. Indirect evidence of chloroform absorption was obtained by observation of damage to kidney tubules in rabbits treated with 1, 2 or 4 g chloroform/kg applied under an impermeable plastic cuff held tightly to the belly of rabbits for 24 h (Torkelson et al., 1976). 184.108.40.206 Inhalation Lehmann & Hasegawa (1910) exposed rabbits to chloroform vapour concentrations of around 20, 54 or 80 g/m3. About 35% of the inhaled dose was retained during the first hour of the exposure period. The fraction retained declined progressively after longer periods of exposure (5 to 10% after 4 h; 2% after 8 h). In dogs exposed to 73.2 g chloroform/m3, a steady-state blood concentration of 354 mg chloroform/litre was reached within 2 h (Von Oettingen et al., 1950). Corley et al. (1990) developed a pharmacokinetic model for chloroform (see section 6.1.4), which was based on inhalation studies in a closed-atmosphere chamber (concentrations of 490-24 500 mg/m3; 100-5000 ppm). Given the same chloroform concentration (4900 mg/m3; 1000 ppm), uptake over 6 h in male B6C3F1 mice (total body weight = 450 g) was much more rapid and complete than in male F-344 rats (total body weight = 690 g). This difference is due primarily to the higher rate of chloroform metabolism in mice. 6.1.2 Distribution Cohen & Hood (1969) performed autoradiography studies in male NMRI mice after inhalation or intravenous injection of anaesthetic doses of chloroform and found high levels of radioactivity in fat and liver. Following a 10-min inhalation exposure, the tissue:blood ratios at 0, 15 and 120 min post-exposure were 1.56, 2.10 and 6.7 for the liver and 6.42, 9.25 and 7.18 for fat, respectively. The increase in radioactivity in the liver was attributed to the accumulation of non-volatile, ether-extractable products. Other tissues (blood, brain, muscle, lung and kidney) contained lesser and more uniform amounts of radioactivity. Two hours after intravenous injection of [14C]-chloroform, non-volitive radioactivity in the liver accounted for 2% of the total dose. Bergman (1984) studied the distribution of [14C]-chloroform in mice after inhalation of 5 µl of [14C]-chloroform (reported dose: 280 mg/kg) during 10 min. Whole-body autoradiography, immediately after exposure and 2 h thereafter, showed high concentrations of radioactivity in fat, blood, lungs, liver, kidneys, spinal cord and nerves, meninges and cerebellar cortex. After heating and extraction of the sections, it appeared that non-volatile radioactivity was bound in the bronchi, nasal mucosa, liver, kidneys, salivary glands and in the duodenal contents. High levels of volatile or extractable radioactivity were found in testes, preputial gland and epididymis. Danielsson et al. (1986) observed tissue binding in gestational C57BL mice and their fetuses after inhalation of very low concentrations of [14C]-chloroform for 10 min, and in 4-day-old C57BL mice after intraperitoneal injection of 0.4 µmoles of [14C]-chloroform, respectively. The animals were killed 0, 1, 4 and 24 h after exposure. Low temperature autoradiograms, as well as scintillation spectrometry, showed a high uptake of radioactivity (volatile and non-volatile) directly after inhalation, especially in the respiratory epithelium and liver, fat, lung, brain and segments of tubuli in the renal cortex. Tissue-bound (non-volatile) radioactivity was found in the respiratory tract, centrilobular regions of the liver, salivary glands, and the conjunctiva of the eye. Volatile radioactivity was no longer present 24 h after exposure and the non-volatile activity had decreased with time in all organs measured. Accumulation of non-volatile metabolites was also found in the fetal respiratory tract. The placental transport of chloroform was first demonstrated by Nicloux (1906) in guinea-pigs. Danielsson et al. (1986) reported that chloroform was transported to the conceptus at all stages of gestation in mice. Non-volatile metabolites of chloroform accumulated in the conceptus with time, especially in the amniotic fluid at mid-gestation. The fetal uptake of chloroform was low, which, according to the authors, was attributable to the low fat content in the fetus. An accumulation of non-extractable metabolites was found in the fetal respiratory tract in late gestation. Withey & Karpinski (1985) exposed Sprague-Dawley rats on the 17th day of pregnancy to a series of different concentrations of chloroform (111 to 1984 ppm; 544 to 9722 mg/m3) for 5 h. Chloroform distribution did not appear to be related to fetal position in the uterine horn. There was a highly significant inter-litter variation in fetal concentration, and additional tests showed that the maternal chloroform concentration accounted for only part of the variation. However, the fetal and maternal blood concentrations were linear functions of the administered dose, with a fetal/maternal ratio of 0.316. A sex difference in tissue-bound radioactivity in mice given [14C]-chloroform was reported by Taylor et al. (1974). Autoradiographic studies showed that the renal cortex of male CF/LP, CBA and C57BL mice accumulated more label than the renal cortex of female mice of the same strains. Treatment with testosterone resulted in an increase in tissue binding in the females and castration reduced the binding in the males (Taylor et al., 1974). Sex differences in renal binding were not found in the rat or monkey (Brown et al., 1974b). 6.1.3 Elimination and fate The results of a pharmacokinetic study in male Wistar rats indicated that the elimination of chloroform after intravenous administration (jugular vein) at dose levels of 3, 6, 9, 12 or 15 mg/kg body weight followed a three-compartment model. Chloroform was eliminated at a slower rate from fat (half-life of 106 min) than from any other tissue examined. The elimination rates from all tissues, except fat, were similar to those derived from blood analysis (Whithey & Collins, 1980). The elimination half-lives for the water and vegetable oil vehicles were 46 and 39 min, respectively. Various studies on the elimination of chloroform have been reported (Paul & Rubinstein, 1963; Van Dyke et al., 1964; Lavigne & Marchand, 1974). Corley et al. (1990) exposed B6C3F1 mice and Osborne-Mendel rats to a range of chloroform concentrations for 6 h and measured the radioactivity in exhaled air, urine, faeces, carcass and skin and in the cage wash (Table 6). The fraction of the dose exhaled as unchanged chloroform increased with increasing exposure concentration in both mice and rats. [14C]-CO2 was the major metabolite exhaled. The data indicate partial metabolic saturation at the higher doses studied. Brown et al. (1974b) administered [14C]-chloroform (60 mg/kg body weight) to mice, rats and squirrel monkeys by the oral route. The radioactivity was measured in the exhaled air, urine, faeces and carcasses up to 48 h after dosing. The recovery percentages (of the dose) are listed in Table 7. About 50% of the radioactivity in the urine of the mouse and the rat consisted of [14C]-urea and [14C]-bicarbonate. Auto-radiography revealed biliary excretion of radioactivity in the monkey. A high concentration of radioactivity in the bile was present as unchanged chloroform. The excreted quantities of chloroform and carbon dioxide in the rat, as reported by Brown et al. (1974b), correspond to those reported by Reynolds et al. (1984), who found that after oral doses of 12 or 36 mg chloroform/kg body weight to the rat, about 70% of the dose was excreted as carbon dioxide and 12% as chloroform in the 24 h following oral administration. 6.1.4 Physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling for chloroform Corley et al. (1990) developed a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model (PBPK) for mice, rats and humans that incorporated literature values for physiological parameters, tissue partition coefficients and metabolic constants. The metabolic constants were derived from results of rodent in vivo gas-uptake studies and in vitro metabolic studies with rodent and human (n=9) microsomes. The tissue:air partition coefficients were determined by a vial-equilibration technique with tissue homogenates. Macromolecular binding constants, which define the fraction of the total metabolites that bind covalently to proteins, were estimated Table 6. Radioactivity (mg eq/kg body weight) in B6C3F1 mice and Osborne-Mendel rats during and up to 48 h after 6-h exposures to [14C]-chloroform (From: Corley et al., 1990) Concentration Exhaled Exhaled Urine Faeces Residuea (ppm) 14C- 14C-CO2 chloroform Mice 10 0.03 7.22 0.95 0.05 0.19 89 0.47 70.35 7.46 1.24 2.32 366 23.03 217.85 21.24 3.84 9.68 Rats 93 0.76 31.84 3.34 0.40 1.09 356 16.15 54.85 6.53 0.81 2.18 1041 78.27 89.04 11.83 1.16 3.95 a Residues comprising total 14C-label present in carcass, skin and cage wash at the end of post-exposure collection period Table 7. Percentage recovery of radioactivity after [14C]-chloroform administration (From: Brown et al., 1974b) Species In breath In faeces In carcassa and urine chloroform CO2 Mouse 5.2-7.1 84-87 2.1-3.0 1.2-2.3 Rat 20 67 8 NA Monkey 79 18 2 NA a NA = not analysed from in vivo binding data obtained following inhalation exposures to radiolabelled chloroform. The model parameters that were derived for the three species by Corley et al. (1990) are presented in Table 8. Table 8. Parameters used in the physiologically based pharmacokinetic model for chloroforma Mouse Rat Human Partition coefficients Blood/air 21.3 20.8 7.43 Liver/air 19.1 21.1 17.0 Kidney/air 11.0 11.0 11.0 Fat/air 242 203 280 Rapidly perfused/air 19.1 21.1 17.0 Slowly perfused/air 13.0 13.9 12.0 Metabolic and macromolecular binding constants VmaxC (mg/h per kg) 22.8 6.8 15.7 Km (mg/litre) 0.352 0.543 0.448 fMMBb (h-1), liver 0.003 0.00104 0.00202 fMMBb (h-1), kidney 0.010 0.0086 0.00931 a From: Corley et al. (1990) b MMB = macromolecular binding of reactive metabolites; fMMB = fraction of MMB of particular organ The blood:air partition coefficients for rodents were approximately three times greater than for humans. Metabolism was described by a single saturable pathway for each species, but in mice, equations accounting for enzyme loss had to be incorporated. The VmaxC values reflect the greater metabolic capacity of the mouse compared to the rat, which has been shown in numerous studies. The model generated predictions consistent with experimental data for target organ-specific protein binding in rodents as well as total chloroform metabolized and total exhaled chloroform in both rodents and humans. Predictions of protein binding suggest a relative sensitivity ranking for the three species as follows: mouse > rat > humans, assuming that equivalent levels of binding produce equivalent toxicities in target tissues (Corley et al., 1990). Blancato & Chiu (1993) used the PBPK model of Corley et al. (1990) to predict the relative contributions of different exposure routes to target tissue doses of chloroform in humans. Tissue macromolecular binding was predicted as a dose surrogate. With respect to liver dose, a 10-min shower was predicted to contribute about 25% of the total dose, with 57% from drinking-water. Showering was predicted to account for more than 53% of the total dose to the kidney, while drinking-water was estimated to contribute only 7% of the dose. This difference was attributed to the absence of a first-pass effect with dermal absorption and inhalation exposures. Gearhart et al. (1993) recently described an additional PBPK model for chloroform in B6C3F1 mice. This model accounts for decreases in body temperature associated with exposure to high chloroform concentrations. The authors contend that the inclusion of an enzyme loss equation for mice in the model of Corley et al. (1990) was inappropriate and that the incorporation of temperature corrections greatly improved the overall fit of gas uptake data. The authors also obtained better model simulations of gas-uptake data by including a first-order rate constant, which is consistent with in vitro work demonstrating multiple pathways of chloroform biotransformation (Pohl, 1979; Testai et al., 1990). 6.2 Biotransformation and covalent binding of metabolites Chloroform may undergo both oxidative and reductive biotransformation (Fig. 1). The oxygenation of chloroform is catalysed by cytochrome P450 and produces trichloromethanol. Elimination of HCl from trichloromethanol gives phosgene as a reactive intermediate (Mansuy et al., 1977; Pohl et al., 1977). There is considerable evidence available to support this reaction mechanism for the formation of phosgene in the biotransformation of chloroform: the biotransformation of chloroform to phosgene requires NADPH and oxygen. The phosgene formed in the biotransformation of chloroform can be trapped by reaction with cysteine to give 2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid, and the biotransformation of [14C]-chloroform in the presence of cysteine gives [14C]-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid. When the biotransformation of chloroform was studied in the presence of [18O]-dioxygen or [35S]-cysteine, [2-18O]- and [1-35S]-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid, respectively, are formed. Deutero-chloroform is biotransformed more slowly than chloroform (Mansuy et al., 1977; Pohl et al., 1977, 1979, 1980; Pohl & Krishna, 1978). Moreover, when [36Cl]-chloroform, [3H]-chloroform, or [14C]-chloroform were incubated with liver microsomes from phenobarbital-treated Sprague-Dawley rats, only label from [14C]-chloroform became covalently bound to proteins (Pohl et al., 1980). Phosgene reacts rapidly with water to give CO2 and HCl as products, which explains the formation of CO2 as a metabolite of chloroform (Fry et al., 1972; Brown et al., 1974b). Phosgene may also react with tissue nucleophiles to form covalently bound products (Uehleke & Werner, 1975). Cysteine blocks the covalent binding of [14C]-chloroform-derived radioactivity, which supports a role for phosgene in the formation of covalent adducts from chloroform (Pohl et al., 1977, 1980). Alternatively, phosgene may react with glutathione to form S-(chlorocarbonyl)glutathione; this intermediate may react with glutathione to give diglutathionyl dithiocarbonate (Pohl et al., 1981) or to give glutathione disulfide and carbon monoxide as minor products (Ahmed et al., 1977). The reductive biotransformation of chloroform is also catalysed by cytochromes P450 (Testai & Vittozzi, 1986) (Fig. 1). Reduction of chloroform gives rise to the dichloromethyl radical, which has been identified by spin trapping and ESR (Tomasi et al., 1985). No evidence for the formation of the dichloromethyl carbanion has been presented, whereas the formation of chlorocarbene has been ruled out (Wolf et al., 1977). The dichloromethyl radical may react preferentially with the fatty acid skeleton of phospholipids to give covalently bound adducts (De Biasi et al., 1992). The balance between the oxidative and reductive biotransformation of chloroform depends on several factors, including oxygen and chloroform concentrations, animal species, strain, enzyme induction, and the site of metabolism. Oxidative metabolism is favoured at low (< 0.1 mM) chloroform concentrations (Testai et al., 1990, 1991). Under these conditions, the oxygenation of chloroform is catalysed by cytochrome P450 2E1 (Brady et al., 1989; Guengerich et al., 1991), and covalent binding of chloroform metabolites to proteins and lipids in incubation mixtures containing mouse (B6C3F1 or C57BL/6J) liver microsomes is higher than in incubation mixtures containing rat (Osborne-Mendel or Sprague-Dawley) liver microsomes (Testai et al., 1991). Chloroform reduction is increased at high substrate concentrations (Testai et al., 1990), but oxidative metabolism is quantitatively more important. In incubation mixtures containing 5 mM chloroform, both oxygenation and reduction of chloroform depend on the oxygen tension in the incubation flask. Chloroform reduction is particularly evident with microsomes from B6C3F1 mice and Osborne-Mendel rats. At high chloroform concentrations (approx. 5 mM), the oxygenation of chloroform may be catalysed by cytochrome P450 2B1, as suggested by the induction of the metabolism due to pretreatment by phenobarbital (Branchflower et al., 1983; Testai & Vittozzi, 1986; Nakajima et al., 1991). Phenobarbital or ß-naphthoflavone pretreatment of Sprague-Dawley rats also stimulates the formation of reduced intermediates of chloroform (Testai & Vittozzi, 1986). Levels of the in vitro covalent binding of [14C]-chloroform metabolites to proteins were higher with hepatic microsomes from rabbits and human biopsies than with hepatic microsomes from rats or mice (Uehleke & Werner, 1975). The in vitro formation of dichloromethane as a stable end-product of chloroform metabolism was addressed in early studies. Dichloromethane was detected in mouse liver slices incubated with chloroform (Butler, 1961), but not in slices or subcellular fractions of rat liver incubated with chloroform (Paul & Rubinstein, 1963; Rubinstein & Kanics, 1964). These discrepancies, however, may have been due to the incubation conditions employed in these early studies. in vivo results with rats, dogs, mice and human volunteers exposed to chloroform consistently indicated no expiration of dichloromethane (Butler, 1961; Paul & Rubinstein, 1963; Fry et al., 1972; Brown et al., 1974b). Interspecies differences in the oxidative metabolism of chloroform have been found in vivo. After a [14C]-chloroform dose of 60 mg/kg body weight, 85%, 66% and 18% was excreted as [14C]-CO2 in C57BL, CF/PL and CBA mice, Sprague-Dawley rats, and squirrel monkeys, respectively. Expiration of 14C accounted for the elimination of most of the remaining dose (recoveries of 93-98%) (Brown et al., 1974b). Mink et al. (1986) and Corley et al. (1990) also showed that chloroform is metabolized in the mouse to a greater extent than in the rat. Corley et al. (1990) demonstrated that the covalent binding of [14C]-chloroform metabolites to liver and kidney proteins in vivo was higher in B6C3F1 mice than in Osborne-Mendel rats. In several strains of mice given [14C]-chloroform, more binding occurred in the kidney tissue of males than in that of females (Ilett et al., 1973; Taylor et al., 1974). Male DBA mice accumulate twice as much radioactivity in their kidneys as do male C57BL mice. This strain difference shows intermediate or multifactorial heredity (Hill et al., 1975). Differences in binding were associated with variations in toxicity (Hill et al., 1975; Clemens et al., 1979). The nephrotoxicity of chloroform in male mice of susceptible strains (see chapter 7) is most probably related to in situ renal metabolic activation of chloroform (Zaleska-Rutczynska & Krus, 1973; Hill, 1978; Clemens et al., 1979; Smith & Hook, 1983; Smith et al., 1984). Indeed the overall biotransformation of chloroform in both sexes is equal, whereas males exhibit more extensive formation of renal tissue-bound metabolites than females (Taylor et al., 1974; Smith & Hook, 1984). Smith et al. (1985) observed little chloroform metabolism in rat (male, Fischer-344) renal cortical microsomes. Additional studies, however, have demonstrated chloroform-induced cytolethality and regenerative cell damage in male, Fischer-344 rat kidney (Larson et al., 1993). Culliford & Hewitt (1957) reported that females became more susceptible after pretreatment with androgens, and the sensitivity of the males was reduced after castration. In the rat and mouse, chloroform biotransformation occurs mainly in the liver, but other tissues also show metabolic activity. After oral administration of chloroform to mice, maximum covalent binding in the liver was observed after 3 h, whereas in the kidney, maximum binding was found after 6 to 12 h. Binding appears to be dose dependent up to doses of 3 mmol/kg body weight. At higher doses, a plateau is reached (Ilett et al., 1973). Löfberg & Tjälve (1986) studied the extra-hepatic metabolism of [14C]-chloroform in Sprague-Dawley rats. Autoradiography was used to localize metabolites in freeze-dried, extracted tissues to distinguish between total and bound radioactivity. in vitro autoradiography, in which tissue slices were incubated with [14C]-chloroform and then examined autoradiographically, showed the capacity of several tissues to metabolize [14C]-chloroform: liver, kidney cortex, mucosa of the bronchial tree, tracheal mucosa, olfactory and respiratory nasal mucosa, Bowman's glands in the olfactory lamina propria mucosae, Steno's gland (the lateral nasal gland), mucosa of the oesophagus, larynx, tongue, gingiva, cheek, naso-pharyngeal duct, pharynx and the soft palate. Furthermore, autoradiographic studies showed that a correlation exists between the ability of the tissues to retain metabolites in vivo and the ability of these tissues to metabolize chloroform in vitro. The distribution of the covalent binding of 14C to DNA or RNA after an intraperitoneal injection of [14C]-chloroform to Balb/c mice or to Wistar rats shows several differences from the distribution of the covalent binding to tissue proteins (Colacci et al., 1991). The highest levels of covalent binding to DNA were observed in mouse kidney (3.17 nmol/g DNA) and lung (3.65 nmol/g DNA). In mice, binding to liver DNA (0.83 nmol/g DNA) was lower than binding to stomach DNA (1.52 nmol/g DNA). Differences in DNA binding of chloroform metabolites among rat organs have been found to be limited, and the absolute values were lower than those seen in mouse organs. In mice, RNA binding levels were high in both the liver and kidney; in rats, they were higher in the kidney than in other organs. In mice, protein binding was highest in the liver (47.5 nmol/g), whereas in rats it was high in both the liver (27.4 nmol/g) and kidney (30.7 nmol/g). In incubations containing low (< 0.1 mM) chloroform concentrations and human liver microsomes, little formation of reactive metabolites was seen (Vittozzi et al., 1991). Detectable covalent binding was observed in microsomes from some samples of colonic and ileal mucosa of human patients but not of male Sprague-Dawley rats (Testai et al., 1991). Glutathione (GSH) is an important factor controlling the binding of chloroform metabolites to proteins and lipids. In in vitro studies, physiological concentrations of GSH (2-5 mM) strongly reduced the covalent binding of chloroform metabolites to proteins (Sipes et al., 1977; Cresteil et al., 1979; Smith & Hook, 1984). In later studies, 3 mM GSH blocked the covalent binding of chloroform metabolites to proteins and to phospholipid polar heads, whereas covalent binding to the phospholipid fatty acyl chains (due to the radical metabolite) was only slightly affected (Testai & Vittozzi, 1986; Testai et al., 1990, 1991; De Biasi et al., 1992). Pretreatment of rats with diethylmaleate or buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) increased the binding of administered [14C]-chloroform to proteins (Stevens & Anders, 1981). Pretreatment of phenobarbital-induced Sprague-Dawley rats with cysteine decreased the covalent binding (Stevens & Anders, 1981b). Toxic effects paralleled the covalent binding levels after these pretreatments (Stevens & Anders, 1981a). 