Trichloroethylene (CAS 79-01-6) is a colourless, volatile liquid with a sweet chloroform-like smell.
Trichloroethylene is a non-flammable chlorinated solvent used widely as a metal degreaser and electrical equipment cleaner. It is also used in adhesives, water-proofing agents, paint strippers and carpet shampoo.
The major uses of trichloroethylene are:
- vapour degreasing and cold cleaning of manufactured metal parts
- industrial dry cleaning
- printing and the production of printing ink
- extraction solvent for greases, oils, fats, waxes, tars
- paint production
- textile industry to scour cotton, wool and other fabrics (removes oils and lubricants) and in waterless dyeing and finishing
- chemical intermediate in production of other chemicals, such as refrigerants
- used in production of consumer products e.g. paint removers and strippers, adhesives, stain removers and rug cleaning fluids, and
- general industrial use as a solvent and cleaning product.
This guide provides information for those registered medical practitioners engaged by a PCBU to carry out or supervise health monitoring for workers. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the following: