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CHEMINFO Record Number: 42
CCOHS Chemical Name: 1,1,2-Trichloroethane

Ethane trichloride
Vinyl trichloride
Trichloroethane (non-specific name)

Chemical Name French: 1,1,2-Trichloro éthane
Chemical Name Spanish: 1,1,2-Tricloroetano
CAS Registry Number: 79-00-5
RTECS Number(s): KJ3150000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 201-166-9
Chemical Family: Halogenated aliphatic hydrocarbon / saturated halogenated hydrocarbon / halogenated alkane / haloalkane / trihaloalkane
Molecular Formula: C2-H3-Cl3
Structural Formula: Cl2-CH-CH2Cl


Appearance and Odour:
Clear, colourless, volatile liquid with a characteristic, sweet, pleasant but slightly irritating odour.

Odour Threshold:
No information available

Warning Properties:
POOR - No odour threshold data available.

1,1,2-Trichloroethane is available as a commercial grade product, either stabilized or unstabilized, at a purity of greater than 99%. The stabilizers used include sec-butanol and 1,2-butylene oxide. It is also available in research quantities at 95-99.9% purity.

Uses and Occurrences:
The principal use of 1,1,2-trichloroethane is as an intermediate in the production of 1,1-dichloroethylene (vinylidene chloride). It has limited use as a solvent because of its high toxicity. It is used as a special purpose industrial solvent, for chlorinated rubbers, for pharmaceutical preparations, in the manufacture of electronic components; and in chemical synthesis.(2,15b)


Clear, colourless, volatile liquid with a characteristic, sweet, but slightly irritating odour. Can probably burn if strongly heated or ignited by a high energy source. Can decompose at high temperatures forming toxic gases, such as hydrogen chloride and phosgene. Closed containers may rupture and explode if heated. VERY TOXIC. May be fatal if inhaled, absorbed through the skin or swallowed. Central nervous system depressant. High vapour concentrations may cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, incoordination, confusion, unconsciousness and death. May cause liver damage. Causes skin irritation.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

No human information is available. It is expected that short-term inhalation of 1,1,2-trichloroethane (1,1,2-TCE) would cause depression of the central nervous system with symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, incoordination and unconsciousness leading to death, presumably from respiratory arrest.(13) Some animal studies have shown liver and/or kidney damage, but have not assessed the reversibility of this damage. It is not known whether these effects would occur in humans.

Skin Contact:
A human subject given a 5-minute covered skin exposure to about 698 mg/kg 1,1,2-TCE (1.5 mL), reported stinging and burning sensations and showed temporary whitening of the skin.(1) Animal information suggests that 1,1,2-TCE is a severe skin irritant.(6,7) Dermatitis (red, dry, itchy skin) would be expected following prolonged or repeated contact due to the degreasing action of 1,1,2-TCE.(14)
Significant absorption through the skin and mucous membranes can occur.(13) Symptoms similar to those described for inhalation would be expected.

Eye Contact:
No human information is available. Animal information suggest that 1,1,2-TCE is a mild eye irritant.(3,6,8) The vapour is reported to be irritating to the eyes.(14)

No human information is available. Animal information suggests that 1,1,2-TCE is moderately toxic by ingestion. Toxic effects and symptoms would be expected to be similar to those described for inhalation. Ingestion of 1,1,2-TCE is unlikely in an occupational situation.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

Repeated or prolonged exposure to 1,1,2-TCE may cause effects such as stomach disturbances, and liver or kidney damage. There are no reported cases of human intoxication or systemic effects from industrial exposure. Some animal studies have shown liver damage, but have not assessed the reversibility of this damage.(5,8) It is not known whether these effects would occur with humans.


No human information is available, but there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in animals. On this basis, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that 1,1,2-TCE is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.(2,22)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that this chemical is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has designated this chemical as not classifiable as a human carcinogen (A4).

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

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
No human information is available. One developmental toxicity screening test did not report any effects at doses which were maternally toxic.(9) Further research is needed before any conclusions can be made.

Reproductive Toxicity:
No human or animal information is available.

It is not possible to conclude that 1,1,2-TCE is mutagenic. There is no human information available. Positive results have been obtained in cultured human white blood cells. Negative results have been obtained in tests were live animals were exposed orally.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
As with other halogenated solvents, ethyl alcohol would be expected to increase toxicity by inhibiting metabolism.

Potential for Accumulation:
Animal studies have shown that 1,1,2-TCE is readily absorbed by inhalation, ingestion and through the skin. It is not expected to accumulate in the body (5) and is eliminated unchanged by the lungs (16 to 22%) and in the urine (73 to 87%), primarily as breakdown products (metabolites).(8)


Take proper precautions to ensure your own safety before attempting rescue (e.g. wear appropriate protective equipment, use the buddy system). Remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. If breathing has stopped, trained personnel should begin artificial respiration (AR) or, if the heart has stopped, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately. Immediately transport victim to an emergency care facility.

Skin Contact:
Quickly and gently blot or brush away excess chemical. Wash gently and thoroughly with water and non-abrasive soap for 20 minutes or until chemical is removed. Under running water, remove contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Obtain medical attention immediately. Discard contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods.

Eye Contact:
Quickly and gently blot or brush away excess chemical. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 5 minutes or until the chemical is removed, while holding the eyelid(s) open. Obtain medical advice immediately.

NEVER give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, is unconscious or is convulsing. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 240 to 300 mL (8 to 10 oz.) of water to dilute material in stomach. Obtain medical attention immediately.

First Aid Comments:
Provide general supportive measures (comfort, warmth, rest).
Consult a doctor and/or the nearest Poison Control Centre for all exposures except under minor instances of inhalation or skin contact.
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:
None measurable by standard test methods. The vapour can be ignited by a high-energy source.(14)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
6% (14); 8.4% (1)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
13.3% (1); 15.5% (14)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
460 deg C (860 deg F) (1)

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Stable material; probably not sensitive.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Probably not sensitive because of the large amount of energy required for ignition.

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Hydrogen chloride, phosgene.(14)

Fire Hazard Summary:
1,1,2-Trichloroethane (1,1,2-TCE) is non-flammable under most conditions of use. However, it can probably burn if strongly heated. Although no flash point has been measured by standard tests, under certain circumstances, such as ignition by a high-energy source (welding arc or hot wire ignition), 1,1,2-TCE can form combustible vapour-air mixtures (6.0-15.5%). Addition of small quantities of combustible substances or raising the oxygen content increases flammability considerably. Mixtures of 1,1,2-TCE and air can be ignited by the heat from welding and therefore, for hot work purposes, 1,1,2-TCE should be regarded as flammable. During a fire, irritating/toxic hydrogen chloride and phosgene may be generated. 1,1,2-TCE can accumulate in a confined space, causing a toxicity hazard. Closed containers can explode in the heat of a fire.

Extinguishing Media:
Extinguish fire using suitable agent for surrounding fire.(17)

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. If products other than 1,1,2-TCE are burning, use extinguishing agents suitable for the surrounding fire. Water spray or fog can be used to absorb heat, keep containers cool and protect exposed material.
If possible, isolate materials not yet involved in the fire and protect personnel. Containers may explode in the heat of the fire. Move containers from fire area if this can be done without risk. Otherwise, apply cooling streams of water to sides of tanks or containers exposed to flames until well after the fire has been extinguished. If a leak or spill has not ignited, use water spray to disperse the vapours and to protect personnel attempting to stop a leak. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material. Tanks or containers should not be approached directly after they have been involved in a fire or heated by exposure, until they have completely cooled down.
1,1,2-TCE and its decomposition products are 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 (MSHA/NIOSH approved or equivalent) may be necessary.


NFPA - Health: 2 - Intense or continued (but not chronic) exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury.
NFPA - Flammability: 1 - Must be preheated before ignition can occur.
NFPA - Instability: 0 - Normally stable, even under fire conditions, and not reactive with water.