6.3 Human studies 6.3.1 Uptake 220.127.116.11 Oral When Fry et al. (1972) dosed eight volunteers with 0.5 g chloroform in olive oil in capsules, approximately 50% of the oral dose was metabolized to carbon dioxide. Maximal blood levels of 1 to 5 ng chloroform/litre were achieved after 1.5 h. In two of the subjects, the decline in blood levels could be described by a two-compartment model with a half-life of 13 min for the initial phase and a half-life of 90 min for the second phase. Chiou (1975) reanalysed the data obtained from the two subjects mentioned above and calculated an apparent volume of distribution of approximately 160 litres. The author estimated the hepatic first-pass effect to be about 32% and the pulmonary first-pass effect to be 16%. Hence after a single oral dose of 0.5 g chloroform, about 52% of the dose may be available to the system. Pulmonary and metabolic clearances of 0.7 and 0.6 litre/min, respectively, gave a total body clearance of 1.3 litre/min. 18.104.22.168 Dermal Jo et al. (1990a) studied the relative contributions of dermal and pulmonary uptake of chloroform in individuals taking showers. Post-exposure exhaled air concentrations of chloroform were measured to estimate chloroform uptake and were 6 to 21 µg/m3 for normal showers and 2.4 to 10 µg/m3 for inhalation-only exposure. The difference between normal and inhalation-only exposure was significant, and the authors concluded that the contribution of dermal exposure was approximately equivalent to inhalation exposure. Chinery & Gleason (1993) modified an existing PBPK model to predict the exhaled air concentration of chloroform in individuals exposed to the chemical while showering. Calibration of the model with measured exhaled air concentrations of chloroform in individuals exposed while showering either with or without dermal absorption generated an expected value for skin-blood partitioning of 1.2. This assumes a degree of transfer of chloroform from shower water into shower air of 61%. The stratum corneum permeability coefficient for chloroform was estimated to be within a range of 0.16-0.36 cm/h, and the expected value was 0.2 cm/h. The estimated ratio of dermally:inhaled absorbed doses while showering ranged between 0.6 and 2.2 and the expected value was 0.75. 22.214.171.124 Inhalation The inhalation uptake of chloroform in humans was studied by Lehmann & Hasegawa in 1910. More recently, Morgan et al. (1970) measured the absorption of chloroform after a single inhalation exposure to approximately 5 mg of [38Cl]-chloroform. About 80% of the chloroform was absorbed under these conditions. Prolonged inhalation of anaesthetic concentrations (about 50 g chloroform/m3 air) gave rise to blood chloroform concentrations of about 100 mg/litre (Smith et al., 1973). The relative contribution of inhalation to chloroform uptake during showering has been determined (see section 126.96.36.199, Jo et al., 1990a). 6.3.2 Distribution Corley et al. (1990) determined partition coefficients for human tissues (see Table 8). McConnell et al. (1975) analysed chloroform levels in postmortem tissue from eight persons (four males and four females, 48 to 82 years old) living in non-industrial areas of the United Kingdom. The chloroform levels (µg/kg wet tissue weight) observed were: body fat, 5-68 (mean = 51); liver, 1-10 (mean = 7.2); kidney, 2-5; and brain, 2-4. Phillips & Birchard (1991) reported on a nationwide survey of the general population by the US EPA's National Human Adipose Tissue Survey. Several hundred fat samples were pooled into 46 composite samples by age and geographic region and were analysed. Chloroform was detected at levels ranging from 5 to 580 ng/g in 29 of the composite samples. Dowty et al. (1976) detected chloroform in human maternal and placental cord blood. Erickson et al. (1981) found chloroform, supposedly originating from environmental exposure, present in mother's milk (concentration not specified). Chloroform was identified, but not quantified, in mother's milk samples collected from 49 lactating women living in the vicinity of chemical manufacturing plants or industrial user facilities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Louisiana, USA (Pellizzari et al., 1982). 6.3.3 Elimination Human volunteers given oral doses of 500 mg chloroform eliminated on average 50% of the dose as CO2 and 40% as unchanged chloroform during 8 h after dosing (Fry et al., 1972). The amount of expired chloroform varied from 18 to 66%, depending on the obesity of individuals. After administration of 100, 250 or 1000 mg, the authors recovered 0, 12 and 65% of the dose in the expired air, respectively. After administration of [14C]-chloroform to a man and a woman, approximately 50% of the dose was found in the exhaled air (as CO2) in 7.5 h after dosing. Virtually no chloroform was excreted by the kidneys (Fry et al., 1972). After inhalation of chloroform (concentrations of 21 or 35 g chloroform/m3), Lehmann & Hasegawa (1910) found little pulmonary excretion, i.e. approximately 2% of the absorbed quantity within 30 min after the exposure. A pulmonary excretion of 10% of the body content during the first hour after exposure was reported by Morgan et al. (1970). 6.3.4 Biotransformation Human cytochrome P450 2E1 catalyses the oxygenation of chloroform (Guengerich et al., 1991). Corley et al. (1990) quantified CO2 production from incubations of human liver microsomes with 0.049-0.058 mM chloroform. The average activity of samples from nine individuals was 8.15 ± 0.02 pmol chloroform oxidized/min per mg protein. These data were correlated with rodent in vitro and in vivo conversion rates to estimate human in vivo metabolic rate constants (see Table 8). 7. EFFECTS ON LABORATORY MAMMALS AND IN VITRO TEST SYSTEMS 7.1 Single exposure 7.1.1 Lethality The LD50 values of chloroform for mice and rats are given in Tables 9 and 10, respectively. Chloroform-induced death is usually due to liver damage, with the exception of male mice of very sensitive strains, whose death is caused by kidney damage. The higher susceptibility to chloroform acute toxicity in these strains of mice (such as DBA, C3H, C3Hf, CBA, Balb/c, C3H/He), with respect to other strains, is genetically controlled. An absolute sex-related difference with respect to kidney damage, but not to liver damage, has been described in mice: female mice do not develop renal lesions. This is independent of the strain. Some influence of age on chloroform acute toxicity in rats has also been described (Kimura et al., 1971). For the rat, the LD50 values ranged from 450 to 2000 mg chloroform/kg body weight, and in this species no sex difference in susceptibility was found (Kimura et al., 1971; Chu et al., 1980). For OF1 female mice, a LC50 value of 6150 mg chloroform/m3 (6 h exposure) was reported by Gradiski et al. (1978). A dose of 3070 mg chloroform/kg body weight in mineral oil to rats resulted in death due to CNS depression within minutes, and a dose of 980 mg chloroform/kg body weight resulted in hepatic centrilobular necrosis (Reynolds & Yee, 1967). When administered to newborn rats, chloroform was lethal at oral doses of 1500 mg/kg body weight; smaller doses were not administered (Kimura et al., 1971). 7.1.2 Non-lethal effects 188.8.131.52 Oral exposure Chloroform is a potent anaesthetic. Anaesthesia may result from oral administration of chloroform; this was established by Bowman et al. (1978) in the ICR mouse with a dose of 500 mg chloroform/kg body weight in aqueous emulsion. The ED50 (50% of animals showing effect at this dose level) in mice for acute neurological effects (ataxia, incoordination and anaesthesia) was 484 mg chloroform/kg body weight (Balster & Borzelleca, 1982). After oral administration of chloroform in olive oil to Swiss mice (both sexes), Jones et al. (1958) found the median narcotic dose to be 350 mg/kg body weight and the median hepatotoxic dose to be 35 mg/kg body weight. At this dose level, the liver showed centrilobular fatty infiltration and at 350 mg/kg body weight centrilobular necrosis was found. Table 9. Representative LD50 values (mg chloroform/kg body weight) for mice Sex/strain Route Vehicle Observed LD50 Reference period Male C3H/tif oral sesame oil 15 days 36 Pericin & Thomann (1979) DBA/2/j oral sesame oil 15 days 101 Pericin & Thomann (1979) Tif:MAGf oral sesame oil 15 days 213 Pericin & Thomann (1979) A/J oral sesame oil 15 days 253 Pericin & Thomann (1979) Tif:MF2f oral sesame oil 15 days 336 Pericin & Thomann (1979) C57BL/6J oral sesame oil 15 days 460 Pericin & Thomann (1979) Princeton subcutaneous peanut oil 10 days 696 Plaa et al. (1958) Swiss albino subcutaneous olive oil 10 days 3245 Kutob & Plaa (1962a) Female C3H/tif oral sesame oil 15 days 353 Pericin & Thomann (1979) DBA/2/j oral sesame oil 15 days 679 Pericin & Thomann (1979) A/J oral sesame oil 15 days 774 Pericin & Thomann (1979) C57BL/6J oral sesame oil 15 days 820 Pericin & Thomann (1979) Tif:MF2f oral sesame oil 15 days 1126 Pericin & Thomann (1979) Tif:MAGf oral sesame oil 15 days 1366 Pericin & Thomann (1979) OF1 intraperitoneal olive oil 14 days 880 Gradiski et al. (1974) Table 10. Representative LD50 values (mg chloroform/kg body weight) for rats Sex/strain Route Vehicle Observed LD50 Reference period Male Sprague-Dawley oral none unknown 450 Kimura et al. (1971) (14 days old) unknown oral none unknown 1200 Kimura et al. (1971) (older adults) Sprague-Dawaley oral none 14 days 908 Chu et al. (1980) Sprague-Dawley oral none 14 days 2000 Torkelson et al. (1976) Female Sprague-Dawley oral none unknown 450 Kimura et al. (1971) (14 days old) Sprague-Dawley oral none 14 days 1117 Chu et al. (1980) Sprague-Dawley intraperitoneal peanut oil 24 h 1379 Lundberg et al. (1986) 14 days 894 Hill (1978) investigated strain and sex differences in chloroform-induced toxicity in mice. Male mice of three strains (DBA/2J, B6D2F1/J, and C57BL/6J) were given single oral doses of chloroform in oil. No clear difference in hepatotoxicity between strains was observed; centrilobular necrosis occurred at doses greater than 250 mg/kg body weight in all three strains. In contrast, there were differences between species in renal toxicity. Doses of 89 mg/kg body weight caused glucosuria and/or proteinuria in half of the DBA/2J animals, while doses of 119 and 163 mg/kg body weight were required to produce these effects in half the B6D2F1/J and C57BL/6J mice, respectively. In male CFLP Swiss mice, Moore et al. (1982) found neither histological changes in the liver or kidney nor biochemical changes in plasma 4 days after oral administration of 17 mg chloroform/kg body weight in corn oil. Administration of 66 mg chloroform/kg body weight caused slight hepatotoxicity and a more severe nephrotoxicity. Chu et al. (1980, 1982a) observed piloerection, sedation, flaccid muscle tone, ataxia, prostration and dacryorrhoea after administration of chloroform to rats. Food intake in the males was reduced. Histological and biochemical examination revealed effects on liver, kidneys and red and white blood cells. Upon histological examination, no lesions were found in other tissues with chloroform doses up to 2100 mg/kg body weight. In this study the lowest administered dose was 546 mg chloroform/kg body weight, a level at which toxic effects were still found. Reitz et al. (1982) determined the cellular regeneration (as 3H-thymidine uptake in DNA) 48 h after administration of chloroform to male B6C3F1 mice and male Osborne-Mendel rats. In the mice, 3H-thymidine uptake was significantly increased in kidneys at a dose level of 60 mg chloroform/kg body weight and in kidneys and liver at 240 mg chloroform/kg body weight. In the rats, only a slight increase in 3H-thymidine uptake in liver and kidneys was found at a dose level of 180 mg chloroform/kg body weight. Torkelson et al. (1976) reported dose-related liver and kidney changes in adult rats at dose levels as low as 250 mg chloroform/kg body weight. Tyson et al. (1983) found an elevation of serum aminotransferase levels in rats at dose levels above 200 mg/kg body weight in oil. One study examined the organ-specific toxicity of acute doses of chloroform (Larson et al., 1993). Male F-344 rats were given chloroform by gavage in corn oil at doses of 0, 34, 180 or 477 mg/kg body weight and necropsied 24 h later. Additional rats were given a single dose of 180 mg chloroform/kg and administered bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) 2 h prior to necropsy at 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 days after chloroform treatment to label cells in S-phase. The kidneys of male rats administered 34, 180 and 477 mg chloroform/kg exhibited mild to severe proximal tubular necrosis in a dose-dependent manner. A 20-fold increase in the labelling index (LI, % of nuclei in S-phase) in the proximal tubule cells was observed 2 days after treatment at a dose of 180 mg/kg body weight. The livers of the male rats exhibited only slight to moderate multifocal centrilobular necrosis at 180 and 477 mg/kg body weight. A 10-fold increase in the LI was observed in the liver of male rats given 477 mg/kg body weight, but no increase was observed at 180 mg/kg body weight (Larson et al., 1993). Female B6C3F1 mice were given chloroform by gavage (0, 34, 238 or 477 mg/kg body weight) and necropsied 24 h after treatment. Additional mice were given a single dose of 350 mg chloroform/kg body weight, labelled with BrdU, and necropsied 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 days after treatment. Female mice developed a dose-dependent centrilobular hepatic necrosis at 238 and 477 mg/kg body weight. No renal lesions were observed in female mice at any dose. A peak increase in LI of 38-fold was observed in hepatocytes in the livers of female mice 2 days after treatment with 350 mg chloroform/kg, but the increase in LI observed in the kidneys was only 2-fold (Larson et al., 1993). These data indicate that acute chloroform-induced cytolethality leads to increased cell proliferation and that the organ-specific pattern of toxicity is the same as the organ-specific pattern of tumour formation (see NCI, 1976a,b, and section 7.7.1). Groger & Grey (1979) intubated Colworth Wistar rats (6 of each sex per group) daily with chloroform in peanut oil (0 to 50 mg/kg body weight) for periods of 1, 5 or 10 days. There were changes in the activity of several liver enzymes, the toxicological significance of which is unclear. Balster & Borzelleca (1982) administered chloroform in water to male ICR mice (8-12/group) and examined their performances in a battery of neurobehavioural tests (several exposure periods and several dose levels). The only effect observed was a reduced achievement in an operant behaviour test after dosing with 100 and 400 mg chloroform/kg body weight in water for 60 days. At the chloroform level of 400 mg/kg body weight, about half the treated animals died. No adverse effects on behaviour were observed after 90 days of dosing with 31 mg chloroform/kg body weight in water. 184.108.40.206 Subcutaneous and intraperitoneal exposure A sex difference in toxicity was found after subcutaneous and intraperitoneal administration of chloroform to mice. In males, the kidney appeared to be more susceptible than in females, in which the liver was found to be the target organ. Smith et al. (1983) exposed male and female mice of the ICR strain to chloroform doses of 75 to 1500 mg/kg body weight (subcutaneous and intraperitoneal). Hepatotoxicity was dose-related in both sexes from 375 mg chloroform/kg body weight upwards. After the subcutaneous administration of 375 mg chloroform/kg body weight, an increase in the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) and a decrease in the liver non-protein sulfhydryl groups (NPSH) were observed. Histological examinations showed centrilobular swelling of the liver and necrosis of the hepatocytes in both sexes. At 24 h after intraperitoneal exposure to 375 mg chloroform/kg body weight, renal toxicity was observed in males but not in females. A decrease in the renal NPSH concentration of about 60% in males and 20% in females was found. The concentration in females, but not in males, returned to normal within 24 h post-dosing. Histological examination of male kidneys showed proximal tubular lesions with pyknotic nuclei and loss of reticular cytoplasmic structure, necrosis of the cells of the proximal tubuli and occlusion of the tubular lumens with hyaline casts (Smith et al., 1983). Skrzypinska et al. (1991) administered chloroform intraperitoneally to Balb/c mice as a single dose ranging from 12.5 to 100% of the approximate lethal dose. At different time periods after administration, mice were sacrificed. Serum glutamine-pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) and sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH), as well as glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the liver, were determined. Increased SGPT and SDH levels were found for all doses exceeding one eighth of the approximate lethal dose. The depletion of GSH level was kept within 40% for all doses. A 2- to 4-fold increase of hepatic MDA level was found. The depletion of hepatic GSH, and to some extent the increase of SGPT and SDH, occurred in a biphasic fashion. Dose-effect functions for these biochemical alterations could only be constructed for the second delayed phase of action. It is postulated that the hepatotoxicity of chloroform is mainly dependent on radical formation in the course of biotransformation. Plaa & Larson (1965) observed renal toxicity after an intraperitoneal dose as low as 48 mg chloroform/kg body weight in male Swiss mice. The authors reported that chloroform was the most potent nephrotoxic agent of 14 short-chain chlorinated hydrocarbons in male mice. Ahmadizadeh et al. (1984) found an increase in the relative kidney weight after intraperitoneal administration of chloroform in peanut oil (150 mg/kg body weight) to male DBA mice, but not after chloroform administration to DBA female mice or to male or female mice of the C57BL strain. Hepatic toxicity, which is the predominant effect in most species, was found after a parenteral dose of 450 and 150 mg chloroform/kg body weight in the rat and the guinea-pig, respectively (Klaassen & Plaa, 1969; Divincenzo & Krasavage, 1974). Detection of lipoperoxidation in the liver of PB-induced rats exposed to chloroform has been reported by several authors (Klaassen & Plaa, 1969; Brown, 1972; Brown et al., 1974a; Masuda et al., 1980). An increased bile duct/pancreatic fluid flow and a changed composition of this fluid were observed after an intraperitoneal dose of 1500 mg chloroform/kg body weight to rats (Harms et al., 1976; Hamada & Peterson, 1977). A single, liver-damaging intraperitoneal dose of chloroform led to a maximal glutathione depletion in the liver of PB-pretreated rats shortly after dosing (1-2 h) but not in saline-treated rats. However, the maximal histopathological findings (centrilobular necrosis) occurred much later (after about 24 h) (Docks & Krishna, 1976). In dogs, liver toxicity has been found after intraperitoneal administration of chloroform. The ED50 for an increased serum ALAT activity via this route appears to be 300 mg chloroform/kg body weight. At near-ED50 doses, chloroform caused centrilobular vacuolization and centrilobular and subcapsular necrosis. The ED50 for renal dysfunction in the dog appears to be 645 mg chloroform/kg body weight (Klaassen & Plaa, 1967). Bai et al. (1992) evaluated the suitability of nine different serum bile acids (SBA) as markers of chloroform exposure in rats. Increases in specific SBA levels were observed following three daily intraperitoneal administrations of chloroform at doses as low as 0.1 mmol/kg body weight. The effects on SBA levels were detectable at much lower doses than were effects on histopathological indices or on levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartatetransaminase, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin or total bile acid. Chloroform doses as low as 45 mg/kg body weight reduced the microsomal Ca++/Mg++-ATP-ase activity (liver microsome calcium pump) in rats (Moore, 1980). 220.127.116.11 Inhalation exposure After exposure to chloroform vapour, the same pattern of toxicity in mice was observed as after oral, intraperitoneal or subcutaneous administration (Deringer et al., 1953; Hewitt, 1956). Deringer et al. (1953) found necrosis in the proximal and distal convoluted tubules, hyaline casts in the convoluted tubules and collecting ducts, calcification of the cortex, and death after exposure of male C3H mice to chloroform concentrations of 3400 to 5400 mg/m3 for 1 to 3 h; anaesthesia was not observed. Kylin et al. (1963) exposed female albino mice of an undefined strain to chloroform vapour for 4 h and reported hepatotoxic effects. At 24 h after exposure to chloroform concentrations of 490 mg/m3 or more, a concentration-related fatty infiltration was observed. From 980 mg chloroform/m3 upwards, necrosis of liver cells and a rise in the serum ornithine carbamoyltransferase level were seen. In mice, rabbits, guinea-pigs and cats, anaesthesia was induced by exposure to chloroform concentrations in the range of 10 to 100 g/m3 for periods of 30 min to a few hours. In rabbits and guinea-pigs such exposures can cause death (review by Lehmann & Flury, 1943). As with other anaesthetics, prolonged anaesthesia with chloroform may result in respiratory depression, cardiac arrhythmia and finally in cardiac arrest. Heart failure is probably due to increased sensitivity of the heart muscle to adrenaline (Von Oettingen et al., 1950; Von Oettingen, 1964). Exposure of rabbits to 224 mg/m3 for 1 min led to decreased diastolic pressure, reduction of the stroke volume, blood pressure and cardiac output, and an increase in the peripheral vascular resistance. The cardiac effects were probably not due to respiratory effects, as blood oxygen and carbon dioxide tension and pH were not significantly changed (Taylor et al., 1976). Exposure of rats to a chloroform concentration of 49 g/m3 for 5 h resulted in respiratory acidosis. Liver cells showed swollen rough endoplasmic reticulum with a loss of ribosomes, mitochondrial lesions, and cistern-like dilatation of tubular areas of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum. An accumulation of fat droplets and reduced amino acid incorporation into protein were also found in liver cells (Scholler, 1966, 1967). Brondeau et al. (1983) found increased serum activities of glutamate dehydrogenase and sorbitol dehydrogenase after a single 4 h exposure of male rats to a chloroform concentration of 1410 mg/m3. The effects were dose-related and at the highest concentrations tested (4600 and 5250 mg/m3) serum aspartate aminotransferase levels (ASAT) were also increased. 18.104.22.168 Dermal exposure Single application of 1 or 4 g chloroform/kg body weight for 24 h to the belly of rabbits, under an impermeable plastic cuff, resulted in extensive necrosis and weight loss at both levels. The kidneys of all animals showed dose-related degenerative changes in the tubules. Livers were not grossly affected (see also section 7.4) (Torkelson et al., 1976). 7.2 Short-term exposure 7.2.1 Oral exposure 22.214.171.124 Mice Condie et al. (1983) dosed male CD1 mice daily with 0, 37, 74 and 148 mg chloroform/kg body weight in corn oil for 14 days. Histological changes turned out to be the most sensitive indicators of liver and kidney toxicity. Dose-related effects were observed at dose levels from 37 mg/kg body weight upwards. Kidneys showed intra-tubular mineralization, epithelial hyperplasia and cytomegaly. Livers showed centrilobular cytoplasmic pallor, marked cell proliferation and focal inflammation. After 14 days the body weight in the highest dose group was reduced. Female and male CD1 mice (7-12 animals of each sex per group) were administered daily 0, 50, 125 and 250 mg/kg body weight in water by gavage for 14 and 90 days (Munson et al., 1982). Many histological and biochemical parameters were examined. After 14 days, the most important effects were a dose-related decrease in the number of antibody-forming cells (as IgM response to sheep red blood cells) in both sexes (> 50 mg/kg body weight) and an increase in the liver weight of males at doses > 125 mg/kg body weight and of females at the highest dose level. The serum ASAT level was increased in males and females at the highest dose level and serum ALAT was increased in females at the highest dose level. After 90 days, a depression in the number of antibody-forming cells was found at the highest dose level in both sexes. In females at the highest dose level, a decrease in cell-mediated type hypersensitivity was observed. Liver weight was increased after 90 days of exposure to doses > 50 mg chloroform per kg body weight in the females and at 250 mg chloroform/kg body weight in the males. After 90 days of exposure, the animals showed a tolerance against a challenging dose of 1000 mg chloroform/kg body weight. The kidneys and livers of all dosed animals showed histological changes. In the kidneys these changes included small intertubular collections of chronic inflammatory cells, whereas in the liver they included generalized hydropic degeneration of hepatocytes and occasional small focal collections of lymphocytes. In females, small amounts of extravasated bile were occasionally noted in the sinusoidal Kupffer cells. Jorgenson & Rushbrook (1980) administered chloroform to female B6C3F1 mice for 90 days in the drinking-water at concentrations of 0, 200, 400, 600, 900, 1800 and 2700 mg/litre (measured daily chloroform doses of 0, 34, 66, 92, 132, 263 and 400 mg/kg body weight, respectively). In the first week of the experiment some mice in the higher dose groups died of dehydration due to reduced drinking. Depression of the central nervous system occurred in the animals receiving chloroform and was concentration-related. The only treatment-related histopathological findings consisted of a mild adaptive and transitory fatty change in the livers of animals dosed with 66 mg chloroform/kg body weight or more and a mild lymphoid atrophy of the spleen at the higher dose levels. There is evidence that the vehicle in which chloroform is administered significantly affects its toxicity. Bull et al. (1986) found that chloroform administered by gavage in corn oil was significantly more hepatotoxic than equivalent doses administered in an aqueous emulsion (2% Emulphor(R), polyoxyethylated vegetable oil, GAF Corp.). Doses of 0, 130 and 270 mg/kg were administered to male and female B6C3F1 mice for 90 days. Liver body weight ratios were significantly higher in all dose groups and in both sexes when chloroform was administered in corn oil. The SGPT level was significantly elevated in both sexes at the high dose level of chloroform administered in corn oil, but not in those treated with the same dose in Emulphor. Mice treated at all levels of chloroform in corn oil showed evidence of extensive vacuolation and those treated with the high dose in corn oil showed extensive disruption of hepatic architecture including cirrhosis. No such pathological changes were observed in any of the animals treated with chloroform in 2% Emulphor. One study contrasted the toxic responses of chloroform administered by gavage in corn oil or given ad libitum in the drinking-water (Larson et al., 1994a). Female B6C3F1 mice were administered oral doses (0, 3, 10, 34, 90, 238, or 477 mg/kg per day) of chloroform dissolved in corn oil for 4 days or for 5 days/week for 3 weeks, or were continually exposed to chloroform in the drinking-water at concentrations of 0, 60, 200, 400, 900 or 1800 mg/litre for 4 days or 3 weeks, at which time they were necropsied. BrdU was delivered via osmotic pumps implanted 3.5 days prior to necropsy. Cell proliferation was evaluated as a BrdU labelling index (LI) in histological tissue sections. Dose-dependent changes included centrilobular necrosis and markedly elevated LI in mice given chloroform in corn oil at 238 or 477 mg/kg, the average daily doses that produced tumours in the gavage cancer bioassay (NCI, 1976a,b). The no-observed-effect level (NOEL) for histopathological changes was 10 mg/kg body weight per day and for induced cell proliferation 34 mg/kg body weight per day. Chloroform given in the drinking-water did not increase the hepatic LI after either 4 days or 3 weeks in any of the dose groups, nor were any microscopic alterations observed in the liver, even though the cumulative daily amount of chloroform ingested in the 1800-mg/litre exposure group was 329 mg/kg body weight per day (Larson et al., 1994a). Thus, the authors concluded that liver detoxification mechanisms are overwhelmed when chloroform is given as a single bolus dose, but the liver can detoxify the same daily dose if it is given in small amounts resulting from sips of water throughout the day. The authors also concluded that the sustained increase in LI in the livers of mice administered hepatocarcinogenic doses of chloroform in corn oil, but not in the case of chloroform in drinking-water, supports the hypothesis that chloroform-induced mouse liver cancer is secondary to events associated with induced cytolethality and cell proliferation (see also NCI, 1976a,b and section 7.7). 126.96.36.199 Rats Chu et al. (1982a) exposed male weanling Sprague-Dawley rats to chloroform via drinking-water for 28 days. The following chloroform exposure doses were calculated: 0, 0.13, 1.3 and 11 mg/rat per day (0, 0.7, 7.4 and 63 mg/kg body weight, respectively). The only treatment-related effect observed was a decrease in the neutrophils in the 11-mg group. In a 90-day study by Chu et al. (1982b) male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to chloroform via drinking-water at dose levels of 0, 0.17, 1.3, 12 and 40 mg/rat per day for males and 0, 0.12, 1.3, 9.5 and 29 mg/rat per day for females; this was followed by 90 days of recovery. Water and food intake were reduced in the highest dose group. At the 40-mg level a higher incidence of spontaneous death occurred. Histological examination showed mild liver and thyroid lesions, especially in the highest dose group. Livers of both males and females showed: an increase in cytoplasmic homogeneity; density of the hepatocytes in the periportal area; mid-zonal and centrilobular increase in cytoplasmic volume; vacuolation due to fatty infiltration and occasional nucleic vesiculation; and hyperplasia of biliary epithelial cells. Thyroid lesions consisted of a reduction in follicular size and colloid density, increase in epithelial cell height and occasional collapse of follicles. Liver and thyroid lesions diminished in severity during the 90 days recovery period. Jorgenson & Rushbrook (1980) administered chloroform in the drinking-water to male Osborne-Mendel rats for 90 days at concentrations of 0, 200, 400, 600, 900 and 1800 mg/litre (calculated to be 0, 20, 38, 57, 81 and 160 mg chloroform/kg body weight, respectively). A concentration-related central nervous system depression was seen. Body weights in the 160-mg group were reduced throughout the study. Biochemical investigations of serum showed no important deviations from control values other than a dose-related increase in cholesterol at dose levels of 38 mg chloroform/kg body weight or more after 60 days and a decrease in triglycerides in the highest dose group from 30 days onwards. After 90 days of administration, however, these parameters were affected in the two highest dose groups only. No dose-related histopathological changes were reported. 7.2.2 Inhalation exposure The severity of liver injury due to inhaled chloroform is not only influenced by the administered concentration but also by the shape of the exposure profile. This was observed by Plummer et al. (1990), who exposed male black-hooded Wistar rats (36 per group) for 4 weeks to chloroform vapour as a constant concentration (245 mg/m3; 24 h/day; 7 days a week) or as repeated concentrations (1387 mg/m3; 6 h/day; 5 days a week), with a similar total exposure (154 g/m3-hours) for the two ways of exposure (levels were monitored). Hepatic injury appeared to be more severe in the continuously exposed group, in which microvesicular fatty change was the most prominent feature, while focal necrosis was a minor feature. Livers of the animals receiving repeated exposures showed only minor injuries in the form of scattered hepatocytes containing small fat droplets and a few foci of liver cell necrosis. Torkelson et al. (1976) exposed male and female rats (10-12 of each sex per group), rabbits (2-3 of each sex per group) and guinea-pigs (8-12 of each sex per group) to concentrations of 0, 110, 230 and 410 mg chloroform/m3 air for 7 h/day, 5 days/week, during 6 months. In the male and female rats, relative kidney weight was increased at all exposure levels. In the males, at all levels, kidneys showed cloudy swelling of the tubular epithelium and the livers showed lobular granular degeneration with focal necrosis. At the higher exposure levels the effects became more pronounced. The effects observed in the males exposed to 110 mg chloroform/m3 disappeared within 6 weeks after exposure. At 410 mg chloroform/m3, death, due to interstitial pneumonitis, occurred in the males. No effects were seen in the male rats after 1, 2 or 4 h of exposure to 110 mg chloroform/m3 (same schedule of exposure). The results obtained after exposure of rabbits and guinea-pigs were inconsistent because of low numbers of animals and/or the absence of dose-effect relationships. The toxicity of one-week exposures to inhaled chloroform has been investigated in female B6C3F1 mice and in male F-344 rats (Larson et al., 1994b; Méry et al., 1994). Rodents were exposed to chloroform vapour at concentrations of 0, 4.9, 14.7, 49, 147, 490 or 1470 mg/m3 (0, 1, 3, 10, 30, 100 or 300 ppm) for 7 consecutive days and necropsied on day 8. Cell proliferation was quantified as the percentage of cells in S-phase (BrdU labelling index) measured by immunohistochemical detection of BrdU-labelled nuclei. Mice exposed to 490 or 1470 mg/m3 exhibited centrilobular hepatocyte necrosis and severe vacuolar degeneration of mid-zonal and periportal hepatocytes, while exposure to 49 or 147 mg/m3 resulted in mild to moderate vacuolar changes in centrilobular hepatocytes. Slight, dose-related increases in the hepatocyte LI were observed for exposure concentrations of 4.9-14.7 mg/m3, while the LI was increased more than 30-fold in the 490- and 1470-mg/m3 groups. The kidneys of mice were affected only at 1470 mg/m3 exposure, with approximately half of the proximal tubules lined by regenerating epithelium and an 8-fold increase in the LI of tubule cells compared with controls (Larson et al., 1994b). In rats, mild centrilobular vacuolation was observed only in the livers of animals exposed to 1470 mg/m3. The hepatocyte LI in rats was increased only at 490 and 1470 mg/m3 (3-fold and 7-fold over control, respectively). The kidneys of the male rats were affected only at 1470 mg/m3. About 25 to 50% of the proximal tubules were lined by regenerating epithelium in this exposure group, while the LI for tubule cells was increased 2-fold over controls (Larson et al., 1994b). In the nasal passages of rats, chloroform concentrations of 49 mg/m3 or more induced histopathological changes that exhibited clear concentration-related severity. Chloroform-induced changes included increased epithelial mucosubstances in the respiratory epithelium of the nasopharyngeal meatus, primarily in the rats. A complex set of responses was seen in specific regions of the ethmoid turbinates, predominantly in the rats. These lesions in the ethmoid region, which involved all of the endo- and ectoturbinates, were most severe peripherally and generally spared the tissue adjacent to the medial airways. These changes were characterized by atrophy of Bowman's glands, increased numbers of vimentin-positive cells in the periosteum, new bone formation and increased number of periosteal cells in S-phase as determined by BrdU incorporation. Additional changes were site-specific loss of mucosubstances and loss of immunocyto-chemical staining of acini and ducts of Bowman's glands for P450-2E1 and pancytokeratin, and loss of P450-2E1 immunostaining of the olfactory epithelium. The only change noted in the mice was increased periosteal cell proliferation without new bone growth (Méry et al., 1994). 7.3 Long-term exposure In a carcinogenicity bioassay, female B6C3F1 mice were exposed to 0, 200, 400, 900 or 1800 mg chloroform/litre drinking-water (number of animals: 430, 430, 150, 50 and 50, respectively) for a period of two years (Jorgenson et al., 1982) (see also section 7.7.1). These concentrations (monitored by analysis) correspond to time-weighted average daily chloroform doses of 0, 34, 65, 130 and 263 mg/kg body weight (Jorgenson et al., 1985). Matched controls (50 females) received an amount of water without chloroform equal to that consumed by the 1800-mg/litre group. Additional mice were used for intermediate biochemical and histopathological examination. Early mortality in the high-dose group was observed. After 3 months, livers of animals exposed to chloroform concentrations of 65 mg/kg body weight or more showed a higher fat content than those of the controls (as examined by chemical techniques). After 6 months, liver fat content was increased in all exposed groups. Data on organ weights were not provided. In a carcinogenicity bioassay, male Osborne-Mendel rats were exposed to 0, 200, 400, 900 or 1800 mg chloroform/litre drinking-water (number of animals: 330, 330, 150, 50 and 50, respectively) for a period of two years (Jorgenson et al., 1982) (see section 7.7.2). These concentrations (monitored by analysis) correspond to time-weighted average daily chloroform doses of 0, 19, 38, 81 and 160 mg/kg body weight (Jorgenson et al., 1985). Matched controls received an amount of water without chloroform equal to that consumed by the 1800-mg/litre group. Additional rats were used for intermediate biochemical and histopathological examination. The survival was indirectly proportional to the dose levels. Concentration-related decreases in water uptake and growth were seen. The latter effects were also observed in the matched controls, and thus may be attributed to the reduced intake of water. Biochemical examination of blood after 6, 12 and 18 months showed that chlorine, potassium, total iron and albumin levels and the albumin/globulin ratio tended to be increased after chloroform treatment, whereas levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and lactate dehydrogenase were decreased in all treated groups. These deviations were also observed in the matched controls, but the decreases in serum triglycerides and cholesterol levels were more severe at the two highest dose levels than in the matched control group. Data on organ weights were not provided. Beagle dogs were given chloroform in a toothpaste base in gelatin capsules, 6 days/week for 7.5 years (Heywood et al., 1979). The doses were 15 and 30 mg/kg and there were eight male and eight female dogs in each dose group. Dogs given the high dose began to show significant increases in SGPT levels at 6 weeks of treatment. At the low dose level, significant increases were observed at 34 weeks and after. Similar effects were not observed in the vehicle control (16 dogs of each sex) or untreated control (eight dogs of each sex) groups. "Fatty cysts" of the liver were observed in both dose groups at the end of this study (see section 7.7.3). 7.4 Skin and eye irritation Adequate data on the skin irritation potential of chloroform has not been identified. Torkelson et al. (1976) applied liquid chloroform to the rabbit ear and found slight hyperaemia and exfoliation after one to four treatments (period between application and observation not specified). More frequent application did not increase the severity of the injuries. A 24-h application of chloroform on a cotton pad on the belly of rabbits produced slight hyperaemia, moderate necrosis and eschar formation. Chloroform delayed healing of mechanically damaged skin on the application site. Application of chloroform droplets in the rabbit eye caused a transient slight irritation of the conjunctiva and corneal injury. A purulent exudate occurred for 2 or more days after the treatment (Torkelson et al., 1976). Duprat et al. (1976) applied undiluted chloroform into the eyes of six New Zealand white rabbits. It produced severe eye irritation, with mydriasis and keratitis in all rabbits. Translucent zones in the cornea were observed in four animals and a purulent haemorrhagic discharge was also reported (number of rabbits unknown). The effects had disappeared 2-3 weeks after application, except for one rabbit that still showed corneal opacity after 3 weeks. 7.5 Reproductive toxicity, embryotoxicity and teratogenicity 7.5.1 Reproduction Borzelleca & Carchman (1982) studied the reproductive toxicity of chloroform in a three-generation experiment with ICR mice. They administered the chemical (0.1% Emulphor in deionised water) via drinking-water (in closed bottles) to males (10/group) and females (30/group), at concentrations of 0, 0.1, 1 and 5 mg/ml, from 5 weeks before F0 mating throughout the entire study until sacrifice of the F2b pups. Death occurred among the males and females of the highest dose group, and body weights in this group were reduced. At 1 mg/ml, the body weights of F1b females were also reduced. Dose-related hepatotoxicity was found in the F0 and F1b animals (symptoms varying from "slight yellow-grey colouring" in the lowest dose group to "grey to black discolouration" with large nodules (> 3 mm) upon and within the liver in the highest dose group). The treatment resulted in reduced fertility, litter size, gestation index and viability index in all F1 and F2 generations, statistically significant at 5 mg/ml. No evidence for a teratogenic potential was obtained. 7.5.2 Embryotoxicity and teratogenicity Chloroform has not been found to be teratogenic but has been shown to induce fetotoxic effects. 188.8.131.52 Oral exposure No evidence for a teratogenic effect of chloroform was obtained in a three-generation study with ICR mice (Borzelleca & Carchman, 1982). In a study by Thompson et al. (1974), female Sprague-Dawley rats (25/group) were intubated with chloroform in corn oil (0, 10, 25 and 63 mg/kg body weight) twice daily on days 6-15 of gestation. A reduced body weight gain and anorexia were seen in the dams of the two higher dose groups. Tissues from two dams of each dose group were microscopically examined and fatty changes were observed in the livers of both females at 63 mg/kg and in one female at 25 mg/kg. Other signs of maternal toxicity were not found at these dose levels. The fetuses of the 63-mg/kg groups had a smaller weight at delivery than those of the control group. The incidence of bilateral extralumbar ribs was significantly increased among the fetal population of the 63-mg/kg dose group. Other minor visceral and skeletal abnormalities were seen, but not at significantly elevated levels. In the same study female Dutch-Belted rabbits (15/group) were dosed orally with chloroform in corn oil (0, 20, 35 and 50 mg/kg body weight) once daily during days 6-18 of gestation. Administration of chloroform produced a decrease in fetal body weight and incomplete ossification of skeletal elements (skull bones) in the 20- and 50-mg/kg dose groups. At the highest dose level the dams showed decreased weight gain. Signs of embryotoxicity and teratogenicity were not observed. Ruddick et al. (1983) gave pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats (15/group) chloroform in corn oil (0, 100, 200 and 400 mg chloroform/kg body weight) daily by gavage from days 6 to 15 of gestation. All doses caused reduced weight gain in the dams and increased liver weight. At the highest dose level, there was an increase in the kidney weight of the dams. Haematological examinations showed dose-dependent reductions in haemoglobin and haematocrit (14% maximally, both parameters). In the highest dose group, the red blood cell count was also reduced. According to Burkhalter & Balster (1979), oral administration of chloroform to mice from 3 weeks before mating until the end of the lactating period (in both sexes the dose was 31 mg/kg body weight) did not result in retardation of the development of responses to a battery of neurobehavioural tests in the pups. 184.108.40.206 Inhalation exposure Schwetz et al. (1974) reported effects on pregnancy and on the incidence of fetal malformations in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to chloroform concentrations of 147, 490 and 1470 mg/m3 (30, 100 and 300 ppm) for 7 h/day during days 6-15 of gestation (analysis 3 times daily showed concentrations of 147, 466 and 1426 mg/m3; 30, 95 and 291 ppm, respectively). The two highest concentrations were toxic to the dams (anorexia and reduced weight gain, increases in relative and absolute liver weight). There was a dose-dependent decrease in the pregnancy percentage (100% in the control group versus 15% in the 1426-mg/m3 group) and in the number of living fetuses per litter. An increase was observed in the percentage of post-implantation losses (resorptions) in the highest dose group, and a dose-dependent increase was seen in the percentage of litters with resorptions (from 57% in the control group to 100% at the highest concentration). At all exposure levels, fetuses showed growth retardation and minor skeletal aberrations (delayed ossification of skull and sternebrae). Exposure to 147 mg/m3 caused minor embryo- and fetotoxicity, and concentrations of 466 and 1426 mg/m3 in the inhaled air were embryo- and fetotoxic to the rat. At the higher levels, subcutaneous oedema and other unspecified fetal soft tissue anomalies were also observed. Murray et al. (1979) exposed pregnant CF1 mice (35-40/group) to 0 and 490 mg/m3 (0 and 100 ppm) for 7 h each day throughout days 1-7, 6-15 or 8-15 of gestation. The ability of females to maintain pregnancy was significantly decreased after exposure to chloroform during days 1-7 or 6-15 of gestation (44 and 43% in the treated groups versus 74 and 91% in the respective control groups). The dosed animals consumed slightly less food than the control animals, resulting in reduced body weight gain. Absolute and relative liver weights were increased in the groups exposed during days 6-15 and 8-15. After exposure during days 6-15, ALAT levels were significantly increased in pregnant and non-pregnant animals, the pregnant animals showing the smaller increase. Among the controls, no difference in ALAT activity was observed. An increase in total litter resorptions was observed after exposure through days 8-15. Mean fetal body weight and crown-rump length were decreased significantly if the dams had been exposed through days 1-7 or 6-15 of pregnancy. In the exposed groups an increased number of fetuses with delayed ossification of skull bones and sternebrae was observed, especially in the days 1-7 and 8-15 exposed groups. The incidence of cleft palates significantly increased in fetuses from dams exposed to 490 mg/m3 through days 8-15 of gestation for 7 h each day. Published information for embryotoxicity and teratogenicity of chloroform in rat, mouse and rabbit by oral and inhalation exposure are summarized in Table 11. 7.6 Mutagenicity and related end-points Very many genotoxicity assays have been conducted with chloroform and the data currently available are summarized in Tables 12 and 13. Some of these reports are from a large collaborative study comparing intra-laboratory variations in testing methodology (De Serres & Ashby, 1981). Two problems potentially compromise the interpretation of mutagenicity data on chloroform. First, there is a possibility that ethyl and diethylcarbonate, produced by reaction of phosgene with ethanol that is routinely added to U.S.P (US Pharmacopoeia) chloroform, could generate false positive results. Secondly, testing of chloroform must be done in a sealed system because of its volatility, and so studies that did not take this factor into account could give false negative results. In data presented in Table 12, three separate studies using the Ames assay were conducted under sealed conditions to assure chloroform retention. All three studies yielded negative test results. In not all studies was it reported whether an in vitro assay was performed in a sealed chamber to prevent chloroform evaporation (Table 12). However, dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) was often used as a solvent, thus increasing retention in the media. Furthermore, even in the case of an unsealed chamber, chloroform would be expected to stay in the media for a period of hours, and very high doses (up to 10 mg/plate) were often used. Chloroform has been tested by a number of authors in validated bacterial systems with Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli and showed to be negative both with and without metabolic activation. Only in one uncommon test with Photobacterium phosphorum was a positive effect found (Wecher & Scher, 1982). Table 11. Embryotoxicity, fetotoxicity and teratogenicity produced in animals by exposure to chloroform Species Dose Gestational days Route of Result Reference administered administration Rat 30, 100, 300 ppm 6-15 inhalation embryotoxic Schwetz et al. (1974) (7 h/day) fetotoxic Rat 20, 50, 126 mg/kg per day 6-15 oral fetotoxic Thompson et al. (1974) Rat 100, 200, 400 mg/kg per day 6-15 oral fetotoxic Ruddick et al. (1983) Mouse 100 ppm 1-7, inhalation embryotoxic Murray et al. (1979) 6-15, fetotoxic 8-15 (7 h/day) Rabbit 20, 35, 50 mg/kg per day 6-18 oral fetotoxic Thompson et al. (1974) Table 12. Mutagenicity studies with chloroform Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference Bacterial systems Salmonella TA1535 base-pair substitution 14C-labelled compound + ra i.m., - Uehleke et al. typhimurium TA1538 frame-shift mutation tested; no further i.n.r. (1976, 1977) details reported S. typhimurium TA1535 base-pair substitution 5 mM tested; incubation + m PB - Uehleke et al. TA1538 frame-shift mutation in closed containers (1976, 1977) (survival > 80%) S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation suspension test and - i.n.r. - Simmon et al. TA1537 frame-shift mutation vapour test; concentration + r - (1977) TA1538 frame-shift mutation in suspension test was 10% TA100 base-pair substitution v/v, no further details TA1535 base-pair substitution S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation up to 3600 µg/plate; - - Gocke et al. TA1537 frame-shift mutation incubation in air-tight + r PCB - (1981) TA1538 frame-shift mutation desiccators TA100 base-pair substitution TA1535 base-pair substitution S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation test conditions not - - Trueman (1981) TA1537 frame-shift mutation reported + r PCB - TA1538 frame-shift mutation TA100 base-pair substitution TA1535 base-pair substitution S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation test conditions not - - Ichinotsubo TA100 base-pair substitution reported + - et al. (1981b) Table 12 (contd) Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation 0.5, 1.0, 5.0, 100, - - Venitt & Crofton- TA100 base-pair substitution 200, 500 µg/plate + r PCB - Sleigh (1981) S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation microtitre fluctuation - - Gatehouse TA1537 frame-shift mutation test; 1, 5, 10 µg/ml + r PCB - (1981) TA1535 base-pair substitution S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation fluctuation test; 1-500 - ± Hubbard et TA100 base-pair substitution µg/ml (not specified) + r - al. (1981) S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation solvent DMSO; no further - - Baker & TA1537 frame-shift mutation details + r PCB - Bonin (1981) TA1538 frame-shift mutation TA100 base-pair substitution TA1535 base-pair substitution S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation test conditions not - ± Garner et al. TA1537 frame-shift mutation reported + r PB - (1981) TA100 base-pair substitution TA1535 base-pair substitution S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation 50, 100, 200, 1000, - - MacDonald TA1537 frame-shift mutation 2000, 5000 µg/plate + r PCB - (1981) TA100 base-pair substitution S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation solvents DMSO; no further - - Nagao & TA1537 frame-shift mutation details + r PCB - Takahashi TA100 base-pair substitution (1981) Table 12 (contd) Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation 0.1, 1.0, 10, 100, 500, - - Rowland & TA1537 frame-shift mutation 2000 µg/plate; solvent + r PCB - Severn (1981) TA1538 frame-shift mutation DMSO TA100 base-pair substitution TA1535 base-pair substitution S. typhimurium TA1535 base-pair substitution 10, 100, 1000, 10 000 - - Richold & TA1537 frame-shift mutation µg/plate; solvent + r PCB - Jones (1981) TA1538 frame-shift mutation DMSO S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation test conditions not - - Simmon & TA1537 frame-shift mutation reported + r PCB - Shepherd TA1538 frame-shift mutation (1981) TA100 base-pair substitution TA1535 base-pair substitution S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation solvent DMSO or water; - - Brooks & TA1537 frame-shift mutation 0.2, 2, 20, 200, 2000 + r PCB - Dean (1981) TA1538 frame-shift mutation µg/plate TA100 base-pair substitution TA1535 base-pair substitution TA92 interstrand DNA crosslinks S. typhimurium TA98 frame-shift mutation 10, 100, 1000, 10 000 - - Van Abbé et TA1537 frame-shift mutation µg/plate + r PCB - al. (1982) TA1538 frame-shift mutation + m PCB - TA100 base-pair substitution S. typhimurium TA1535 base-pair substitution vapour test; exposure - - Van Abbé et TA1538 frame-shift mutation for 2, 4, 6 or 8 h + r PCB - al. (1982) Table 12 (contd) Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference S. typhimurium TM 677 forward mutation to solvent DMSO; up to + r PCB - Skopek et al. azaguanine resistance 300 µg/ml (1981) Escherichia coli WP2 uvrA reversion to trp+ 10, 100, 1000 µg/plate + r PCB - Gatehouse (1981) E. coli WP2 uvrA reversion to trp+ test conditions not + r PCB - Matsushima et reported al. (1981) E. coli WP2p reversion to trp+ solvent acetone; 0.1, 1, + r - Kirkland et WP2 uvrA 10, 100, 1000, 10 000 - PCB - al. (1981) µg/plate E. coli WP2p reversion to trp+ 0.5, 1.0, 5, 10, 50, - - Venitt & WP2 uvr-p 100, 200, 500 µg/plate + r PCB - Crofton-Sleigh (1981) E. coli K12 base-pair substitution 14C-labelled compound + ra i.m. - Greim et al. (not specified) tested; no further details (1977) reported Photobacterium PPL- reversion to normal disc-diffusion assay; no - + Wecher & phosphoreum light emission further details reported Scher (1982) Non-mammalian eukaryotic systems Allium cepa chromosomal aberrations solvent: DMSO; 0, 250, 500, + Cortés et al. 1000, 1500, 2500, 5000, (1985) 10 000 µg/ml Saccharomyces D7 mitotic gene conversion no details reported + n.r. i.n.r. - Zimmermann & cerevisiae at trp 5 locus Scheel (1981) Table 12 (contd) Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference S. cerevisiae D7 mitotic gene conversion 21, 41, 54 mM; incubation - + Callen et al. at trp 5; mitotic in screw-capped glass (1980) recombination at ade 2, tubes reversion at ilv 1 loci S. cerevisiae D6 mitotic aneuploidy agar added + r PCB - Parry & Sharp (1981) S. cerevisiae D6 mitotic aneuploidy direct incubation in + r PCB ± Parry & Sharp plastic bottles, 25, 50, (1981) 100 µg/ml; idem in glass + r PCB - bottles S. cerevisiae JD1 mitotic gene conversion up to 1000 µg/ml; + r PCB ± Sharp & Parry at trp 5 locus and his incubation in plastic (1981a) 5 polaron containers S. cerevisiae JD1 idem as above idem as above, only + r PCB - Sharp & Parry incubation in glass (1981a) containers S. cerevisiae D4 mitotic gene conversion 0.33, 1.0, 3.33, 100, - - Jagannath et at ade 2 and trp 5 loci 333.3 µg/plate + r PCB - al. (1981) S. cerevisiae T1 mitotic crossing over 100, 1000 µg/plate - - Kassinova et T2 at ade 2 + r PCB - al. (1981) S. cerevisiae XV 185-14 reversion at his 1, solvent DMSO; 111, - - Mehta & Von C (haploid) hom 3, and arg 4 loci 1111 µg/ml + n.r. i.n.r. - Borstel (1981) Schizosaccharomyces P1 forward mutation at ade 5, 7.5, 10 µg/ml - - Loprieno myces pombe 1, 3, 4, 5 and 9 loci + r PCB (+) (1981) Table 12 (contd) Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference Aspergillus 35 forward mutation 0.5% (survival 26%) ? - Gualandi nidulans (haploid) (induction of methionine (1984) suppressors) A. nidulans P1 somatic segregation 0.5% (survival 16.5%) ? - Gualandi (crossing-over and non- (1984) disjunction) Drosophila Berlin K sex-linked recessive Basc-test; 24 mM; adult - Gocke et al. melanogaster wild and lethal test feeding (1981) Basc D. melanogaster Berlin K sex-linked recessive Basc-test; solvent DMSO; - Vogel et al. wild and lethal test 0.1, 0.2% treated at (1981) y mei 9a 25 °C for 3 days with mei-41 D5 standard feeding technique In vitro mammalian systems Chinese hamster V79 forward mutation to 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5% - - Sturrock 8-azaguanine resistance (1977) Human lymphocytes chromosome breakage solvent acetone; 50, 100, + r PCB - Kirkland et 200, 400 µg/ml al. (1981) In vivo mammalian systems Mouse CD1 micronuclei in intraperitoneal, 0.015, - Tsuchimoto & polychromatic 0.03, 0.06 ml/kg body Matter (1981) erythrocytes of bone weight at 0 and 24 h marrow Table 12 (contd) Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference Mouse NMRI micronuclei in intraperitoneal, 238, 476, - Gocke et al. polychromatic 952 mg/kg body weight at (1981) erythrocytes of bone 0 and 24 h marrow Mouse B6C3F1 micronuclei in intraperitoneal, about - Salamone et polychromatic 0.088 ml/kg body weight al. (1981) erythrocytes of bone at 0 and 24 h or at marrow 0 h only Mouse ? micronuclei in route not reported; 100, (+) Agustin & polychromatic 200, 400, 600, 700, 800, Lim-Sylianco erythrocytes of bone 900 mg/kg body weight (1978) marrow Rat Long-Evans chromosomal aberrations intraperitoneal, + Fujie et al. in bone marrow 1.2-119.4 mg/kg body (1990) 6-597 mg/kg body weight weight; oral, Host-mediated assays S. typhimurium TA1535 base-pair substitution test conditions not - Agustin & Lim- reported Sylianco (1978) S. typhimurium TA1537 frame-shift mutation test conditions not + Agustin & Lim- reported Sylianco (1978) Table 12 (contd) a + = with metabolic activation b PB = phenobarbital c + = positive - = without metabolic activation PCB = polychlorinated biphenyls (+) = weakly positive m = mouse i.m. = intact microsomes added ± = equivocal; study cannot be evaluated r = rat i.n.r. = inducer not reported - = negative ra = rabbit n.r. = species not reported ? = not reported if metabolic action was used Table 13. Indicator studies with chloroform Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference Bacterial systems Escherichia coli WP2, WP67 DNA damage (growth test concentrations not - - Tweats (1981) uvrA pol inhibition) specified; no further + r PCB - A & CM 871 details uvrA lexA recA E. coli WP2, WP67 DNA damage test conditions not - - Green (1981) uvrA pol reported A & CM 871 uvrA lexA recA E. coli W3110 DNA damage liquid suspension test; - - Rosenkranz et (polA+), 25 mg/ml; solvent DMSO + r PCB (+) al. (1981) P3478 or water (POLA1-) E. coli JC 2921 rec DNA damage test conditions not - + - Ichinotsubo JC 9238 rec reported + + et al. JC 8471 rec (1981a) JC 5519 rec JC 7689 rec JC 7623 rec E. coli 56-161 induction of prophage 0.5, 5 mg/ml + r PCB - Thomson (1981) env A lambda in lysogenic - C 600 E. coli Table 13 (contd) Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference Bacillus subtilis H17 rec+ DNA damage not further maximum concentration: + r - Kada (1981) M45 rec- specified 20 µl/plate + yf - + jc - Non-mammalian eukaryotic systems Allium cepa SCE solvent DMSO; 0, 250, 500, ± Cortés et al. 1000, 1500, 2500, 5000, (1985) 10 000 µg/ml Saccharomyces T4 DNA repair solvent DMSO; 0.1, 1.0% - - Kassinova et cerevisiae T5 al. (1981) S. cerevisiae 197/2d DNA repair 100, 300, 600, 750 µg/ml; - ± Sharp & Parry rad 3, incubation in plastic + ± (1981b) rad 18, bottles rad 52, trp 2 In vitro mammalian systems Chinese hamster ovary SCE 0.7% (after exposure, 78% + r PCB - White et al. of dose remained) (1979) Chinese hamster ovary SCE 0.01, 0.1 µg/ml; solvent + r PCB - Perry & Thomson DMSO (1981) Chinese hamster ovary SCE 0.001, 0.01, 0.1 mM - + d Athanasiou & Kyrtopoulos (1981) Table 13 (contd) Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference Rat erythroblast SCE only 1.0 mM tested + (+) Fujie et al. (1993) Syrian hamster embryo adenovirus 0.12, 0.25, 0.50, 1.0, - + Hatch et al. transformation 2.0 ml/sealed chamber (1983) (4.6 litre) Baby hamster kidney cell transformation test conditions not - (+) Daniel & Dehnel reported + r - (1981) Baby hamster kidney cell transformation 0.25, 2.5, 25, 250 µl/ml - - Styles (1979, 1981) Rat primary UDS 0.00084-8.4 mM - - Althaus et al. hepatocytes (1982) Mouse (B6C3F1) primary UDS 0.01-10 mM - - Larson et al. hepatocyte (1994c) Human primary UDS 4 cases 0.01-1.0 mM - - Butterworth hepatocyte et al. (1989) Human lymphocytes SCE 0.016-50 mM - + Morimoto & Koizumi (1983) Human lymphocytes SCE solvent acetone; 25, 50, + r PCB - Kirkland et 75, 100, 200, 400 µg/ml al. (1981) Human lymphocytes UDS 0.1, 1.0, 10 mM - - Perocco et + r PB - al. (1983) Table 13 (contd) Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference Human lymphocytes UDS 2.5, 5, 10 µg/ml - - Perocco & + r PB - Prodi (1981) Human Hela cells UDS 0.1-100 µg/ml; solvent - - Martin & DMSO +r PB - McDermid (1981) In vivo mammalian systems Mouse JCR/SJ SCE in bone marrow oral: 25, 50, 100, + Morimoto & cells 250 mg/kg body weight Koizumi (1983) per day for 5 days Mouse B6C3F1 DNA repair in liver oral: 240 mg/kg body - Reitz et al. weight (1982) Mouse C57BL sperm abnormalities vapour exposure: 0.04, + Land et al. x C3H 0.08%; 4 h/day for 5 days (1981) Mouse CBA x sperm abnormalities intraperitoneal: 0.025, - Topham (1980, BALB/C 0.05, 0.075, 0.1, 0.25 mg/kg 1981) body weight per day for 5 days; vehicle corn oil Rat F-344 UDS in hepatocytes oral: 40, 400 mg/kg body - Mirsalis et weight, single dose, al. (1982) vehicle corn oil Mouse B6C3F1 UDS in hepatocytes 238, 477 mg/kg body weight, - Larson et al. single dose, corn oil (1994c) vehicle Table 13 (contd) Species Strain/cells Measured end-point Test conditions Activationa Inducerb Resultc Reference Rat (neonatal) liver and DNA damage (3H elution) vehicle corn oil; 200-400 - Petzold & kidney cells mg/kg body weight Swenberg (1978) a + = with metabolic activation; - = without metabolic activation; r = rat; yf = Yellowtail fish; jc = Japanese clam b PB = phenobarbital; PCB = polychlorinated biphenyls c + = positive; (+) = weakly positive; ± = equivocal; study cannot be evaluated; - = negative; d In this test chromosome aberrations were also reported to occur; no details on this finding were reported. The majority of studies with non-mammalian eukaryotic systems (yeasts and other fungi) were negative. Positive results were obtained with Saccharomyces cerevisiae D7, but only at the highest concentration tested, at which there was a marked toxic effect (Callen et al., 1980). It should be noted that this strain of yeast contains an endogenous cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenase system. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe an indication for a mutagenic effect was observed (Loprieno, 1981). The inconsistent results with Saccharomyces cerevisiae D6 and JD 1 were probably due to inadequate test conditions (exposure in plastic rather than glass containers) and therefore it can be considered that chloroform was non-mutagenic in these tests (Parry & Sharp, 1981; Sharp & Parry, 1981a). In two sex-linked recessive lethal tests with Drosophila melanogaster, no mutagenic activity was observed (Gocke et al., 1981; Vogel et al., 1981). Chloroform did not induce gene mutations in V79 Chinese hamster cells (Sturrock, 1977), or chromosomal aberrations in human lymphocytes in vitro (Kirkland et al., 1981). In vivo mammalian testing comprised four micronucleus tests in mice, three of which gave a negative result (Tsuchimoto & Matter, 1981; Gocke et al.,1981; Salamone et al., 1981). The fourth micronucleus test was reported to have given a weakly positive result (Agustin & Lim-Sylianco, 1978). The same authors found a positive effect in the mouse host-mediated assay with Salmonella typhimurium TA1537 but not with TA1535. Indicator studies showed that chloroform induces sister-chromatid exchange (SCE) in hamster and human cells in vitro in the absence of metabolic activation, and in mice in vivo (Athanasiou & Kyrtopoulos, 1981; Morimoto & Koizumi, 1983). Positive or weakly positive results were reported in two tests on DNA damage and DNA repair with Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Sharp & Parry, 1981b; Rosenkranz et al., 1981; Ichinotsubo et al., 1981a). The ability of chloroform to induce unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) was examined in the in vitro and in vivo hepatocyte DNA repair assays for the most sensitive site for tumour formation, the female mouse liver (NCI, 1976a,b). In the in vitro assay, primary hepatocyte cultures from female B6C3F1 mice were incubated with concentrations from 0.01 to 10 mM chloroform in the presence of 3H-thymidine. UDS was assessed by quantitative autoradiography. No induction of DNA repair was observed at any concentration. In the in vivo assay, animals were treated by gavage with chloroform in corn oil (238 and 477 mg/kg body weight). Primary hepatocyte cultures were prepared 2 and 12 h later, incubated with 3H-thymidine and assessed for induction of UDS. No DNA repair activity was seen at either dose or at either time point. These negative results in the target organ are consistent with the suggestion that neither chloroform nor its metabolites react directly with DNA in vivo. The ability of chloroform to induce DNA repair was examined in freshly prepared primary cultures of human hepatocytes from discarded surgical material. No activity was seen in cultures from four different individuals at concentrations as high as 1 mM chloroform (Butterworth et al., 1989). Given the large number of sensitive assays to which chloroform has been submitted, it is noteworthy that the reported positive responses are so few. Furthermore, these few positive responses were randomly distributed amongst the various assays with no apparent pattern or clustering for any test system. Taken together, the weight of evidence indicates that neither chloroform not its metabolites would appear to interact directly with DNA or possess genotoxic activity. The conclusion is consistent with the lack of initiating activity of chloroform (see section 7.7.4). 7.7 Carcinogenicity 7.7.1 Mice In a National Cancer Institute carcinogenicity study, B6C3F1 mice received USP grade chloroform stabilized with ethanol (0.5-1%) in corn oil 5 times a week by gavage (NCI, 1976a,b). Dosing was stopped after 78 weeks and the animals were sacrificed after 92 weeks. There were 20 animals per sex in the control group and 50 animals per sex in the dosed groups. The dose levels changed after 18 weeks, resulting in time-weighted average dose levels of 138 (low) and 277 (high) mg chloroform/kg body weight for male mice and 238 (low dose) and 477 (high dose) mg chloroform/kg body weight for female mice. Administration of the highest dose of chloroform reduced survival in the female mice. Causes of death were related to the observed liver tumours, pulmonary inflammation and cardiac thrombosis. This latter lesion was not observed in either the control or the low-dose group. Dose-related increased frequencies of hepatocellular carcinomas were found, the incidences being 1/18, 18/50 and 44/45 at 0, 138 and 277 mg chloroform/kg body weight in the males and 0/20, 36/45 and 39/41 at 0, 238 and 477 mg chloroform per kg body weight in the females, respectively. Mice presented clinical signs of illness, i.e. a reduced food intake and an untidy appearance, but clear information on non-neoplastic lesions was not provided. There is evidence that tumour formation may have been secondary to induced cytolethality and regenerative cell proliferation (see Larson et al., 1994a, and section 220.127.116.11). Jorgenson et al. (1985) exposed female B6C3F1 mice to chloroform in their drinking-water for a period of two years. The concentrations were 0, 200, 400, 900 and 1800 mg/litre, and the numbers of animals were 430, 430, 150, 50 and 50 per group, respectively. Time-weighted average daily doses were 0, 34, 65, 130 and 263 mg/kg body weight. Additional matched controls (50 animals) received the same quantity of drinking-water (without chloroform) as was consumed by the animals in the highest dose groups. Initially, 25% of the animals in the two highest dose groups died, but later on the death rate was more or less equal to that in the control group. No treatment-related effects on either liver or total tumour incidence were observed. Lack of tumour formation is consistent with the lack of induced liver necrosis or regenerative hepatocyte cell proliferation when chloroform is administered in the drinking-water (see Larson et al., 1994a and section 18.104.22.168). The difference between the results obtained in the NCI study (1976a,b) and the Jorgenson et al. (1985) study is probably related to the manner in which the compound was administered. When given in the drinking-water, only small amounts of chloroform reach the liver, corresponding to each sip taken. Apparently, these small doses and delivery rates can be metabolized, detoxified and eliminated without liver damage (Larson et al., 1994a). When similar daily amounts are given as a single bolus dose in corn oil, it is probable that the high rate of delivery to the liver results in the production of toxic metabolites that overwhelm detoxification mechanisms, resulting in cell death and regenerative cell proliferation (Larson et al., 1994a). The choice of vehicle may also contribute to the observed difference in toxicity (Bull et al., 1986) (see also section 22.214.171.124). Roe et al. (1979) administered daily chloroform (British Pharmacopoeia quality) in a toothpaste base (vehicle) to ICI mice (control group 104 animals per sex, dose groups 52 animals per sex) by gavage, 6 days a week for 80 weeks, followed by a 16-week observation period. The dose levels were 0 (controls), 17 and 60 mg/kg body weight. Mice that died during the first 15 weeks of the experiment were replaced by animals from a reserve group (which were probably also dosed, although this was not specified). The control toothpaste did not contain eucalyptol and peppermint oil, whereas the toothpaste containing chloroform did contain these substances. Treatment with chloroform resulted in slightly increased survival, especially in the males. The most common cause of death was respiratory failure. A slightly increased incidence of fatty degeneration was observed among the chloroform-treated animals. Total tumour incidence was increased in the male mice (20/37 and 21/38 at 17 and 60 mg/kg body weight, respectively, versus 20/72 in the controls). Renal tumours (3 hypernephromas and 5 cortical adenomas) were reported in 8 out of 38 males of the high-dose group. In a second experiment by Roe et al. (1979), the influence of peppermint oil, eucalyptol and chloroform was determined separately. In this study, male ICI mice received 60 mg chloroform/kg body weight daily, in the same way as in the study reported above. The vehicle control (toothpaste without chloroform, eucalyptol and peppermint oil) and dose groups consisted of 260 and 52 male animals, respectively (the groups receiving a dose of peppermint or eucalyptol also consisted of 52 animals). Again, the survival in the chloroform-dosed group was better than in the control group. Total tumour incidence was lower in the chloroform-treated group (30/49 versus 170/240 in the controls). However, administration of chloroform resulted in a kidney tumour frequency (hypernephromas and adenomas) of 9/49, compared with a control value of 6/240. In a third study by Roe et al. (1979), 60 mg chloroform/kg body weight in toothpaste (containing eucalyptol and peppermint oil) was administered daily to male mice (52 per group) of the ICI, CBA, C57BL and the CF1 strain for a period of 80 weeks. The chemical was also administered in arachis oil to male mice of the ICI strain. Each strain had its own control group. Terminal sacrifice was at 93, 97-99, 104 and 104 weeks for the CF1, ICI, C57BL and CBA strains, respectively. In this study, a treatment-related increase in the survival was found in all strains tested, except for the CF1 strain. Treatment with chloroform resulted in a higher incidence of renal changes in the CBA and CF1 strains but not in the C57BL strain. The cause of death in all four strains was renal neoplasia in combination with respiratory and renal disease. In the C57BL, CBA and CF1 strains no changes in tumour frequencies were observed. In the ICI mice, after treatment with chloroform in either the toothpaste vehicle or arachis oil, an increase in the incidence of malignant kidney tumours was found (3/47 versus 0/49 in the controls, toothpaste vehicle; 9/48 versus 0/50 in the controls, arachis oil vehicle). Though full results are not yet available, an additional carcinogenesis bioassay in which mice were exposed to chloroform by inhalation is under way (Matsushima, personal communication, 1993). 7.7.2 Rats In a National Cancer Institute carcinogenicity study, Osborne-Mendel rats received USP grade chloroform stabilized with ethanol (0.5-1%) in corn oil 5 times a week by gavage (NCI, 1976a,b). Dosing was stopped after 78 weeks and the animals were sacrificed after 111 weeks. There were 20 animals per sex in the control group and 50 animals per sex in the dosed groups. The dose levels changed after 23 weeks, resulting in time-weighted average dose levels of 90 (low dose) and 180 (high dose) mg chloroform/kg body weight for males and 100 (low) and 200 (high) mg chloroform/kg body weight for females. Administration of chloroform reduced survival in male and female rats in all dose groups. A clear pathological reason for this effect in the rats was not given. In male rats, dose-related increased frequencies of kidney epithelial tumours were observed (incidences: 0/19, 4/50 and 12/50 at 0, 90 and 180 mg chloroform/kg body weight, respectively). In the females a non-significant increase in the frequency of thyroid tumours was found (incidences: 1/19, 8/49 and 10/46 at 0, 100 and 200 mg chloroform/kg body weight, respectively). Rats presented clinical signs of illness, i.e. a reduced food intake and an untidy appearance. However, clear information on non-neoplastic lesions was not provided. Reuber (1979) re-evaluated the histological sections of the NCI study (1976a,b) and reported the same neoplastic lesions as the NCI. In addition, he noted that chloroform-dosed female rats developed liver lesions that were not seen in the control females (i.e. cholangiofibromas 0/20, 1/39 and 3/39; cholangiocarcinomas 0/20, 2/39 and 8/39; hyperplastic nodules 1/20, 7/39 and 12/39; and hepatocellular carcinomas 0/20, 2/39 and 2/39, for the control, low- and high-dose groups, respectively). Jorgenson et al. (1985) exposed male Osborne-Mendel rats via drinking-water to 0, 200, 400, 900 and 1800 mg chloroform/litre for a period of two years. Time-weighted average daily chloroform doses were 0, 19, 38, 81 and 160 mg/kg body weight and the numbers of animals were 330, 330, 150, 50 and 50 per group, respectively. Additional matched controls (50 animals) received the same quantity of drinking-water (without chloroform) as was consumed by the animals in the highest dose groups. As a probable consequence of reduced drinking and reduced body weights, death rate was reduced with increasing chloroform dosage and in the matched control group. The only dose-related effect was an increase in renal tubular cell adenomas and adenocarcinomas. The incidence for all kidney tumours was 5/301, 1/50, 6/313, 7/148, 3/48 and 7/50 for control, matched control and the 19, 38, 81 and 160 mg/kg groups, respectively. From 38 mg/kg body weight upwards the increase in the frequency of all kidney tumours was statistically significant. In an inadequately reported study, Tumasonis et al. (1985) exposed male and female Wistar rats to 0 or 2900 mg chloroform per litre drinking-water during the lifetime of the animals. Animal numbers were 26 and 22 in the male and female control groups and 32 and 45 in the male and female treated groups, respectively. The experiment started with weanlings. After 72 weeks, the drinking-water chloroform concentrations were reduced because of an increased intake of water by exposed animals. However, daily intakes of chloroform varied considerably and so the time-weighted average daily doses were estimated roughly from a figure in the report. They appeared to be around 180 mg/kg body weight in the males and around 240 mg/kg body weight in the females. Body weights were decreased and life-span was increased in the exposed animals. A severe hepatic adenofibrosis (cholangiofibrosis) was observed in the exposed animals. Ten out of the 40 females examined showed hepatic hyperplastic nodules (none did in the control group). In the males no increase in the incidence of neoplastic nodules was found. Although full results are not yet available, an additional carcinogenesis bioassay in which rats were exposed to chloroform by inhalation is under way (Matsushima, personal communication, 1993). 7.7.3 Dogs Heywood et al. (1979) administered chloroform to Beagle dogs at dose levels of 0, 15 and 30 mg/kg body weight (6 days/week) in toothpaste in a gelatin capsule for a period of 7.5 years. Sacrifice followed after an observation period of 19 to 23 weeks, during which the chloroform treatment was withdrawn. The control group consisted of 16 animals of each sex and the dose groups of 8 animals of each sex. There were no treatment-related increases in tumours. 7.7.4 Studies on initiating-promoting activity 126.96.36.199 Mice One week after a single intraperitoneal administration of ethylnitrosourea (0, 5 or 20 mg/kg body weight) to 15 days old CD1 Swiss mice (both sexes), Pereira et al. (1985) exposed the animals to chloroform via drinking-water at concentrations of 0 or 1800 mg/litre until they were 51 weeks of age, after which the animals were sacrificed. The chloroform treatment did not affect the liver or lung tumour frequency in the females and the lung tumour frequency in the males. However, the liver tumour frequency in the males appeared to be reduced after the treatment. Capel et al. (1979) administered chloroform as a drinking-water solution (estimated daily doses of 0, 0.15 or 15 mg/kg body weight) to male mice either from 14 days before or from 14 days before to 14 days after intraperitoneal injection with Ehrlich ascites cells (TO strain), subcutaneous injection with B16 melanoma cells (C57BL strain) or intramuscular injection with Lewis lung carcinoma cells (C57BL strain). Chloroform treatment enhanced the growth of Ehrlich ascites cells (measured as intraperitoneal tumour cell DNA) at the high dose level. In comparison with the controls, more animals receiving chloroform at both dose levels had organs invaded with B16 melanoma cells. Lewis lung tumour growth, measured as primary tumour size or pulmonary metastases, was not significantly enhanced at low-dose chloroform treatment, but after treatment with the high dose the number of pulmonary metastases and tumour size were markedly increased. In a two-stage (initiation/promotion) treatment protocol, Klaunig et al. (1986) studied the effect on liver tumour incidence in male B6C3F1 mice (35/group) after continuous treatment with 600 and 1800 mg chloroform/litre drinking-water for 52 weeks to determine if chloroform expresses its hepatocarcinogenicity through tumour promotion mechanisms. Two groups received 600 and 1800 mg chloroform/litre drinking-water containing diethylnitrosamine (DENA; 10 mg/litre) during the first 4 weeks of exposure. Two other groups received 600 and 1800 mg chloroform/litre drinking-water without DENA. The DENA groups constituted the initiated groups. One initiated and one non-initiated control group were included. Chloroform did not affect the incidence of liver or lung tumours by itself, and even inhibited liver and lung tumorigenesis in the DENA-initiated mice, compared with DENA treatment alone. 188.8.131.52 Rats Deml & Oesterle (1985, 1987) studied the ability of chloroform to promote the development of liver tumours. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were initiated for liver tumours by administration of a single dose of 8 mg dimethyl nitrosamine/kg body weight. This was followed by administering chloroform (25, 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight) in an olive oil vehicle twice weekly for 11 consecutive weeks. There was a dose-related increase of ATPase-negative, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGTase)-positive and glycogen-storing foci of cells within the liver. For example, ATPase-deficient foci were increased from approximately 2-fold to 5-fold by doses of 100 and 400 mg/kg, respectively. These data demonstrate that chloroform in an oil vehicle will probably promote development of hepatic tumours in rats. Herren-Freund & Pereira (1986) evaluated the ability of chloroform to act as an initiator, promoter and co-carcinogen in B6C3F1 mice and male Sprague-Dawley rats. In rats, the initiator was administered 18-24 h following a two-thirds partial hepatectomy. Diethylnitrosamine (0.5 mmol/kg body weight) was used as the positive control for initiation and phenobarbital (500 mg/litre drinking-water) was used as the positive control for promotion. Ethylnitrosourea (ENU) was the positive control for initiator in 15-day-old mice and phenobarbital (500 mg/litre drinking-water) was used as the positive control for promotion. Chloroform was administered as a single dose of 180 and 360 mg/kg body weight as an initiator (no vehicle) in the rat and 1800 mg/litre drinking-water for 48 weeks as a promoter. There was no evidence that chloroform was able to act as an initiator in rats. Moreover, it did not act as a tumour promoter in either mice or rats, but actually decreased the numbers of hepatic tumours induced in neonatal mice by ENU. Concurrent administration of chloroform and DENA to the rat had no significant effect on foci or tumour development in rats. These data further suggest that the corn oil vehicle is important to the hepatocarcinogenic effects of chloroform. In a previous experiment, Pereira et al. (1982) had examined the effect of chloroform as an initiator and promoter. Chloroform was administered at 180 mg/kg body weight in a single dose as an initiator and 180 mg/kg body weight twice a week for 53 days as a promoter. In this case, tricaprylin was the vehicle. Chloroform had no activity as an initiator. There was a small, but statistically significant, increase in the numbers of GGTase-positive foci in the promotion study. Although chloroform is an established rodent carcinogen, several studies have shown that chloroform administered in impolar solvents also has anti-cancer properties as it inhibits tumour growth in mouse liver and in the gastrointestinal tract of the rat (Pereira et al., 1985; Daniel et al., 1989). Chloroform administered in drinking-water (0, 900 and 1800 mg/litre) to Fischer-344 rats significantly decreased gastrointestinal (GI) tumours that were initiated by a single 200 mg/kg dose of dimethyl hydrazine (DMH) (Daniel et al., 1989). GI tumour incidence was 14/39 in animals treated with DMH alone and 5/39 and 5/40 in the groups in which DMH treatment was followed by 900 and 1800 mg chloroform/litre, respectively, for 39 weeks. Chloroform also inhibits the propensity for three gastrointestinal tract carcinogens, benzo (a)pyrene (BAP), 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) and methylnitrosourea (MNU), to induce nuclear anomalies in the proximal colon of B6C3F1 mice (Daniel et al., 1991). These authors found that in mice pre-adapted to 1800 mg chloroform/litre drinking-water for 30 days prior to the carcinogen administration the level of nuclear anomalies induced in the proximal colon was reduced by four-fold for BAP and two-fold for both MNU and DMH. In the duodenum, chloroform was effective at inhibiting unclear anomalies only for MNU. Reddy et al. (1992) demonstrated that chloroform inhibits the development of diethylnitrosamine-initiated, phenobarbital-promoted gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase and placental form glutathione- S-transferase-positive foci in the liver of male Fischer-344 rats. They suggested that chloroform exerts its focal inhibitory effect by selectively killing the putative initiated cells. The lack of initiating activity in these initiation-promotion assays supports the conclusion that chloroform is non-genotoxic (section 7.6), and also indicates that the carcinogenic action of chloroform is attributable to a non-genotoxic/cytotoxic mode of action (sections 184.108.40.206 and 7.7). Interestingly, more of the above studies reported that chloroform inhibited the growth or formation of precancerous or cancerous cells than those that reported that chloroform had promotional activity. 7.8 In vitro studies In vitro studies frequently provide insight into how chemicals induce cytotoxic effects. However, at high concentrations (e.g., 5 mM and above), the solvent effects of chloroform on cell membranes complicate the interpretation of these experiments. The preparations that have been studied are precision-cut slices taken from the liver, primary hepatocytes suspensions and cultures. Azri-Meehan et al. (1992) studied the cytotoxic effects of chloroform in liver slices taken from phenobarbital-treated rats. No comparison was made with non-induced animals. Concentrations in the range of 0.5 to 1.6 mM induced loss of intracellular potassium and glutathione. Reduced mitochondrial function (measured as decreases in dye reduction) was observed in the same dose range. A concentration of 0.2 mM had no effect. Glende & Recknagel (1992) examined the ability of a number of chlorinated hydrocarbons to activate phospholipase A2, presumably through damage to calcium-binding sites in the endoplasmic reticulum. At doses that induce 30 to 70% release of cellular lactate dehydrogenase (i.e. 9.8 mM), chloroform did activate phospholipase A2. This concentration is similar to that necessary to destroy the calcium-binding capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum. O'Hara et al. (1991) examined the effects of chloroform on the viability of hepatocytes in suspension (measured by potassium retention). These hepatocytes were isolated from control phenobarbital-treated rats. The minimum concentration required to produce an effect on potassium retention decreased from 10 mM in control hepatocytes to 1 mM in hepatocytes obtained from induced animals. A number of studies of chloroform cytotoxicity in suspensions of rat hepatocytes have been reported (Stacey, 1987). However, the very high nominal concentrations of chloroform that were apparently necessary to produce significant effects (i.e. 30 and 60 mM) raise considerable questions as to their relevance to in vivo hepatic toxicity. An innovative approach has been developed for incubating hepatocyte suspensions with the chemical of interest, followed by observation of the cytotoxic response after placing the treated cells into culture (Kedderis et al., 1993a). Such cytotoxicity was observed when hepatocyte suspensions derived from B6C3F1 mice were incubated with concentrations of chloroform between 1.3 and 3.8 mM. These concentrations were consistent with peak liver concentrations expected with the high doses of chloroform utilized in the assessment of chloroform carcinogenicity in mice (NCI, 1976a,b), as predicted by the Corley et al. (1990) pharmacokinetic model (Kedderis et al., 1993b). The cytotoxicity of chloroform was potentiated by pretreating the mice with acetone to induce cytochrome P450 2E1. Although there have been substantial advances in the study of in vitro chloroform toxicity, the applicability of the results that are available to date to estimate hazards in humans remains to be established. 7.9 Factors modifying toxicity; toxicity of metabolites The in vivo toxicity of chloroform is modified by a range of factors. The rate of its biotransformation is a significant determinant of its toxicity. Hence, factors that increase or decrease chloroform biotransformation may alter the intensity of chloroform-induced toxicity. The activities of the cytochrome P450 isoforms that catalyse the biotransformation of chloroform differ among species and between sexes of experimental animals. Moreover the activities of the enzymes that metabolize chloroform may be increased or decreased by exposure to chemicals, and exposure to chloroform itself may alter chloroform metabolism. In addition to differences in the rates of chloroform bioactivation, treatments that alter susceptibility are also important determinants of chloroform-induced toxicity. Cellular glutathione concentrations are an important determinant of susceptibility, and perturbations of glutathione homeostasis may affect markedly the toxicity of chloroform. Finally, for some of the treatments that alter chloroform toxicity discussed in this section, the mechanistic basis of these interactions is not well understood. Brown et al. (1974a) reported that inhalation exposure of phenobarbital-treated male Sprague-Dawley rats to chloroform at doses of 2.45 or 4.9 g/m3 (500 or 1000 ppm) for 2 h produced marked centrilobular necrosis that was accompanied by decreased hepatic glutathione concentrations. in vitro studies showed that glutathione reduced the covalent binding of [14C]-chloroform metabolites to microsomal protein. Docks & Krishna (1976) observed that administration of chloroform decreased hepatic glutathione concentrations in phenobarbital-treated rats (male, Sprague-Dawley), but not in control animals 1 to 2 h after administration, and caused liver necrosis. Administration of isopropanol or acetone, which increased the covalent binding of chloroform metabolites (Sipes et al., 1973), did not alter hepatic glutathione concentrations. Starvation and carbohydrate restriction increase the in vivo metabolism of chloroform and its hepato- and nephrotoxicity in rats (Nakajima & Sato, 1979; McMartin et al., 1981; Nakajima et al., 1982). In contrast, protein deficiency does not alter chloroform toxicity (McLean, 1970). Several authors have demonstrated that administration of alcohols, including ethanol (Kutob & Plaa, 1962b; Sato et al., 1980, 1981), or ketones increases chloroform metabolism and hepatotoxicity. An extension of these studies to include a range of alcohols showed that methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, tert-butanol, pentanol, hexanol, octanol and decanol all potentiate chloroform-induced liver injury and lower the LD50 of chloroform in male Sprague-Dawley rats (Ray & Mehendale, 1990). Aliphatic ketones, including acetone, 2-butanone, 2-pentanone, 2-hexanone, 2,5-hexanedione, 2-heptanone and methyl isobutyl ketone, also increase chloroform-induced hepatotoxicity (Hewitt et al., 1990; Vézina et al., 1990), but treatment with 2-hexanone does not increase chloroform-dependent lipid peroxidation either in vivo or in vitro (Cowlen et al., 1984a,b). The potentiating effect of alcohols and ketones in chloroform-induced hepatotoxicity is attributed to an increase in the activity of the cytochromes P450 that metabolize chloroform (Koop et al., 1982; Ryan et al., 1986; Brady et al., 1989; Vézina et al., 1990). Harris et al. (1982) evaluated, by the intraperitoneal route, the toxicity of chloroform (0.2 ml/kg body weight) and carbon tetrachloride (0.1 ml/kg body weight) given alone or together to male rats. At these doses, neither chloroform nor carbon tetrachloride produced toxicity, but increases in SGPT activity and hepatic triglyceride and calcium concentrations were seen when both compounds were given together. Ikatsu & Nakajima (1992) showed that a single inhalation exposure to 490 mg/m3 (100 ppm) chloroform for 8 h resulted in mid-zonal hepatotoxicity. In ethanol-treated rats exposed to both chloroform (50 ppm) and carbon tetrachloride (10 ppm), liver necrosis and elevated plasma GOT/GPT activities were observed. These findings indicate that the toxicity of chloroform is elevated in the presence of carbon tetrachloride. O'Hara et al. (1991) studied the effect of chloroform and carbon tetrachloride in rat hepatocytes and demonstrated that the combined toxicity of both compounds was greater than additive. The pesticide kepone (chlordecone), but not its non-ketonic analogue mirex, increases chloroform-induced hepato- and nephrotoxicity (Hewitt et al., 1979, 1982; Iijima et al., 1983). In Mongolian gerbils, which are susceptible to chloroform-induced toxicity (200 or 500 µl/kg body weight, intraperitoneal), treatment with phenobarbital or chlordecone decreased the hepatotoxicity of chloroform (Ebel et al., 1987); in contrast, rats given 50 to 500 µl/kg body weight chloroform (intraperitoneally) showed little hepatotoxicity, but toxicity was increased after treatment with phenobarbital or chlordecone. The drinking-water contaminants dichloroacetic acid (DCA) and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) potentiate chloroform toxicity (Davis, 1992). Male and female rats (Sprague-Dawley) were orally treated with 0.92 or 2.45 mmol/kg body weight DCA or TCA and were given 0.75 mg/kg body weight chloroform (intraperitoneally) 3 h later. Increases in plasma ALAT activities were observed in female, but not in male rats 24 and 48 h after giving DCA; in contrast, plasma ALAT activities were increased 24, but not 48 h, after giving TCA in both male and female rats. DCA administration increased blood urea nitrogen concentrations in female rats, but produced little effect in male rats, whereas TCA administration produced an effect only in female rats 48 h after treatment. The mechanism of the effect of DCA and TCA was not elaborated. Monochloroacetic acid (MCA) given by gavage to male (188 mg/kg body weight) or female (94 mg/kg body weight) Sprague-Dawley rats one hour before giving chloroform (520 mg/kg body weight) intraperitoneally increased chloroform-induced hepatotoxicity in male rats, but had little effect in female rats (Davis & Berndt, 1992). Treatment with MCA alone decreased glomerular filtration rates in female rats. The mechanism by which MCA potentiated chloroform toxicity was not elucidated. Temporal variations in chloroform-induced hepatotoxicity have been observed in rats (Lavigne et al., 1983). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were given chloroform (0.5 ml/kg body weight) intraperitoneally at 9:00, 13:00, 17:00, 21:00 or 03:00 h and were killed 4 h after treatment. Hepatotoxicity, as assessed by serum GPT, GOT and LDH activities, was minimal and maximal at 09:00 h and 21:00 h, respectively, whereas glucose-6-phosphatase activity was decreased at 03:00 h and 13:00 h. When rats were starved for 16 h before giving chloroform at 09:00 h, toxicity was increased substantially. Charbonneau et al. (1991) studied the effect of acetone treatment on the toxicity with a range of binary mixtures of haloalkanes in rats. An increased hepatotoxic response was observed with binary mixtures containing chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,2-trichloroethane or 1,1-dichloroethylene. In vitamin-A-deficient rats, serum ALAT and particularly ASAT activities were increased after intraperitoneal administration of chloroform, compared to control rats (Savoure et al., 1992). 8. EFFECTS ON HUMANS 8.1 Acute non-lethal effects Chloroform is irritating to mucous membranes, producing gastroenteritis with persistent nausea and vomiting. Symptoms following ingestion of chloroform are similar to those following inhalation (van der Heijden et al., 1986). Cases of severe intoxication after suicidal attempts, with the same pattern of symptoms as after anaesthetical use, have been reported by Schröder (1965). There are considerable inter-individual differences in susceptibility. Some persons presented serious illness after an oral dose of 7.5 g of chloroform, whereas others survived a dose of 270 g chloroform. The mean lethal dose for an adult is estimated to be about 45 g (Winslow & Gerstner, 1978). Rao et al. (1993) successfully managed acute toxicity from chloroform in a 33-year-old white woman who attempted suicide by injecting 0.5 ml of chloroform, and then drank half a cup the next morning. Plasma chloroform levels, measured by headspace GC, declined rapidly. Sequential measurement of biomarkers in serum for liver cell necrosis, liver function and liver regeneration indicated the presence of initial liver damage followed by recovery. The authors suggested that, in addition to biomarkers for liver necrosis, serial determinations of markers for liver regeneration provide objective evidence for recovery from chloroform poisoning. It has been reported that chloroform can cause severe toxic effects in humans exposed to 9960 mg/m3 (2000 ppm) for 60 min, symptoms of illness at 2490 mg/m3 (500 ppm) and can cause discomfort at levels below 249 mg/m3 (50 ppm) (Verschueren, 1983). Most data on the controlled exposure of man to chloroform have resulted from its clinical use as an anaesthetic. This use of chloroform was described as early as 1847 (Simpson, 1847). Induction of anaesthesia may result from inhalation of chloroform vapours at a concentration of 24 to 73 g/m3 air. For maintenance of anaesthesia, concentrations in the range of 12 to 48 g/m3 are required. As with animals, chloroform anaesthesia may result in death in humans due to respiratory and cardiac arrhythmias and failure. Because of the relatively high frequency of "late chloroform poisoning" (liver toxicity), its use as anaesthetic has been abandoned. Other effects related to chloroform inhalation are: increase in the rate and depth of respiration during induction and light anaesthesia, minute volume decrease in deep anaesthesia, hypothermia, depletion of adrenal adrenaline content, hypotension, depression of gastrointestinal tract motility, respiratory acidosis, hyperglycaemia, ketosis, constriction of the spleen, increase in the number of leucocytes (especially polymorphonuclear cells), a decrease in clotting time and an increase in prothrombin time. The characteristics and severity of the effects depend on depth and duration of anaesthesia (Adriani, 1970). The cardiac effects might be secondary and due to hypoxia, caused by depression of respiratory activity. No studies have been found in which this problem has been investigated in man (e.g., by forced respiration), but Taylor et al. (1976) obtained indications that chloroform itself produces cardiovascular disturbances in rabbits (viz. disturbances in left ventricular functioning and an increase in peripheral resistance; see section 220.127.116.11) after exposure to 244 mg/m3 for 1 min. In man, as well as in animals, renal tubular necrosis and renal dysfunction (anuria, proteinuria, uraemia, increase in blood urea nitrogen) have been observed (Kluwe, 1981). Recovering from chloroform anaesthesia, some patients may show the symptoms of a delayed chloroform poisoning several days later. Prostration, protracted nausea, vomiting, jaundice and coma due to hepatic dysfunction are observed. The patient may die within 5 days after anaesthesia. At autopsy, degeneration and necrosis of liver tissue have been found (Goodman & Gilman, 1970). In general the symptoms appear to be similar to those observed in animals. According to Oettel (1936) and Winslow & Gerstner (1978), exposure to concentrated chloroform vapours causes a stinging sensation in the eye. Splashing of the liquid into the eye evokes burning, pain and redness of the conjunctival tissue. Occasional injury of the corneal epithelium will recover fully within a few days. Dermal contact with chloroform causes chemical dermatitis (symptoms: irritation, reddening, blistering and burns). 8.2 Epidemiology 8.2.1 Occupational exposure Challen et al. (1958) reported the effects of exposure of workers (mostly female) to chloroform vapour in a factory during manufacture of lozenges containing the chemical. Eight workers (four working full-time and four half-time) were exposed to chloroform concentrations of 375 to 1330 mg/m3, with a peak concentration of 5680 mg chloroform/m3, for periods of 3 to 10 years. The symptoms reported were lassitude, thirst, gastrointestinal distress, frequent and scalding urination, lack of concentration, depression and irritability. The management stated that some of the employees had been noticed staggering about at work. Nine other workers (one full-time, eight half-time), who were exposed to chloroform concentrations of 110 to 350 mg/m3 for 10 to 24 months, suffered from the same complaints as stated above, but to a lesser degree. Several liver function tests did not reveal signs of liver toxicity, but these tests were not very sensitive. Bomski et al. (1967) investigated the occurrence of hepatitis in a chemical factory in relation to the occurrence of this disease in the city where the factory was located. The 68 workers were exposed to occupational chloroform concentrations of 10 to 1000 mg/m3 for 1 to 4 years. In this group of employees, a higher frequency of hepatitis was found than in the city inhabitants. Seventeen workers showed hepatomegaly and in three of them hepatitis was observed. Ten workers showed splenomegaly, but the cause of the splenomegaly was not discussed. The finding of a high frequency of hepatitis among occupationally chloroform-exposed workers, as compared to that in the city inhabitants, is supported by a recent report on a 16-year-old patient who attempted suicide by ingesting chloroform. This led to the development of toxic hepatitis (Hakim et al., 1992). In a study by Phoon et al. (1975), the air in the workroom of 13 persons with jaundice originally diagnosed as having viral hepatitis was analysed for chloroform. The chloroform concentration in the workroom appeared to be more than 1950 mg/m3. The period of exposure was less than 6 months. Because no worker had a history of fever and there was no relation to past medical history, it was concluded that the original diagnosis must have been wrong and should have been toxic jaundice. Five of the people with jaundice and four other colleagues had blood chloroform levels in the range of 1 to 2.9 mg/litre. In another factory 18 cases of what seemed to be hepatitis B were reported (Phoon et al., 1983). Investigation of the occupational environment revealed a constant exposure to chloroform, with concentrations in the range of 80 to 160 mg/m3. The exposure period of these workers was less than 4 months and the conclusion was drawn that these were cases of toxic jaundice related to chloroform exposure, because no infection with the hepatitis B virus could be established. A historical mortality study was carried out by Linde & Mesnick (1979). They investigated the cause of death of white male anaesthesiologists, who were occupationally exposed to chloroform vapours (extent of exposure was unknown). The death certificates used were of persons, who were presumed to be exposed during the 1880-1890 period and who died during the 1930-1946 period. Comparison of their death certificates with those of several control groups did not exclude a possible association between cancer and chloroform exposure. 8.2.2 General exposure There have been numerous reports over the last 15 years which have evaluated the relationship between chlorinated water and the incidence of cancer. Chloroform is but one of many by-products produced by reaction of chlorine with naturally occurring material in source waters (Bull & Kapfler, 1991). Many of these studies noted increased risk of cancer which at least partially fulfilled criteria for causality (e.g., consistency, specificity and temporal relationships). IARC (1991) reviewed the available studies and concluded the strongest evidence of increased risk related to exposure to chlorinated surface water relative to unchlorinated ground water for the incidence of cancer of the urinary bladder. However, the weight-of-the-evidence evaluation by IARC concluded that there is inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of chlorinated drinking-water in humans. Morris et al. (1992) conducted a meta-analysis which attempted to integrate quantitatively the results of previously published studies in which individual exposures were evaluated (i.e. case control and cohort studies). The authors identified increased rates of bladder and colo-rectal cancer in individuals exposed to chlorinated surface water, which appeared to exhibit a dose-related trend. Although this study was confounded by substantial differences in exposure variables that occur in different water supplies, higher risk rates were estimated when the analysis was restricted to those studies which were judged to have the highest quality exposure assessments. Because of the confounding of these results by chlorine residual levels and a multiplicity of other chemicals which are animal carcinogens and mutagens, none of the drinking-water studies specifically implicate chloroform as a human carcinogen. Kramer et al. (1992) studied the association between exposure to trihalomethanes in the water supply and adverse reproductive outcomes in the state of Iowa (USA). Estimations of chloroform exposure were based on municipal water surveys. After adjustment for maternal age, parity, prenatal care, marital status, education and maternal smoking, an increased risk for intrauterine growth retardation (abnormally low birth weight) was associated with chloroform concentrations above 10 µg/litre. Limitations of the study involve the ascertainment and classification of exposures to trihalomethanes (such as fluctuation of levels and exposure at individual level) and the influence of potential confounding influences of unmeasured contaminants. 8.3 Abuse and addiction Exposure to chloroform may result in euphoria and therefore people expose themselves to chloroform by drinking the liquid or sniffing the vapours (Storms, 1973). Addiction to chloroform and chloroform-containing cough syrups has been reported by Heilbrunn et al. (1945) and Conlon (1963). According to Heilbrunn et al. (1945), addicts tolerated very high daily doses and presented neurological symptoms and degenerative changes in the brains. After an intravenous injection of 7.5 g of chloroform, a patient showed signs of pulmonary malfunction and haemolysis. In this case, kidney or liver toxicity was not reported (Timms et al., 1975). 9. EFFECTS ON OTHER ORGANISMS IN THE LABORATORY AND FIELD 9.1 Freshwater organisms The data on the toxicity of chloroform to several freshwater organisms are listed in Table 14. Due to the volatility of chloroform, caution must be exercised in interpreting the test results, particularly those in open static systems where no chemical analysis of the actual concentration was carried out. 9.1.1 Short-term toxicity The chemical is of low toxicity to unicellular plants and other microorganisms (concentration range of initial population growth inhibition: 125 to > 3200 mg/litre). Chloroform is moderately toxic to Daphnia magna (LC50 = 29 mg/litre). The LC50 values for several species of fish are in the range of to 191 mg/litre. However, initial toxicity may occur at lower levels: the no-observed-lethal concentrations (NOLCs) for Salmo gairdneri and Lepomis macrochirus appear to be 8 and 3 mg/litre, respectively. At lower concentrations (< 13 mg/litre), Salmo gairdneri shows loss of equilibrium, slow operculum movement and narcosis (Anderson & Lusty, 1980). In Gasterosteus aculeatus, chloroform produced anaesthesia which could be maintained for at least 90 min at concentrations of 210 mg/litre. Exposure to concentrations higher than 300 mg/litre resulted in decreased oxygen consumption and death (Jones, 1947), whereas concentrations lower than 120 mg/litre excited the animals and gave rise to considerable higher oxygen uptake. Chloroform is considerably more toxic to the juvenile stages of several species of amphibians. In a continuous-flow system, Birge et al. (1980) tested the toxicity of chloroform to embryo-larval stages of several species of amphibians after exposure for 7-9 days (Table 14). Hyla crucifer appeared to be the most susceptible species. An effect was found on the hatching rate of the embryos, which declined from 97% at 8 µg/litre to 4% at 7340 µg/litre. In addition there was some evidence of teratic larvae. During the 4 days post-hatching the LC50 declined from 760 to 270 µg/litre. The other species tested were less affected and only Rana pipiens showed a high teratogenicity frequency in the offspring (100% at 27 mg/litre at 18% hatching rate). Table 14. Chloroform toxicity to water organisms Organism Temperature Medium Stat/ Analysisc Exposure Parameter Concentration Reference (°C) flowa duration (mg/litre) Short-term toxicity Bacteria Pseudomonas 25 acc.d Bringmann & S - 16 h initial reduction of 125 Bringmann & putida Kühn (1977) cell multiplication Kühn (1977) Pseudomonas 25 acc.d Bringmann S - 16 h initial change of 125 Bringmann (1973) fluorescens (1973) culture turbidity Algae Microcystis 27 acc.d Bringmann S - 192 h initial reduction of 185 Bringmann (1975) aeruginosa (1975) cell multiplication Scenedesmus 25 acc.d Bringmann & S - 192 h initial reduction of 1100 Bringmann & quadricauda Kühn (1977) cell multiplication Kühn (1977) Haematococcus 20 acc.d Tümpling S - 4 h 10% reduction of 440 Knie et al. (1983) pluvialis (1972) oxygen production Protozoans Entosiphon 25 Bringmann (1978) S - 72 h initial reduction of > 6560 Bringmann (1978) sulcatum cell multiplication Uronema 25 Bringmann & S - 20 h initial reduction of > 6560 Bringmann & parduczi Kühn (1980) cell multiplication Kühn (1980) Chilomonas 20 Bringmann et al. S - 48 h initial reduction of > 3200 Bringmann et al. paramaecium (1980) cell multiplication (1980) Table 14 (contd) Organism Temperature Medium Stat/ Analysisc Exposure Parameter Concentration Reference (°C) flowa duration (mg/litre) Crustaceans Daphnia magna 22 reconstituted well S - 48 h LC50 29 LeBlanc (1980) water, pH 7, hardness 173 mg CaCO3/litre Daphnia magna 19.8-20.9 lake water, pH S - 48 h LC50 65.7 Gersich et al. 8.0, hardness (1986) 157 mg CaCO3/litre Daphnia magna 23 distilled water S - 48 h LC50 78.9 Abernethy et al. (1986) Fish Cyprinus carpio 26 filtered well water S A until LC50 97 Mattice et al. (mixed gametes) hatching (1981) (3-5 days) Pimephales 25 carbon filtered S - 96 h LC50 129 Mayes et al. promelas lake water, pH (1983) (10-15 days) 7.6-8.3, hardness 125 mg CaCO3/litre (30-35 days) 22 idem S - 96 h LC50 171 (60-100 days) 22 idem S - 96 h LC50 103 Brachydanio 20 dechlorinated CF - 48 h LC50 100 Slooff (1979) rerio tap water, pH 8, hardness 10 d.H. Table 14 (contd) Organism Temperature Medium Stat/ Analysisc Exposure Parameter Concentration Reference (°C) flowa duration (mg/litre) Salmo 20 dechlorinated CF - 48 h initial reduction 20 Slooff (1979) gairdneri tap water, pH 8, of respiration hardness 10 d.H. frequency Leuciscus 20 acc.d Mann (1975) S - 48 h LC50 162-191 Juhnke & idus melanotus Lüdemann (1978) Carassius 5 aerated tap water S - 1 h EC50 97-167 Cherkin & auratus (anaesthesia) Catchpool (1964) 20 aerated tap water S - 1 h EC50 167 (anaesthesia) Salmo 19 aerated river water CF A 96 h LC50 18 Anderson & Lusty gairdneri NOLC 8 (1980) Leopomis 19 aerated river water CF A 96 h LC50 18 Anderson & Lusty macrochirus NOLC 3 (1980) Micropterus 19 aerated river water CF A 96 h LC50 51 Anderson & Lusty salmoides NOLC 39 (1980) Ictalurus 19 aerated river water CF A 96 h LC50 75 Anderson & Lusty punctatus NOLC 68 (1980) Amphibians Hyla crucifer 20.5 acc.d Birge et al. CF A until 4 LC50 0.3 Birge et al. (1980) (eggs; 2 to (1979); pH 7.6, days after 6h post- hardness 107 mg hatching spawning) CaCO3/litre or death (7 days in total) Table 14 (contd) Organism Temperature Medium Stat/ Analysisc Exposure Parameter Concentration Reference (°C) flowa duration (mg/litre) Amphibians (contd) 20.5 idem CF A idem NOLC 0.009 Rana pipiens 20.5 idem CF A idem (9 LC50 4.2 Birge et al. (1980) (eggs; 30 min days in after total) fertilization) 20.5 idem CF A idem NOLC 0.16 Rana palustris 21.5 acc.d Birge et al. CF A idem (8 LC50 20.6 Birge et al. (1980) (eggs; 2 to (1979); pH 7.6, days in 6 h post- hardness 104 mg total) spawning) CaCO3/litre 21.5 idem CF A idem NOLC 0.33 Bufo fowleri 21.5 idem CF A idem (7 LC50 35.1 Birge et al. (1980) (eggs; 2 to days in 6 h post- total) spawning) 21.5 idem CF A idem NOLC 0.33 Long-term toxicity Fish Poecilia 22 Alabaster & Abram Sb - 14 days LC50 102 Könemann (1981) reticulata (1964) Salmo 13.5 ± 1 acc.d Birge et al. CF A until 4 LC50 2.0 Birge et al. (1979) gairdneri (1979); pH 7.3, days after (eggs; 20 min hardness 48 mg hatching after CaCO3/litre or death fertilization (27 days totally) Table 14 (contd) Organism Temperature Medium Stat/ Analysisc Exposure Parameter Concentration Reference (°C) flowa duration (mg/litre) 13.5 ± 1 idem CF A idem NOLC 0.004 13.5 ± 1 idem, hardness 210 CF A idem LC50 1.24 mg CaCO3/litre 13.5 ± 1 idem CF A idem NOLC 0.003 a S = static, CF = continuous flow; b static conditions but test water changed every 24 h c A = concentration of test compound analysed during assay; - = no data d acc. = according to the medium described in these references 9.1.2 Long-term toxicity Birge et al. (1979) tested the toxicity of chloroform for embryo-larval stages of Salmo gairdneri (Table 14) after 27 days. The chemical was especially toxic for the unhatched embryos (LC50 is about 2 mg/litre), but did not cause death in the larvae at concentrations up to 10.6 mg/litre. The occurrence of teratic survivors in the hatched population increased from 3% at 56 µg/litre to 40% at 10 mg/litre. 