The following information has been extracted from our CHEMINFO database, which also contains hazard control and regulatory information. [More about...] [Sample Record]

Access the complete CHEMINFO database by contacting CCOHS Client Services.


CHEMINFO Record Number: 607
CCOHS Chemical Name: 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene

Trichlorobenzene (non-specific name)

Chemical Name French: Trichloro-1,2,3 benzène
Chemical Name Spanish: 1,2,3-Triclorobenceno
CAS Registry Number: 87-61-6
RTECS Number(s): DC2095000
Chemical Family: Halogenated aromatic hydrocarbon / halogenated benzene / halobenzene / trihalobenzene / chlorobenzene / trichlorobenzene
Molecular Formula: C6-H3-Cl3
Structural Formula: C6H3(Cl)3


Appearance and Odour:
White, crystalline solid; aromatic odour.

Odour Threshold:
No information available

Warning Properties:
No information available for evaluation.

Available as an ingredient of commercial-grade mixed trichlorobenzene isomers and as a high purity 99% reagent-grade material. 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene is one of the chemical forms (isomers) of trichlorobenzene (C6-H3-Cl3). It has many similarities (properties and hazards) to other trichlorobenzenes. Some information in this record is given specifically for 1,2,3-trichlorobenzene. Much information applies to trichlorobenzenes in general.

Uses and Occurrences:
Produced and used as an intermediate in organic chemical synthesis. Component of mixed trichlorobenzenes used as electrical insulating fluids in transformers, degreasers, heat transfer fluids and as an insecticide for termite control. Occurs as a break-down product of the pesticide Lindane. May be present in industrial wastewater discharges and natural waters and sediments.


White, crystalline solid with an aromatic odour. Can probably burn if strongly heated. Can decompose at high temperatures forming toxic gases, such as hydrogen chloride, phosgene and carbon monoxide. May be irritating to respiratory tract.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Inhalation of 1,2,3-trichlorobenzene (1,2,3-TCB) dust may be irritating to the nose, throat and upper respiratory system.
No human or animal information is available, but these effects have been reported in animal experiments with the other trichlorobenzene isomers.

Skin Contact:
1,2,3-TCB dust and solutions may cause a mild irritation. No human or animal information is available, but these effects have been observed in animal experiments with the other trichlorobenzene isomers.
1,2,3-TCB can be slowly absorbed through the skin.(1)

Eye Contact:
Solutions or particles of 1,2,3-TCB may be irritating to the eyes. No human or animal information is available, but other trichlorobenzene isomers were mildly irritating in animal experiments.

1,2,3-TCB may be irritating to the mouth, throat and upper digestive system. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting and dizziness. No human or animal information is available, but these effects have been observed in animal experiments with the other trichlorobenzene isomers. Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

Prolonged or repeated contact may result in drying, cracking and reddening of the skin.


No human or animal information available.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has not evaluated the carcinogenicity of this chemical.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has no listing for this chemical.

The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has not listed this chemical in its report on carcinogens.

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
No human information available. Negative results were obtained in animal experiments.(4)

Reproductive Toxicity:
No human or animal information available.

No human information available. A positive result was reported in an in vivo assay in mice. However, the route of exposure (intraperitoneal injection) is not considered relevant to occupational situations.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
No information available

Potential for Accumulation:
1,2,3-TCB is slowly absorbed and broken down in the body and excreted. Residuals accumulate in fatty tissues.(1,10)


If symptoms are experienced, remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. Obtain medical attention immediately.

Skin Contact:
Quickly and gently blot or brush away excess chemical. Wash gently and thoroughly with water and non-abrasive soap for 5 minutes or until chemical is removed.

Eye Contact:
Do not allow victim to rub eye(s). Let the eye(s) water naturally for a few minutes. Have victim look right and left, and then up and down. If particle/dust does not dislodge, flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 5 minutes or until particle/dust is removed, while holding eyelid(s) open. If irritation persists, obtain medical attention. DO NOT attempt to manually remove anything stuck to eye(s).

Never give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, is unconscious or convulsing. Have victim rinse mouth thoroughly with water. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 240 to 300 mL (8 to 10 oz.) of water. If vomiting occurs naturally, rinse mouth and repeat administration of water. Obtain medical attention immediately.

First Aid Comments:
All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the material and its conditions of use in the workplace.


Flash Point:
113 deg C (235.4 deg F) (closed cup) (1,6,8); 126 deg C (260 deg F) (closed cup) (7)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
Not available

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
Not available

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
Not available

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Not sensitive. Stable material.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Probably not sensitive. High flash point

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Hydrogen chloride, phosgene

Fire Hazard Summary:
This material can burn if strongly heated. During a fire, irritating/toxic carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride and phosgene gases may be generated.

Extinguishing Media:
Water spray or fog, alcohol foam, polymer foam, carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder (7)

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or a protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid hazardous vapours and toxic decomposition products.
Water spray, fog or foam can be used to extinguish fires involving 1,2,3-trichlorobenzene (1,2,3-TCB). Water or foam may cause frothing. However, a water spray or fog that is gently applied to the surface of the liquid, preferably with a fine spray of fog nozzle, will cause frothing that will blanket and extinguish the fire. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material.
Water spray or fog can be used to absorb heat, keep containers cool and protect exposed material.