Molecular Weight: 133.41

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 5.45 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.184 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: -36.5 deg C (-33.7 deg F) (2,14,15b)
Boiling Point: 113.8 deg C (236.8 deg F) (2,14,15b)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 1.44 at 20 deg C (water = 1) (1,2,14)
Solubility in Water: Poorly soluble (450 mg/100 mL at 20 deg C) (2,14,15a)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in all proportions in ethanol, chloroform, diethyl ether, esters, ketones and many other chlorinated solvents.(1,14)
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Log P(oct) = 2.07 (2); Log P(Oct) = 2.42 (1)
pH Value: Not applicable
Vapour Density: 4.63 (air = 1)
Vapour Pressure: 2.53 kPa (19 mm Hg) at 20 deg C (2); 3.33 kPa (25 mm Hg) at 25 C (14)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 25,000 ppm (2.5%) at 20 deg C; 32,900 ppm (3.3%) at 25 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: Information not available
Critical Temperature: 333 deg C (631.4 deg F) (15b)

Other Physical Properties:
VISCOSITY-DYNAMIC: 1.20 centipoises (1.20 mPa.s) at 20 deg C (15a, 16)
SURFACE TENSION: 32.5 dynes/cm at 20 deg C (15a)
CRITICAL PRESSURE: 5.141 MPa (50.7 atm.) (15b)


Stable in air at ambient temperatures.(15) It reacts slowly with water to produce hydrochloric acid, but less so than 1,1,1-trichloroethane.(14) In the absence of air or water, it is stable to 110 deg C.(16)

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.

STRONG OXIDIZING AGENTS (e.g. nitric acid) - May cause fire and explosion.(14)
STRONG ALKALIS (e.g. potassium hydroxide) - May cause fire and explosion.(14,17)
CHEMICALLY ACTIVE METALS (for example sodium, aluminum, magnesium powders) - React violently with risk of fire and explosion.(14,18)
POTASSIUM AND ITS ALLOYS - Mixtures are shock-sensitive and may explode with great violence on light impact.(16)
SODIUM AMIDE - Reacts violently with risk of fire and explosion.(18)

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
Hydrogen chloride, hydrochloric acid.

Conditions to Avoid:
Avoid open flames, welding arcs, hot surfaces or other high temperature sources which can induce thermal decomposition or ignition.

Corrosivity to Metals:
Boiling uninhibited 1,1,2-TCE is corrosive to aluminum and less so to iron and zinc. Addition of water results in the complete dissolution of all 3 metals. Iron and zinc are more corroded in 1,1,2-TCE than in 1,1,1-TCE.(14.15a) Some commercial grades of 1,1,2-TCE contain stabilizers to prevent corrosion.

Stability and Reactivity Comments:
Liquid 1,1,2-TCE will attack some forms of plastics, rubber and coatings.(14) 1,1,2-TCE is more prone to oxidative degradation than 1,1,1-TCE. A stabilizer such as sec-butanol will protect against oxidation.(14,15a)


LC50 (rat): 1654 ppm (6-hour exposure) (2026 ppm - equivalent 4-hour exposure) (1,2); 999 ppm (8-hour exposure) (1413 ppm - equivalent 4-hour exposure) (1)
LC50 (mouse): 416 ppm (6-hour exposure) (510 ppm - equivalent 4-hour exposure) (1,2)

LD50 (oral, rat): 836 mg/kg (3,4)
LD50 (oral, mouse): 378 mg/kg (male); 491 mg/kg (female) (5)

LD50 (dermal, rabbit): 5370 mg/kg (reported as 3.73 mL/kg)(4)

Eye Irritation:

Mild irritation was produced in rabbits in Standard Draize Tests.(3,6)

Skin Irritation:

With both rabbits (810 mg for 24 hours) and guinea pigs, irritation was severe in Standard Draize Tests (6,7). Only mild irritation was reported when 500 mg was applied to rabbit skin in an Open Draize Test and when 0.01 mL (about 14 mg) undiluted 1,1,2-TCE was applied uncovered to the clipped skin of rabbits.(3,4)

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

The main effects of 1,1,2-TCE are depression of the central nervous system (CNS) and liver and kidney injury.(8) In studies with rats, there was CNS depression with weakness, loss of balance, and unconsciousness followed by death, as well as stomach irritation and bleeding in the lungs. The survivors of 7-hour exposures to 250 or 500 ppm (over half of the female rats died) had marked liver and kidney damage. A 4-hour exposure to 250 ppm did not cause any deaths, but did cause liver and kidney tissue death (necrosis). Two and 1-hour exposures did not appear to cause injury. All rats survived a 7-hour exposure to 100 ppm.(1,8) In another study, 3/5 rats exposed to 2080 ppm for 2 hours died within 24 hours, while exposure to 890 ppm for 2 hours was not fatal. There was an increase in the levels of a liver enzyme at 2080 ppm, but no liver effects at 890 ppm.(1)

Skin Contact:
A single application of 116 mg/kg (0.25 mL) resulted in the death of 25% of the guinea pigs exposed within 28 days. Doses of 233 and 931 mg/kg killed all guinea pigs within 3 days.(1) Exposure of rabbits to 0.5, 1 or 2 g/kg for 24 hours produced liver and kidney injury with delayed recovery. Deaths occurred at the two higher doses.(8) Repeated application of 0.5 mL (about 720 mg) or more killed all the guinea pigs in 3 days, but 0.25 mL (about 360 mg) was fatal to only 5 of 20 animals treated for a longer period of time.(8)

Kidney and liver injury were reported in rats and mice following oral administration of 1,1,2-TCE.(8) 1,1,2-TCE was reported to be less toxic to the liver than carbon tetrachloride and chloroform, but markedly more toxic than 1,1,1-trichloroethane.(8) Deaths from short-term ingestion of 1,1,2-TCE appear to result from CNS depression.(5) Daily oral doses of 300 mg/kg 1,1,2-TCE in water for 7 days, resulted in the death of all 7 mice treated. Doses of 100 mg/kg/day did not cause death.(1) Mice receiving doses greater than or equal to 450 mg/kg (approximately the LD50 value) became sedated within an hour. A dose-dependent irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, liver effects and bleeding of the lungs were observed in the mice that died.(5) Administration of 3.8 or 38 mg/kg 1,1,2-TCE (in 10% Emulphor in water) to male and female mice for 14 days had no significant effects.(5) Dogs given 144 mg/kg or more showed mild liver and kidney damage, while 1 dog had mild inflammation and congestion of the gastrointestinal tract. Severe gastrointestinal irritation and bleeding were found in 2/3 dogs and massive liver tissue death in 1/3 dogs given 433 or 722 mg/kg.(1)

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

Male and female rats, guinea pigs and rabbits exposed to 15 ppm for 6 months (7 hours/day, 5 days/week) showed no adverse effects. At 30 ppm, there were liver changes (minor fatty changes and cloudy swelling) in female rats after only 16 exposures.(8)

In a 90 day study, male mice were administered on average 4.4, 46 or 305 mg/kg/day 1,1,2-TCE in their drinking water, while female mice were given 3.9, 44 or 384 mg/kg/day. There were no deaths. The no adverse effect level was 3.9 mg/kg in females and 46 mg/kg in males. At the highest level, their daily intake was about the same as the LD50. The liver was the target of toxicity in both sexes.(5) Immunological effects were observed in male mice given 46 mg/kg/day and in female mice given 384 mg/kg/day in their drinking water for 90 days.(1)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded there is limited evidence for the carcinogenicity of 1,1,2-trichloroethane to experimental animals. In a two year study, rats and mice were orally exposed to 1,1,2-trichloroethane. Liver and adrenal tumours were observed in mice, but not rats.(22) National Cancer Institute studies with mice exposed orally for 78 weeks (doses up to 400 mg/kg) found that there was a significant increase in liver cancer for all treatment groups. There was also a higher incidence of adrenal cancer in the high dose group. Similar studies with rats at lower exposures (doses up to 100 mg/kg) did not find any statistically significant increase in tumours.(2) The 78-week dosing period is now considered too short.

Teratogenicity, Embryotoxicity and/or Fetotoxicity:
In a developmental toxicity screening study, pregnant mice were given an oral dose of 350 mg/kg 1,1,2-TCE on days 8 through 12 of pregnancy. The dose was chosen to be at or near the level producing overt maternal toxicity. There was no developmental toxicity in the offspring of the surviving mice (27/30 mice).(9)

It is not possible to conclude that 1,1,2-TCE is mutagenic.
Negative results have been obtained in studies where rats and mice were exposed orally.(11) Positive results have been obtained in live animals, but only when 1,1,2-TCE was injected, an irrelevant route of exposure.(10)
Positive and negative results have been obtained in cultured mammalian cells.(1,22) Most tests using bacteria have produced negative results.(22)