9.2 Marine organisms The acute toxicity of chloroform to Artemia salina was tested by Robinson et al. (1965). The observed effect was anaesthesia and the EC50 value was 68 mg/litre after 10 h of exposure in artificial sea water in closed containers under static conditions. The 50% immobilization concentration (IC50) of chloroform for Artemia salina nauplii, subjected to salinity stress, was determined in a static study using artificial sea water by Foster & Tullis (1985). The toxicity test began 30 h after hatching had commenced and lasted for 24 h. The IC50 was 37 mg/litre. Stewart et al. (1979) tested the acute toxicity of chloroform to larvae of Crassostrea virginica. Chemical analysis showed a rapid decline of chloroform concentrations in the sea-water medium. The estimated LC50 was 1 mg/litre. Pearson & McConnell (1975) tested the acute toxicity to Limanda limanda in a continuous-flow system containing natural sea water and obtained an LC50 of 28 mg/litre. Cowgill et al. (1989) determined the sensitivity of the marine diatom Skeletonema costatum to chloroform after exposure for 5 days under static conditions. The EC50 values calculated were 477 mg/litre and 437 mg/litre based on total cell count and total cell volume, respectively. The NOEC was 216 mg/litre. 10. EVALUATION OF HUMAN HEALTH RISKS AND EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT 10.1 Evaluation of human health risks 10.1.1 Exposure Based on estimates of mean exposure from various media, the general population is exposed to chloroform principally in food (approximately 1 µg/kg body weight per day), drinking-water (approximately 0.5 µg/kg body weight per day) and indoor air (0.3 to 1 µg/kg body weight per day). Estimated intake from outdoor air is considerably less (0.01 µg/kg body weight per day). The total estimated mean intake for the general population is approximately 2 µg/kg body weight per day. Available data also indicate that water use in homes contributes considerably to levels of chloroform in indoor air and to total exposure. For some individuals living in dwellings supplied with tap water containing relatively high concentrations of chloroform, estimated total intakes are up to 10 µg/kg body weight per day. Workers may be exposed to chloroform during, for example, the production of chloroform itself, the synthesis of substances derived from chloroform (for example, chlorodifluoromethane), and the use of chloroform as a solvent, and also as a consequence of its formation in paper bleaching and sewage treatment facilities. For example, based on a national survey conducted from 1981 to 1983, NIOSH estimated that approximately 96 000 workers in the USA are potentially exposed to chloroform. 10.1.2 Health effects The most important effects of chloroform are those on the liver and kidney. These effects are associated with the metabolism of chloroform to the reactive intermediate, phosgene. There are substantial interspecies and sex differences in the rates at which chloroform is metabolized. Data also indicate that reductive metabolism differs among species. The most universally observed toxic effect of chloroform is damage to the liver. The severity of these effects per unit dose administered depends on the species, the vehicle and the method by which the chloroform is administered. The lowest dose at which liver damage has been observed is 15 mg/kg body weight per day, administered to beagle dogs in a toothpaste base over a period of 7.5 years. Effects at lower doses were not examined. Somewhat higher doses are required to produce hepatotoxic effects in other species. Although duration of exposure varied in these studies, no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs) ranged between 15 and 125 mg/kg body weight per day. Effects on the kidney have been observed in male mice of sensitive strains and in F-344 rats. Severe effects have been observed in a particularly sensitive strain of male mice at doses as low as 36 mg/kg body weight per day. Daily 6-h inhalation of chloroform for 7 days consecutively induced atrophy of Bowman's glands and new bone growth in the nasal turbinates of F-344 rats. The NOEL for these effects was 14.7 mg/m3 (3 ppm). The significance of these effects is being further investigated in longer term studies. The weight of the available evidence indicates that chloroform has little, if any, capability to induce gene mutation, chromosomal damage and DNA repair. There is some evidence of low-level binding to DNA, however. Chloroform does not appear capable of inducing unscheduled DNA synthesis in vivo. Chloroform induced hepatic tumours in mice when administered by gavage in corn oil. However, when similar doses were administered in drinking-water to mice, hepatic tumours were not induced. The carcinogenic effects of chloroform on the mouse liver appear to be closely related to cytotoxic and cell replicative effects. The effects on cell replication paralleled variations in carcinogenic responses to chloroform due to vehicle and method of administration. It is of interest, in this regard, that chloroform administered in drinking-water was incapable of promoting, but rather inhibited, the development of liver tumours in mice. Chloroform does not appear capable of initiating liver tumours or inducing unscheduled DNA synthesis in the mouse liver. It would appear, therefore, that cytotoxicity followed by cell replication with prolonged administration of chloroform is associated with the development of liver tumours in mice. Chloroform induced kidney tumours in rats when administered by gavage in corn oil. However, results for this species were similar when the chemical was administered in the drinking-water. Experiments in F-344 rats have indicated that chloroform could cause damage and increase cell replication in the kidney at doses similar to those that induce renal tumours in Osborne-Mendel rats. These effects are produced by both oral (one single gavage) and 7-day inhalation exposure. While these results are suggestive of an association, it is difficult to associate with any certainty the carcinogenic response with the toxic and replicative effects. Indeed, toxicity studies are short term and involve a rat strain that is unusually sensitive to the nephrotoxic effects of chloroform. This strain is different from that in which tumours were observed. There are some limited data to suggest that chloroform is toxic to the fetus, but only at doses that are maternally toxic. 10.1.3 Approaches to risk assessment The following guidance is provided as a potential basis for the derivation of exposure limits by relevant authorities. By allocation of the tolerable and risk-specific intakes presented below based, for example, on the proportion of total intakes originating from each environmental medium presented in chapter 5, limits for exposure in drinking-water, food and air could be developed by local authorities (WHO, in press). However, local authorities may also wish to take into account local variations in the proportions of exposure from various media or factors such as cost, ease and effectiveness of control in order to develop risk management strategies appropriate for local circumstances. However, the ultimate objective should be reduction of total exposure from all sources to levels below the tolerable maximum intake and risk-specific intakes presented below. Moderate to short-term excedence of limits based on the guidance presented below does not necessarily imply significant risk to health and relevant public health authorities should be contacted before taking remedial action. Moreover, disinfection is unquestionably the most important step in the treatment of water for public supply. The paramount importance of microbiological quality requires some flexibility in the derivation of limits for exposure to chloroform in drinking-water. Where local circumstances require that a choice must be made between meeting microbiological limits or limits for disinfection byproducts, the microbiological quality must always take precedence. Efficient disinfection must never be compromised. 10.1.3.1 Non-neoplastic effects The Task Group concluded that the data available are sufficient to develop a tolerable intake for non-neoplastic effects of chloroform on the basis of effects in animal species. The lowest effect level in long-term studies in animal species is that reported by Heywood et al. (1979) where slight hepatotoxicity (increases in hepatic serum enzymes and fatty cysts) was observed in beagle dogs that ingested 15 mg/kg body weight per day in toothpaste for 7.5 years. Liver fat content was also increased in B6C3F1 mice that ingested 34 mg/kg body weight per day in drinking-water for 2 years (Jorgenson et al., 1985). On the basis of these data, a tolerable daily intake (TDI) can be derived as follows: 15 mg/kg body weight per day TDI = ----------------- = 0.015 mg/kg body weight per day 1000 (15 µg/kg body weight per day) where: * 15 mg/kg body weight per day is the lowest-identified-effect level (slight hepatotoxicity in the study on beagle dogs by Heywood et al., 1979); * 1000 is the uncertainty factor (x 10 for interspecies variation, x 10 for intraspecies variation and x 10 for use of an effect level rather than a no-effect level). This value is likely to be conservative. It should be noted that no effects have been observed in adequate studies on other species exposed to higher doses administered in other vehicles. 10.1.3.2 Neoplastic effects The Task Group concluded that the carcinogenic effects of chloroform should also be considered in the development of limits of exposure. a) Liver tumours in female B6C3F1 mice Based on the available mechanistic data, the approach considered most appropriate for provision of guidance based on mouse liver tumours is division of a no-effect level for cell proliferation by an uncertainty factor. The NOEL for cytolethality and cell proliferation in B6C3F1 mice was 10 mg/kg body weight per day following administration in corn oil for 3 weeks (Larson et al., 1994a). On the basis of these data, a tolerable daily intake is derived as follows: 10 mg/kg body weight per day TDI = ------------------ = 0.01 mg/kg body weight per day 1000 (10 µg/kg body weight per day) where: * 10 mg/kg body weight per day is the NOEL for cytolethality and cell proliferation in B6C3F1 mice observed in the short-term study of Larson et al. (1994a); * 1000 is the uncertainty factor (x10 for interspecies variation, x10 for intraspecies variation and x 10 for severity of effect (i.e. carcinogenicity) and less-than-chronic study). b) Kidney tumours in male Osborne-Mendel rats Since data on cell proliferation are not available for the strain in which tumours were observed (Osborne-Mendel rats) and identified information on cell proliferation and lethality are short term (one single gavage and a 7-day inhalation exposure in F-344 rats), it was considered premature to deviate from the default model (i.e. linearized multistage) as a basis for estimation of lifetime cancer risk. Based on the induction of renal tumours (adenomas and adenocarcinomas) in male rats in the study by Jorgenson et al. (1985), the total daily intake considered to be associated with a 10-5 excess lifetime risk, calculated on the basis of the Global 82 version of the linearized multistage model, is 0.0082 mg/kg body weight per day (8.2 µg/kg body weight per day). A body surface area correction was not incorporated due to the fact that chloroform is an indirect-acting carcinogen and that the rate of metabolism is similar in rodents and man. 10.2 Evaluation of effects in the environment Chloroform may be released into the environment during its production, storage, transport and use. Significant amounts of chloroform may also enter the environment as a consequence of its formation during some chlorination processes (e.g., chlorination of water, paper bleaching). Chloroform is expected to volatilize readily from surface water and the surface of soils. It is also expected to be highly mobile in soils and may reach ground water. Chloroform has a residence time of several months in the atmosphere and can therefore be transported over long distances from the point of emission. Degradation by reaction with hydroxyl radicals is likely to be the only significant mechanism for decomposition of chloroform in the atmosphere. A half-life of around 60 days has been estimated for this process. Chloroform appears to be resistant to biodegradation under aerobic conditions but is degraded under certain anaerobic conditions. Chloroform is toxic to the embryo-larval stages of some amphibian and fish species. The lowest reported LC50 is 0.3 mg/litre (4- or 7-day exposure) for the embryo-larval stages of Hyla crucifer. It is less toxic to fish and Daphnia magna. The LC50 values for several species of fish are in the range of 18 to 191 mg/litre. There is little difference in sensitivity between freshwater and marine fish. The lowest reported LC50 for Daphnia magna is 29 mg/litre (48-h exposure). Chloroform is of low toxicity to algae and other microorganisms. Levels of chloroform in surface water are generally low and would not be expected to present a hazard to aquatic organisms. However, higher levels of chloroform in surface water resulting from industrial discharges or spills may be hazardous to the embryo-larval stages of some aquatic species. 11. FURTHER RESEARCH A number of further studies is considered to be necessary: * A study of compensatory cell regeneration in the liver and kidney of the Osborne-Mendel rat * Determination of reactive metabolite formation in situ * Studies on the mechanism of the species-specific carcinogenicity of chloroform including a) the identification of the intermediate/metabolite responsible for the carcinogenicity of chloroform and b) its mode of action * An inhalation carcinogenicity bioassay * Further validation of PBPK models for chloroform with interspecies variations, including humans and dogs * Further studies concerning the progression of nasal lesions in the rat * Additional long-term toxicity tests in aquatic organisms * in vitro cytotoxicity/metabolism studies with human tissues 12. PREVIOUS EVALUATION BY INTERNATIONAL BODIES The International Agency for Research on Cancer evaluated chloroform in 1978 (IARC, 1979) and re-evaluated it in 1987 (IARC, 1987). 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RESUME Le chloroforme se présente sous la forme d'un liquide volatil, limpide et incolore, à l'odeur caractéristique et au goût âcre et douceâtre. Il peut être décomposé par voie photochimique, il n'est pas inflammable et il est soluble dans la plupart des solvants organiques. Toutefois sa solubilité dans l'eau est limitée. Lors de la décomposition chimique, il peut y avoir formation de phosgène et d'acide chlorhydrique. Le chloroforme s'emploie dans certaines formulations de pesticides, comme solvant et comme intermédiaire dans la fabrication de certains dérivés. Son utilisation comme anesthésique ou dans des spécialités pharmaceutiques est interdite dans un certain nombre de pays. La production de chloroforme à des fins commerciales a atteint 440 000 tonnes en 1987. Du chloroforme se forme également en quantités appréciables lors de la chloration de l'eau et du blanchiment de la pâte à papier. L'analyse de l'air, de l'eau et d'échantillons biologiques pour la recherche et le dosage du chloroforme peut s'effectuer selon plusieurs méthodes. La majorité d'entre elles consiste en une injection directe sur colonne, une adsorption sur un adsorbant activé ou une condensation dans un piège froid; on procède ensuite à une désorption ou à une extraction par un solvant qui est ensuite chassé avant analyse finale par chromatographie en phase gazeuse. On pense que la majeure partie du chloroforme présent dans l'eau finit par passer dans l'air, en raison de la volatilité de ce composé. Le temps de séjour du chloroforme dans l'atmosphère est de plusieurs mois et il en est éliminé après transformation chimique. Il résiste à la biodégradation aérobie par les bactéries du sol et des nappes phréatiques qui se développent sur des substrats endogènes ou en présence d'un supplément d'acétate. Il peut y avoir biodégradation en anaérobiose. La bioconcentration est faible chez les poissons d'eau douce. La dépuration est rapide. D'après l'estimation de l'exposition moyenne due aux divers milieux, on pense que la population générale est principalement exposée au chloroforme par l'intermédiaire de la nourriture, de l'eau de boisson et de l'air intérieur, dans des proportions à peu près égales. L'absorption estimative à partir de l'air intérieur est cependant beaucoup moindre. L'absorption moyenne totale estimative est d'environ 2 µg/kg de poids corporel, par jour. Les données disponibles indiquent également que l'utilisation domestique de l'eau contribue de façon très importante à la concentration du chloroforme dans l'air intérieur et par voie de conséquence à l'exposition totale. Pour certaines personnes qui vivent dans des habitations où l'eau de distribution renferme des concentrations relativement élevées de chloroforme, on estime que l'absorption totale peut aller jusqu'à 10 µg/kg de poids corporel et par jour. Une fois administré par voie orale, le chloroforme est bien résorbé chez l'animal et l'homme, mais la cinétique d'absorption dépend du véhicule. Chez l'homme, après exposition par la voie respiratoire, 60 à 80% de la dose inhalée sont absorbés. Les principaux facteurs qui agissent sur la cinétique d'absorption du chloroforme après inhalation sont la concentration ainsi que la capacité de métabolisation, qui dépend de l'espèce. Chez l'homme et l'animal, le chloroforme est rapidement résorbé par la peau et l'on a montré qu'il pouvait être également absorbé par voie percutanée dans une proportion importante à partir de l'eau lors d'une douche. Il semble que l'hydratation de l'épiderme accélère la résorption du chloroforme. Le chloroforme se répartit dans l'ensemble de l'organisme. C'est dans les graisses, le sang, le foie, les reins, les poumons et le système nerveux que l'on trouve les plus fortes concentrations tissulaires. La répartition du chloroforme dépend de la voie d'exposition; la dose est plus forte dans les tissus extra-hépatiques après inhalation ou absorption percutanée qu'après ingestion. On a montré que chez plusieurs espèces animales et chez l'homme, le chloroforme pouvait traverser la barrière placentaire. Il s'élimine essentiellement dans l'air expiré sous forme de dioxyde de carbone. Non métabolisé, il demeure plus longtemps dans les graisses que dans les autres tissus. La biotransformation oxydative du chloroforme en trichlorométhanol est catalysée par le cytochrome P-450. Le trichlorométhanol produit, par élimination d'HCl, un intermédiaire réactif, le phosgène. Le phosgène peut être détoxifié en dioxyde de carbone par réaction avec l'eau ou en divers adduits par réaction avec des thiols, notamment le glutathion ou la cystéine. La réaction du phosgène sur les protéines tissulaires entraîne des lésions cellulaires et la mort. La liaison des métabolites du chloroforme à l'ADN est limitée. Le chloroforme peut également subir une biotransformation réductrice catalysée par le P-450, qui donne naissance au radical dichlorométhyl, lequel se fixe ensuite par liaison covalente aux lipides tissulaires. On n'a pas déterminé si cette biotransformation réductrice jouait également un rôle dans la cytotoxicité du chloroforme. Chez l'animal et l'homme exposés à du chloroforme, le chloroforme est éliminé d'une part sous forme de dioxyde de carbone et d'autre part sous forme inchangée. La fraction de la dose qui est éliminée sous forme de dioxyde de carbone varie avec cette dose et l'espèce en cause. La vitesse de biotransformation en dioxyde de carbone est plus élevée dans les microsomes hépatiques et rénaux des rongeurs (hamster, souris, rat) que dans ceux de l'homme. La biotransformation du chloroforme est également plus rapide dans les microsomes rénaux des souris que dans ceux des rats. En ce qui concerne la toxicité aiguë, c'est le foie qui est l'organe-cible chez le rat et plusieurs souches de souris. Les lésions hépatiques se caractérisent essentiellement, au début, par une infiltration graisseuse et une ballonisation des cellules, qui évoluent vers une nécrose centrilobulaire, puis une nécrose massive. Le rein est l'organe-cible chez les souris mâles appartenant à des souches plus sensibles. Au niveau du rein, les lésions débutent par une dégénérescence hydropigène qui évolue vers la nécrose des tubules proximaux. On n'a pas observé de toxicité rénale importante chez les femelles d'aucune souche de souris. La toxicité aiguë varie en fonction de la souche, du sexe et du véhicule. Chez la souris, la DL50 par voie orale varie de 36 à 1366 mg/kg de poids corporel alors que chez le rat, elle peut aller de 450 à 2000 mg de chloroforme par kg de poids corporel. Après une seule exposition de 4 heures par voie respiratoire, on a observé des effets toxiques sur le foie chez la souris et le rat à des concentrations de chloroforme respectivement égales à 490 et 1410 mg/m3. Ce sont les lésions du foie qui sont l'effet toxique du chloroforme le plus universellement observé. La gravité de ces effets par dose unitaire administrée dépend de l'espèce, du véhicule et du mode d'administration du chloroforme. La dose la plus faible à laquelle on ait observé ces lésions est de 15 mg/kg de poids corporel et par jour, administrée à des chiens "beagle" dans une base de pâte dentifrice, pendant une période de 7,5 années. On n'a pas recherché s'il y avait des effets à des doses plus faibles. Chez les autres espèces, les doses nécessaires pour produire des effets hépatotoxiques sont un peu plus élevées. Bien qu'au cours de ces différentes études, la durée d'exposition ait été variable, on a pu fixer la concentration sans effets nocifs observables à 15-125 mg/kg de poids corporel et par jour. Les effets au niveau du rein ont été observés chez des mâles appartenant à des souches sensibles de souris ainsi que chez des rats F-344. Ces effets étaient graves chez les mâles appartenant à une souche de souris particulièrement sensible, à des doses ne dépassant pas 36 mg/kg de poids corporel et par jour. Chez des rats F-344 à qui l'on avait fait inhaler du chloroforme 7 jours de suite, tous les jours pendant 6 heures, on a observé une atrophie des glandes de Bowman ainsi que la présence d'os néoformés dans les cornets du nez. La dose sans effets observables correspondante se situait à 14,7 mg/m3 (3 ppm). Des études à long terme se poursuivent afin d'évaluer la portée de ces effets. On a constaté l'apparition de tumeurs hépatiques chez des souris à qui l'on avait administré par gavage des doses quotidiennes de chloroforme dans de l'huile de maïs, à raison de 138 à 477 mg/kg de poids corporel. Toutefois, lorsque des doses analogues étaient administrées dans l'eau de boisson, le chloroforme était sans influence sur la proportion des tumeurs hépatiques qui se formaient chez ces souris. De plus, lors