Protection of Fire Fighters:
The decomposition products of 1,2,3-TCB , hydrogen chloride and phosgene, are very hazardous to health. Do not enter without wearing specialized protective equipment suitable for the situation. Firefighter's normal protective clothing (Bunker Gear) will not provide adequate protection. Chemical resistant clothing (e.g. chemical splash suit) and positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (NIOSH) approved or equivalent may be necessary.


NFPA - Comments:
NFPA has no listing for this chemical in Codes 49 or 325.


Molecular Weight: 181.44

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 7.41 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.135 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Solid
Melting Point: 53.5 deg C (128 deg F) (5)
Boiling Point: 221 deg C (430 deg F) (6,7,8)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 1.69 at 25 deg C (water = 1) (6,8)
Solubility in Water: Practically insoluble (12 ppm at 22 deg C)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in ether, benzene, carbon disulfide; sparingly soluble in ethyl alcohol.
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Log P(oct) = 4.05 (1)
pH Value: Not applicable
Vapour Density: 6.26 (air = 1) (8)
Vapour Pressure: 0.009 kPa (0.08 mm Hg) at 25 deg C; 0.013 kPa (1 mm Hg) at 40 deg C (1)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 92 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: Not available
Critical Temperature: Not available


Normally stable.

Hazardous Polymerization:
Does not occur.

Incompatibility - Materials to Avoid:

NOTE: Chemical reactions that could result in a hazardous situation (e.g. generation of flammable or toxic chemicals, fire or detonation) are listed here. Many of these reactions can be done safely if specific control measures (e.g. cooling of the reaction) are in place. Although not intended to be complete, an overview of important reactions involving common chemicals is provided to assist in the development of safe work practices.

OXIDIZING AGENTS - may react violently.

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported.

Conditions to Avoid:
Temperatures above 113 deg C.

Corrosivity to Metals:
Not corrosive.


LD50 (oral, rat): 1830 mg/kg (3)

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

Weanling rats fed 1,2,3-trichlorobenzene (1,2,3-TCB) in the diet at levels up to 1000 ppm (78 mg/kg/day) for 13 weeks, exhibited reduced weight gain and increased liver and kidney weights at high doses. Liver enzyme activity and blood chemistry were not affected by the treatment.(3)

Teratogenicity, Embryotoxicity and/or Fetotoxicity:
Rats fed up to 600 mg/kg 1,2,3-TCB by stomach tube on days 6-15 of pregnancy exhibited no major signs of toxicity. Reduced body weight gain and increased liver and kidney weights and mild anemia were noted at high doses. There was no evidence of teratogenicity or fetotoxicity.(4)

A positive result was reported in an in-vivo micronucleus test in mice following injection (intraperitoneal) at a dose of 250 mg/kg.(2, unconfirmed) This route of exposure is not considered relevant to occupational situations.


Selected Bibliography:
(1) HSDB record for 1,2,3-trichlorobenzene. Last revision date: 90/10/10
(2) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Benzene, 1,2,3-trichloro-. Last updated: 2000-07. In: Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS(R)). [CD-ROM]. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Issue: 2003-4. Also available from World Wide Web: <>
(3) Côte, M., et al. Trichlorobenzenes : results of a thirteen week feeding study in the rat. Drug and Chemical Toxicology. Vol. 11, no. 1 (1988). p. 11-28
(4) Black, W.D., et al. Assessment of teratogenic potential of 1,2,3- 1,2,4- and 1,3,5-trichlorobenzenes in rats. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Vol. 41 (1988). p. 719-726
(5) Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. 3rd ed. Vol. 5. John Wiley & Sons, 1979. p. 797-808
(6) Industrial solvents handbook. 3rd ed. Noyes Data Corporation, 1985. p. 138
(7) The Sigma-Aldrich library of chemical safety data. Ed. II. Vol. 2. Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, 1988. p. 3409C
(8) Compendium of safety data sheets for research and industrial chemicals. Part III. VCH Publishers, 1985. p. 1640-1641
(9) Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary. 11th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1987. p. 1175
(10) Clement Associates, Inc. Dossier on chlorobenzenes. TSCA Interagency Testing Committee, Aug. 11, 1978
(11) Forsberg, K., et al. Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing. 4th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2002

Information on chemicals reviewed in the CHEMINFO database is drawn from a number of publicly available sources. A list of general references used to compile CHEMINFO records is available in the database Help.

Review/Preparation Date: 1992-12-04

Revision Indicators:
Trans PEL-TWA 1993-04-01
TDG 1994-02-01
Fire fighting instructions 1995-01-01
EU class 1996-06-01
Sampling 1996-06-01
US transport 1998-03-01
Resistance of materials 1998-05-01
Synonyms 1998-05-01
US transport 2002-12-18
Mutagenicity 2003-05-23
Chemical Name French 2004-02-03
Long-term exposure 2004-02-03
WHMIS detailed classification 2004-02-03
WHMIS proposed classification 2004-02-03
WHMIS classification comments 2004-02-03
WHMIS disclosure list 2004-02-03
WHMIS health effects 2004-02-03
OSHA hazcom 2004-02-03
Bibliography 2004-02-03
TDG 2004-04-08
UN/NA No 2004-04-08
Important New Information 2004-04-08
Short-term inhalation 2004-04-08
Short-term eye contact 2004-04-08
Short-term ingestion 2004-04-08
Handling 2004-04-08
Storage 2004-04-08

©2007 Canadian  Centre  for  Occupational  Health  &  Safety  E-mail:  Fax: (905) 572-2206  Phone: (905) 572-2981  
Mail:  250  Main  Street  East,  Hamilton  Ontario  L8N  1H6