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  1. #1
    Senior Member user0ne's Avatar
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    Cancer in the water ?

    just a heads up for anyone who might be in contact with trichloroethylene


    Uses:
    The main use of trichloroethylene is in the vapor degreasing of metal parts. (1)
    Trichloroethylene is also used as an extraction solvent for greases, oils, fats, waxes, and tars, a chemical intermediate in the production of other chemicals, and as a refrigerant. (1)
    Trichloroethylene is used in consumer products such as typewriter correction fluids, paint removers/strippers, adhesives, spot removers, and rug-cleaning fluids. (1)
    Trichloroethylene was used in the past as a general anesthetic. (1)

    Sources and Potential Exposure
    Trichloroethylene has been detected in ambient air at levels less than 1 part per billion (ppb). Ambient air measurement data from the Aerometric Information Retrieval System (which has 1,200 measurements from 25 states from 1985-1995) give a range of ambient air values from 0.01 to 3.9 micrograms per cubic meter (g/m3). (1,13)
    Because of its moderate water solubility, trichloroethylene in soil has the potential to migrate into groundwater. The relatively frequent detection of trichloroethylene in groundwater confirms its mobility in soils. (13)
    Drinking water supplies relying on contaminated groundwater sources may contain trichloroethylene. ATSDR reports that trichloroethylene is the most frequently reported organic contaminant in groundwater. It estimates between 9 and 34 percent of drinking water supply sources have some trichloroethylene contamination but that most municipal water supplies are in compliance with the maximum contaminant level of 5 g/L. (1,13)

    Workers may be exposed to trichloroethylene in the factories where it is manufactured or used. In addition, persons breathing air around these factories may be exposed to trichloroethylene. (1)
    Persons may also be exposed to trichloroethylene through the use of products containing the chemical and from evaporation and leaching from waste disposal sites. (1)
    Assessing Personal Exposure
    Trichloroethylene can be measured in the breath, and breakdown products of trichloroethylene can be measured in urine or blood. (1)

    Health Hazard Information

    Acute Effects:
    Central nervous system effects are the primary effects noted from acute inhalation exposure to trichloroethylene in humans, with symptoms including sleepiness, fatigue, headache, confusion, and feelings of euphoria. Effects on the liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, and skin have also been noted. (1)
    Neurological, lung, kidney, and heart effects have been reported in animals acutely exposed to trichloroethylene. (1)
    Tests involving acute exposure of rats and mice have shown trichloroethylene to have low toxicity from inhalation exposure and moderate toxicity from oral exposure. (1,2)
    Chronic Effects (Noncancer):
    As with acute exposure, chronic exposure to trichloroethylene by inhalation also affects the human central nervous system. Case reports of intermediate and chronic occupational exposures included effects such as dizziness, headache, sleepiness, nausea, confusion, blurred vision, facial numbness, and weakness. (1)
    Effects to the liver, kidneys, and immune and endocrine systems have also been seen in humans exposed to trichloroethylene occupationally or from contaminanted drinking water. (13)
    Studies have shown that simultaneous alcohol consumption and trichloroethylene inhalation increases the toxicity of trichloroethylene in humans. (1)
    Neurological, liver, and kidney effects were reported in chronically-exposed animals. (1)
    EPA is in the process of calculating a Reference Concentration (RfC) and Reference Dose (RfD) for trichloroethylene.
    ATSDR has calculated an intermediate-duration inhalation minimal risk level (MRL) of 0.1 parts per million (ppm) (0.5 milligrams per cubic meter, mg/m3) for trichloroethylene based on neurological effects in rats. The MRL is an estimate of the daily human exposure to a hazardous substance that is likely to be without appreciable risk of adverse noncancer health effects over a specified duration of exposure. Exposure to a level above the MRL does not mean that adverse health effects will occur. The MRL is intended to serve as a screening tool. (1)
    The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) has calculated a chronic inhalation reference exposure level of 0.6 mg/m3 based on neurological effects in humans. The CalEPA reference exposure level is a concentration at or below which adverse health effects are not likely to occur. (5)