d'études sur le caractère promoteur éventuel de ce composé, on a observé, qu'administré dans l'eau de boisson, le chloroforme avait en fait une action inhibitrice sur la formation de tumeurs du foie provoquées chez la souris avec de la diéthylnitrosamine comme initiateur. Le véhicule utilisé ou la manière d'administrer le chloroforme conditionne donc de façon importante son pouvoir tumoro-inducteur au niveau du foie chez la souris. Le chloroforme a produit des tumeurs rénales chez des rats qui en avaient reçu quotidiennement par gavage, dans de l'huile de maïs, des doses allant de 90 à 200 mg/kg de poids corporel. Toutefois, chez cette espèce, les résultats se sont révélés analogues lorsque le produit était administré dans l'eau de boisson, ce qui indique que les effets ne dépendent pas entièrement du véhicule utilisé. Il semble que les effets cancérogènes du chloroforme sur le foie et le rein des rongeurs soient étroitement liés à son action cytotoxique ainsi qu'aux effets que ce composé exerce sur la réplication cellulaire dans les organes-cibles. On a constaté que ces derniers effets suivaient de près les modifications de la réponse cancérogène au chloroforme en fonction du type de véhicule et du mode d'administration. A la lumière des données disponibles, il semble que le chloroforme ne soit guère capable d'induire des mutations géniques ou d'autres types de lésions directes de l'ADN. En outre, le chloroforme ne semble pas non plus capable de jouer le rôle d'initiateur tumoral au niveau du foie chez la souris ni d'induire une synthèse non programmée de l'ADN in vivo. En revanche, lorsqu'il est administré dans un véhicule huileux, le chloroforme peut se révéler un promoteur efficace des tumeurs hépatiques. Par conséquent, il est probable que, lors de l'administration prolongée de chloroforme, la cytotoxicité de ce composé et la prolifération cellulaire qu'il détermine sont les causes les plus importantes de la formation de tumeurs hépatiques et rénales chez les rongeurs. On dispose de quelques données limitées selon lesquelles le chloroforme serait toxique pour le foetus, mais uniquement à des doses auxquelles il est également toxique pour la mère. En général, le chloroforme détermine les mêmes symptômes toxiques chez l'homme que chez l'animal. Chez l'homme, l'anesthésie peut entraîner la mort par suite d'arythmie et d'insuffisance respiratoire et cardiaque. On a également observé chez l'homme une nécrose des tubules rénaux et une insuffisance rénale. Les doses les plus faibles pour lesquelles des cas de toxicité hépatique due à une exposition professionnelle au chloroforme ont fait l'objet de rapports, se situaient dans les limites de 80 à 160 mg/m3 (durée d'exposition de moins de 4 mois) selon une étude et allaient de 10 à 1000 mg/m3 (durée d'exposition: 1 à 4 ans) selon une autre étude. On estime que la dose mortelle moyenne par voie orale pour un adulte est d'environ 45 g, mais on note d'importantes différences de sensibilité selon les individus. On est fondé à croire, selon certaines études épidémiologiques, qu'il existe une association entre l'exposition aux sous-produits des désinfectants présents dans l'eau de boisson et les cancers colorectaux ou vésicaux. Cependant, ces études souffrent de la présence de facteurs de confusion, entre autres faiblesses. Les preuves avancées à l'appui de la cancérogénicité pour l'homme de l'eau de boisson chlorée, sont insuffisantes. En outre, la présence de sous-produits des désinfectants utilisés ne peut être attribuée au chloroforme lui-même. Le chloroforme est toxique pour les stages embryo-larvaires de certaines espèces d'amphibiens et de poissons. La CL50 la plus faible dont il ait été fait état, se situait à 0,3 mg/litre pour les stades embryo-larvaires de Hyla crucifer. Le chloroforme est moins toxique pour les poissons et pour la daphnie Daphnia magna. Pour plusieurs espèces de poissons, les valeurs de la CL50 se situent dans les limites de 18 à 191 mg/litre. Il n'y a guère de différences de sensibilité entre les poissons d'eau douce et les poissons de mer. En ce qui concerne Daphnia magna, la valeur la plus faible de la CL50 qui ait été signalée, était de 29 mg/litre. Le chloroforme est peu toxique pour les algues et autres microorganismes. Le Groupe de travail a estimé que les données disponibles étaient suffisantes pour établir une dose journalière tolérable (DJT) pour les effets non cancérogènes du chloroforme, ainsi qu'une dose spécifiquement liée au risque d'effets cancérogènes, sur la base des études effectuées chez l'animal; les valeurs ainsi fixées serviront de guide pour l'établissement de limites d'exposition par les autorités compétentes. Cependant, il est rappelé que lorsque les conditions locales imposent un choix entre le respect des limites microbiologiques ou celles qui concernent la présence de sous-produits de désinfection tels que le chloroforme, c'est la qualité microbiologique qui doit toujours l'emporter. Il ne faut jamais transiger sur l'efficacité de la désinfection. En se fondant sur l'étude de Heywood et al. (1979) et en introduisant un facteur d'incertitude de 1000 (x10 pour les variations interspécifiques, x10 pour les variations intraspécifiques et x10 pour l'utilisation d'une dose avec effet plutôt que d'une dose sans effet lors d'une étude subchronique), on obtient une DJT de 15 µg/kg de poids corporel; il faut rappeler que cette étude avait révélé l'existence d'une légère hépatotoxicité (à savoir une augmentation des enzymes hépatiques sériques et des kystes graisseux) chez des chiens "beagle" à qui l'on avait fait ingérer pendant 7,5 ans, une pâte dentifrice contenant du chloroforme à la dose de 15 mg/kg de poids corporel et par jour. En se fondant sur ce que l'on sait du mécanisme de ces phénomènes, la méthode que l'on juge la mieux adaptée pour obtenir une valeur-guide consiste à diviser la valeur de la concentration sans effet observable sur la prolifération cellulaire par un certain facteur d'incertitude. C'est ainsi que si l'on utilise la valeur de la dose sans effets observables obtenue par Larson et al. (1993b) pour la cytoléthalité et la prolifération cellulaire chez des souris B6C3F1 qui avaient reçu pendant 3 semaines, dans de l'huile de maïs, une dose quotidienne de chloroforme équivalant à 10 mg/kg de poids corporel, et en introduisant un facteur d'incertitude de 1000 (x10 pour les variations interspécifiques, x10 pour les variations intraspécifiques et x10 pour la gravité de l'effet, c'est-à-dire la cancérogénicité et parce qu'il s'agit d'une étude subchronique), on obtient une DJT de 10 µg/kg de poids corporel. On admet que les tumeurs rénales observées chez le rat peuvent également être liées à l'action létale du chloroforme sur les cellules et à ses effets sur leur prolifération. Cependant, étant donné que l'on ne possède pas de données sur la prolifération cellulaire chez les souches où l'on a observé des tumeurs et qu'en outre, ce que l'on peut savoir de cet effet et de l'effet létal du chloroforme sur les cellules n'a été observé qu'à court terme (un seul gavage et une exposition par voie respiratoire de 7 jours), on estime qu'il est prématuré de s'écarter du modèle par défaut (c'est-à-dire multistade linéarisé) pour l'estimation du risque de cancer sur la durée de vie. D'après l'étude de Jorgenson et al. (1985) qui portait sur l'induction de tumeurs rénales (adénomes et adénocarcinomes), on a fixé à 8,2 µg/kg de poids corporel et par jour, la dose quotidienne totale jugée capable de produire un excès de risque de 10-5 sur toute la durée de la vie. La concentration de chloroforme dans les eaux de surface est généralement faible et ne semble pas présenter de danger pour les organismes aquatiques. Toutefois, la décharge ou le déversement de produits industriels pourrait entraîner la présence de concentrations plus élevées de chloroforme dans ces eaux et les rendre dangereuses pour les stades embryo-larvaires de certaines espèces aquatiques. RESUMEN El cloroformo es un líquido transparente, incoloro y volátil, con un olor característico y un sabor dulce ardiente. Se degrada fotoquímicamente, no es inflamable y es soluble en la mayor parte de los disolventes orgánicos. Sin embargo, su solubilidad en agua es limitada. Por degradación química del mismo pueden formarse fosgeno y ácido hidroclorhídrico. El cloroformo se utiliza en la formulación de plaguicidas, como disolvente y como intermedio químico. Su utilización como anestésico y en especialidades farmacéuticas está prohibida en algunos países. La producción comercial ascendió a 440 000 toneladas en 1987. También se producen cantidades apreciables de cloroformo en la cloración del agua y en el blanqueado de la pasta papelera. Existen varios métodos analíticos para determinar la presencia de cloroformo en el aire, el agua y los materiales biológicos. La mayor parte de esos métodos se basan en la inyección directa en columna, la adsorción en adsorbentes activados o la condensación en una cámara fría y posteriormente la desorción o evaporación mediante la extracción por disolventes o el calentamiento y el subsiguiente análisis por cromatografía de gases. Se supone que la mayor parte del cloroformo presente en el agua se transfiere finalmente al aire debido a su volatilidad. El cloroformo tiene un tiempo de residencia en la atmósfera de varios meses y desaparece de la misma por transformación química. Es resistente a la biodegradación por la población microbiana aeróbica de los suelos y de las capas acuíferas que viven en subestratos endógenos o con el suplemento de acetato. La biodegradación es posible en condiciones anaeróbicas. La bioconcentración en los peces de agua dulce es baja. La depuración es rápida. Las estimaciones de la exposición media calculadas a partir de diversos medios indican que la población en general está expuesta al cloroformo principalmente a través de los alimentos, el agua de bebida y el aire de los interiores en cantidades aproximadamente equivalentes. La inhalación estimada por conducto del aire exterior es considerablemente menor. La ingesta media estimada total es de aproximadamente 2 µg/kg de peso corporal por día. Los datos disponibles también indican que el agua de uso doméstico contribuye considerablemente a los niveles de cloroformo en el aire de los interiores y a la exposición total. La ingesta total estimada de algunos individuos que viven en lugares con un abastecimiento de agua corriente con concentraciones relativamente elevadas de cloroformo asciende a 10 µg/kg de peso corporal por día. Los animales y los seres humanos absorben bien el cloroformo después de la administración por vía oral, pero la cinética de la absorción depende del vehículo suministrado. Tras la exposición por inhalación, los seres humanos absorben del 60 al 80% de la cantidad inhalada. Los factores principales que afectan a la cinética de la absorción del cloroformo después de la inhalación son su concentración y la capacidad metabólica específica de la especie. Los seres humanos y los animales lo absorben fácilmente a través de la piel y se ha demostrado que durante la ducha la absorción dérmica del cloroformo del agua es apreciable. La hidratación de la piel parece acelerar la absorción de cloroformo. El cloroformo se distribuye en todo el cuerpo. Los niveles tisulares más elevados se alcanzan en el tejido adiposo, la sangre, el hígado, los riñones, los pulmones y el sistema nervioso. La distribución depende de la vía de exposición; los tejidos extrahepáticos reciben una dosis más elevada del cloroformo inhalado o absorbido por la piel que del cloroformo ingerido. Se ha demostrado que en varias especies animales y en el ser humano el cloroformo se transfiere a través de la placenta. El cloroformo se elimina principalmente como dióxido de carbono exhalado. El cloroformo no metabolizado se mantiene más tiempo en el tejido adiposo que en cualquier otro tejido. El citocromo P-450 cataliza la biotransformación oxidativa del cloroformo en triclorometanol. La pérdida de HCl del triclorometanol produce fosgeno como reactivo intermedio. El fosgeno puede destoxificarse por reacción con el agua produciendo dióxido de carbono o con tioles, inclusive con glutatión o cisteína, produciendo aductos. La reacción del fosgeno con proteínas tisulares está asociada con daño y necrosis celulares. Se observa un escaso enlace de los metabolitos del cloroformo con el ADN. El cloroformo también es objeto de una biotransformación reductiva catalizada por el P-450 que produce radicales de diclorometilo y éstos contraen enlaces covalentes con los lípidos tisulares. No se ha determinado el papel de la biotransformación reductiva en la citotoxicidad del cloroformo. Los animales y los seres humanos expuestos al cloroformo eliminan con el aire espirado el dióxido de carbono y el cloroformo que no se ha transformado. La fracción de dosis eliminada como dióxido de carbono varía según la dosis y la especie. La tasa de biotransformación en dióxido de carbono es más elevada en los microsomas hepáticos y renales de roedores (hámster, ratón, rata) que en los microsomas hepáticos y renales humanos. Además, el cloroformo se biotransforma más rápidamente en los microsomas renales del ratón que en los de la rata. El hígado es el órgano vulnerable a la toxicidad aguda en las ratas y en varias estirpes de ratones. La lesión hepática se caracteriza principalmente por una infiltración grasa temprana y células con forma de globo y evoluciona hacia la necrosis centrilobular seguida de necrosis general. El riñón es el órgano vulnerable en los ratones macho de otras estirpes más sensibles. La lesión renal comienza con una degeneración hidrópica que avanza hacia la necrosis de los tubos proximales. No se ha observado una toxicidad renal apreciable en las ratas hembra de ninguna estirpe. La toxicidad aguda varía según la raza, el sexo y el vehículo. En el ratón, la DL50 por vía oral oscila entre 36 y 1366 mg de cloroformo/kg de peso corporal, mientras que en las ratas oscila entre 450 y 2000 mg de cloroformo/kg de peso corporal. Después de una sola exposición de cuatro horas por inhalación, se observó toxicidad hepática en ratones y ratas cuando el nivel de cloroformo alcanzaba, respectivamente, 490 y 1410 mg/m3. Los efectos tóxicos del cloroformo más generales observados consisten en lesiones hepáticas. La gravedad de esos efectos por unidad de dosis administrada depende de la especie, del vehículo de administración y del método por el cual se haya administrado el cloroformo. La dosis más baja causante de lesión hepática observada es de 15 mg/kg de peso corporal por día, administrada a perros pachones en una base de pasta dentífrica durante un periodo de 7,5 años. No se han examinado efectos con dosis más bajas. Se necesitan dosis algo más elevadas para producir efectos hepatotóxicos en otras especies. En esos estudios, aunque la duración de la exposición variaba, los niveles sin efectos adversos observados oscilaban entre 15 y 125 mg/kg de peso corporal por día. Se han observado efectos en el riñón de ratones macho de estirpes sensibles y en la rata F-344. Se han observado efectos graves en una estirpe especialmente sensible de ratones macho con dosis de sólo 36 mg/kg de peso corporal por día. La inhalación de cloroformo seis horas por día durante siete días consecutivos produjo atrofia de las glándulas de Bowman y neoplasia ósea en la concha nasal de ratas F-344. El nivel en que no se observaron esos efectos fue de 14,7 mg/m3 (3 ppm). La importancia de dichos efectos se está investigando más a fondo en estudios de larga duración. El cloroformo administrado por sonda en un vehículo de aceite de maíz en dosis de 138 a 477 mg/kg de peso corporal por día indujo tumores hepáticos en ratones. Sin embargo, dosis semejantes de cloroformo administradas en el agua de bebida no produjeron tumores hepáticos en ratones. Por otra parte, en estudios de iniciación/promoción, el cloroformo administrado en el agua de bebida como promotor parecía inhibir el desarrollo de tumores hepáticos iniciados por dietilnitrosamina en ratones. Así pues, el vehículo y/o el método de administración del cloroformo es una variable importante en relación con la inducción de tumores hepáticos en el ratón. El cloroformo administrado por sonda en aceite de maíz en dosis de 90 a 200 mg/kg de peso corporal por día indujo tumores renales en ratas. Sin embargo, en esa especie se observaron efectos semejantes tras la administración de cloroformo en el agua de bebida, lo que indica que la reacción no depende exclusivamente del vehículo utilizado. Los efectos carcinogénicos del cloroformo en el hígado y los riñones de roedores parecen estar estrechamente relacionados con efectos citotóxicos y de replicación celular observados en los órganos vulnerables. Se ha observado que los efectos en la replicación celular eran paralelos a las modificaciones de las respuestas carcinogénicas al cloroformo inducidas por el vehículo y por la modalidad de administración. Las observaciones realizadas indican que el cloroformo tiene poca o ninguna capacidad para inducir mutaciones genéticas o daños directos de otro tipo en el ADN. Por otra parte, el cloroformo no parece poder iniciar tumores hepáticos en ratones ni de inducir síntesis imprevistas de ADN in vivo. Por otra parte, el cloroformo puede promover la neoplasia hepática cuando se administra en un vehículo oleoso. Por consiguiente, es probable que, tras la administración prolongada de cloroformo, la citotoxicidad seguida de proliferación celular sea la causa más importante del desarrollo de tumores hepáticos y renales en los roedores. Algunos datos limitados sugieren que el cloroformo es tóxico para el feto, pero sólo en dosis tóxicas para la madre. En general, el cloroformo provoca en el ser humano los mismos síntomas de toxicidad que en los animales. En el ser humano, la anestesia puede causar la muerte por arritmia e insuficiencia respiratoria y cardíaca. En el ser humano también se ha observado necrosis de los tubos renales y disfunción renal. Los niveles más bajos en los que se haya comunicado toxicidad hepática debida a la exposición ocupacional al cloroformo se sitúan entre 80 y 160 mg/m3 (con un periodo de exposición inferior a cuatro meses) en un estudio y entre 10 y 1000 mg/m3 (con periodos de exposición de uno a cuatro años) en otro estudio. La dosis letal media de un adulto se estima en unos 45 g, pero hay grandes diferencias de vulnerabilidad de un individuo a otro. En algunos estudios epidemiológicos hay ciertas indicaciones de que existe una asociación entre la exposición a los subproductos de la desinfección del agua de bebida y el cáncer colorrectal y de vejiga. Sin embargo, hay factores confusos y otras insuficiencias que ponen en entredicho esos estudios. Las pruebas de la carcinogenicidad del agua de bebida clorada en el ser humano son insuficientes. Además, los subproductos de la desinfección no pueden atribuirse al cloroformo por sí solo. El cloroformo es tóxico en las fases embriolarvales de algunas especies de anfibios y de peces. La CL50 más baja comunicada es de 0,3 mg/litro en las fases embriolarvales de Hyla crucifer. El cloroformo es menos tóxico para los peces y para Daphnia magna. La CL50 de varias especies de peces se halla entre 18 y 191 mg/litro. Hay pocas diferencias de sensibilidad entre los peces de agua dulce y salada. La CL50 más baja comunicada en Daphnia magna es de 29 mg/litro. El cloroformo es poco tóxico para las algas y otros microorganismos. El Grupo Especial llegó a la conclusión de que los datos disponibles son suficientes para fijar una ingesta diaria tolerable sin efectos neoplásicos e ingestas con riesgos carcinogénicos específicos del cloroformo sobre la base de los estudios realizados en especies animales; las dosis servirán como orientación para que las autoridades competentes fijen límites de exposición. Sin embargo, se advierte que, cuando las circunstancias locales exijan optar entre el cumplimiento de límites microbiológicos y el de límites para subproductos de la desinfección tales como el cloroformo, debe siempre prevalecer la calidad microbiológica. Nunca debe comprometerse una desinfección eficaz. Sobre la base del estudio de Heywood et al. (1979) en el cual se observó una ligera hepatotoxicidad (aumento de las enzimas del suero hepático y quistes grasos) en perros pachones que habían ingerido 15 mg/kg de peso corporal por día en pasta dentífrica durante 7,5 años, incorporando un factor de incertidumbre de 1000 (x10 para la variación entre especies, x10 para la variación dentro de la especie y x10 para utilizar un nivel con efectos en lugar de sin efectos y un estudio subcrónico), se obtiene una ingesta diaria tolerable (IDT) de 15 µg/kg de peso corporal por día. En función de los datos disponibles sobre los mecanismos determinantes, el método que se considera más apropiado para establecer orientaciones fundadas en los tumores hepáticos de ratones es dividir un nivel sin efectos de proliferación celular por un factor de incertidumbre. A partir del nivel sin efectos observados de citoletalidad y proliferación celular en ratones B6C3F1, de 10 mg/kg de peso corporal por día administrados en aceite de maíz durante tres semanas, comunicado en el estudio de Larson et al. (1993b), incorporando un factor de incertidumbre de 1000 (x10 para la variación entre especies, x10 para la variación dentro de la especie y x10 para la gravedad del efecto, es decir, carcinogenicidad, y estudio subcrónico) se obtiene una IDT de 10 µg/kg de peso corporal por día. Se reconoce que los tumores renales en ratas también pueden estar asociados con letalidad y proliferación celular. Sin embargo, dado que no se dispone de datos sobre proliferación celular en la estirpe en la que se observaron tumores y la información sobre proliferación y letalidad celulares es de corto plazo (una sola sonda y exposición por inhalación durante siete días), se considera prematuro alejarse del modelo establecido por defecto (es decir, fases múltiples linearizadas) como base para estimar el riesgo de cáncer durante una vida. La ingesta diaria total que se considera asociada con un riesgo excesivo de 10-5 durante una vida, sobre la base de la inducción de tumores renales (adenomas y adenocarcinomas) en ratas macho en el estudio de Jorgenson et al. (1985), es de 8,2 µg/kg de peso corporal por día. Los niveles de cloroformo en las aguas superficiales son generalmente bajos y no se prevé que constituyan un peligro para los organismos acuáticos. Sin embargo, niveles más elevados de cloroformo en las aguas superficiales como consecuencia de las descargas o los derrames industriales tal vez sean peligrosos en las fases embriolarvales de algunas especies acuáticas.
See Also: Chloroform (CHEMINFO) Chloroform (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Supplement 7, 1987) Chloroform (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 1, 1972) Chloroform (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 20, 1979) Chloroform (ICSC) Chloroform (PIM 121)