US EPA declares trichloroethylene carcinogenic to humans

28 September 2011 23:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared trichloroethylene (TCE) “carcinogenic to humans” in a press release on Wednesday.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers TCE a Group 2A carcinogen, indicating that it is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

The EPA’s decision could lead to more stringent regulations regarding the levels and usage of TCE.

Paul Anastas, an assistant administrator with the EPA, said the ruling is an important first step for “protecting the health of the American people”.

The two biggest producers of TCE in the United States are Dow Chemical and PPG Industries.

Currently, TCE is in short supply as demand for it, particularly from the refrigerant feedstock market, is outpacing production.

TCE is used in refrigerant R-134a, the dominant automotive refrigerant. However, steps are being taken to replace R-134a with HFO-1234yf, which does not use TCE.

By: John Dietrich

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