Toxicological Synergisms:
A study of the ability of acetone to increase the liver damage caused by 1,1,2-TCE indicated that at lower levels it increased the damage but at higher levels decreased it. (12)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Toxicological profile for 1,1,2-trichloroethane. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, U.S. Public Health Service, 1989
(2) IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Vol. 52 (1991). p. 337-359
(3) RTECS record for ethane, 1,1,2-trichloro-. Date of last update: 9310
(4) Smyth, H.F., et al. Range-finding toxicity data: list VII. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. Vol. 30 (September-October, 1969). p. 470-476
(5) White, K.L., et al. Toxicology of 1,1,2-trichloroethane in the mouse. Drug and Chemical Toxicology. Vol 8, no. 5 (1985). p. 333-355
(6) Duprat, P., et al. Pouvoir irritant des principaux solvants chlorés aliphatiques sur le peau et les muqueuses oculaires du lapin. (Irritant potency of the principal aliphatic chloride solvents on the skin and the ocular mucosis membranes of rabbits). European Journal of Toxicology. Vol. 9, no.3 (May-June, 1976). p. 171-177
(7) Kronevi, T., et al. Morphological lesions in guinea pigs during skin exposure to 1,1,2-trichloroethane. Acta Pharmacologia et Toxicologia. Vol. 41 (1977). p. 298-305
(8) Patty's industrial hygiene and toxicology. 3rd. revised edition. Vol. 2B. John Wiley and Sons, 1981. p 3433-3436, 3510-3513
(9) Seidenberg, J.M., et al. Validation of an in vivo developmental toxicity screen in the mouse. Teratogenesis, Carcinogenesis, and Mutagenesis. Vol.6 (1986). p. 361-374.
(10) Mazzullo, M., et al. 1,1,2-Trichloroethane: evidence of genotoxicity from short-term tests. Japanese Journal of Cancer Research. Vol. 77, no. 6 (June, 1986). p. 532-539
(11) Mirsalis, J.C., et al. Measurement of unscheduled DNA synthesis and S-phase synthesis in rodent hepatocytes following in vivo treatment: testing of 24 compounds. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. Vol. 14, no. 3 (1989). p. 155-164
(12) MacDonald, J.R., et al. Acetone potentiation of 1,1,2-trichloroethane hepatotoxicity. Toxicology Letters. Vol. 13 (1982). p. 57-69
(13) Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological exposure indices. 5th edition. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 1986. p. 594
(14) 1,1,2-Trichloroethane. In : Organo-chlorine solvents: health risks to workers. Publication No. EUR 10531 EN. Commission of the European Communities, 1986. p.131-146
(15a) Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. 3rd edition. Vol. 5. John Wiley and Sons, 1979. p.731-733
(15b) Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. 4th edition. Vol. 6. John Wiley and Sons, 1993. p.22-24
(16) HSDB record for 1,1,2-trichloroethane. Date of last update: 9309
(17) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 49
(18) Chemical safety sheets: working safely with hazardous chemicals. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991. p.875
(19) NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards. NIOSH, June 1994. p. 314-315
(20) Forsberg, K., et al. Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing. 4th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2002
(21) European Communities (EC). Commission Directive 2004/73/EC. Apr. 29, 2004
(22) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Vol. 71, parts 1, 2 and 3. Re-evaluation of some organic chemicals, hydrazine and hydrogen peroxide. IARC, 1999

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: 1994-08-24

Revision Indicators:
EU number 1995-08-01
EU safety 1995-08-01
US Transport 1995-08-01
Sampling 1995-08-01
Respiratory guidelines 1995-08-01
NFPA (health) 1995-08-01
TLV-TWA 1996-09-01
TLV comments 1998-09-01
Resistance of materials 1998-05-01
Carcinogenicity 1999-12-01
Mutagenicity 1999-12-01
Toxicological info 1999-12-01
WHMIS (detailed class) 1999-12-01
Extinguishing media 2003-04-14
First aid skin 2003-05-16
Personal hygiene 2003-05-26
WHMIS disclosure list 2003-07-08
PEL-TWA final 2003-11-06
PEL final comments 2003-11-06
PEL transitional comments 2003-11-06
Resistance of materials for PPE 2004-03-28
Bibliography 2004-12-28
EU classification 2004-12-28
EU risks 2004-12-28
EU safety 2004-12-28

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