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Hazardous Chemical Testing Laboratory

Category Press Release
Publish Date 9/19/2019
Author Paul Cochrane
Title ATSDR Publishes Final Toxicological Profiles for TCE and PERC
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides industrial hygiene, environmental and vapor intrusion testing services for trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene and other hazardous chemicals.

Cinnaminson, NJ, September 19th , 2019

This past June the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) published final Toxicological Profiles (Tox Profiles) for trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PERC). These Tox Profiles are revised and republished as necessary and are designed to succinctly characterize the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for the toxic substance described in the document.

The Tox Profile for TCE describes it as a colorless, volatile liquid with two major uses, as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts and as a chemical used to make other chemicals, especially the refrigerant HFC-134a. It can enter the human body from trichloroethylene-contaminated air, water, food or soil. Health effects of trichloroethylene are described as depending on how much of it one is exposed to and the length of that exposure. The document shares the fact that the Department of Human Health Services (HHS) has classified TCE as “known to be a human carcinogen” based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from humans. Similarly, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified it as “carcinogenic to humans” and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has characterized it as “carcinogenic in humans by all routes of exposure.”

For PERC, the Tox Profile describes it as a nonflammable, colorless liquid used as a dry cleaning agent, metal degreasing solvent, a starting material for making other chemicals and that it is also used in some consumer products. PERC can enter the body from the air, water or soil, and can also absorb through the skin if there is direct skin contact with the liquid form of tetrachloroethylene. Exposure may harm the nervous system, liver, kidneys and reproductive system, and may be harmful to unborn children. It may also put people at a higher risk of getting certain types of cancer. The Tox Profile also shares that the EPA considers tetrachloroethylene “likely to be carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure” and the IARC considers tetrachloroethylene “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Also, the National Toxicology Program considers tetrachloroethylene to be “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

“Both occupational and environmental sources can expose people to TCE or PERC,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In buildings constructed above contaminated groundwater or soil, a process known as vapor intrusion could also put people at risk indoors. At EMSL we offer industrial hygiene, environmental and vapor intrusion testing for both of these chemicals and many others. These services are instrumental for protecting the public, workers and the environment from these and other hazardous chemicals.”

To learn more about vapor intrusion or other environmental, occupational, indoor air quality (IAQ), health and safety testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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