    Reproductive/Developmental Effects:
    A study of nurses occupationally exposed by inhalation to trichloroethylene along with other chemicals in operating rooms, and another epidemiological study of women exposed occupationally or nonoccupationally to trichloroethylene and other solvents, have reported increases in the incidence of miscarriages. The presence of other chemicals, however, limits the ability to draw conclusions specific to trichloroethylene. (1)

    An epidemiological study of 2,000 male and female workers exposed to trichloroethylene via inhalation found no increase in malformations in babies born following exposure. (1)
    Several studies have evaluated and not found an association between adverse reproductive effects in humans and exposure to trichloroethylene in contaminated drinking water. An association was found between the occurrence of congenital heart disease in children and a drinking water supply contaminated with trichloroethylene and other similar chemicals; however, no causal relationship with trichloroethylene could be concluded. (1)
    Animal studies have reported developmental effects from exposure to trichloroethylene and its metabolites (trichloroacetic acid [TCA] and dichloroacetic acid [DCA]). (1,4,13)


    Cancer Risk:
    The cancer epidemiology for trichloroethylene has grown in recent years with several large, well-designed studies being published. A recent analysis of available epidemiological studies reports trichloroethylene exposure to be associated with several types of cancers in humans, especially kidney, liver, cervix, and lymphatic system. Consistency across epidemiological studies is strongest for an association between trichloroethylene exposure and kidney cancer. These results are supported by recent molecular epidemiology studies showing specific renal cell mutations found primarily in renal cell carcinoma patients exposed to trichloroethylene. (13)
    Animal studies have reported increases in lung, liver, kidney, and testicular tumors and lymphoma from inhalation and oral exposures in rats and mice. (1,4,13)
    EPA does not currently have a consensus classification for the carcinogenicity of trichloroethylene. However, the Agency is currently reassessing its potential carcinogenicity, and new data suggest that trichloroethylene is a likely human carcinogen. (11,13)
    EPA uses mathematical models, based on animal studies, to estimate the probability of a person developing cancer from continuously breathing air containing a specified concentration of a chemical. EPA has calculated a provisional inhalation unit risk estimate of 1.7 x 10-6 (g/m3)-1. A provisional value is one which has not received Agency-wide review. EPA is currently reassessing the inhalation unit risk estimate. (10)
    EPA has also calculated a provisional oral cancer slope factor of 0.011 (mg/kg/d)-1. EPA is currently reassessing the oral cancer slope factor. (10)

    Physical Properties
    Trichloroethylene is a nonflammable colorless liquid with a sweet odor similar to ether or chloroform. (1)
    The odor threshold for trichloroethylene is 28 ppm. (6)
    The chemical formula for trichloroethylene is C2HCl3, and the molecular weight is 131.40 g/mol. (1)
    The vapor pressure for trichloroethylene is 74 mm Hg at 25 C, and it has a log octanol/water partition coefficient (log Kow) of 2.42. (1)
    Trichloroethylene is not a persistent chemical in the atmosphere; its half-life in air is about 7 days. (1)



    The yahoo link:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060727/...kxBHNlYwN0bQ--

    EPA link:
    http://www.epa.gov/ttn/uatw/hlthef/tri-ethy.html
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  2. #2
    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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    Good thing I drink bottled water=D

  3. #3
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Bottled water is not necessarily safer than municipal water. There are standards for these sorts of things in municipal water, bottled water is not necessarily tested as rigorously as muni water.

    BTW, the allowable industrial exposure rates are many times higher than the allowable amounts in muni water, which is 5 parts per billion.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Here's the reason this story is news. The NRC is recommending lowering the drinking water standard from 5ppb to 1ppb.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...la-home-nation

    From the Los Angeles Times
    Cancer Risk From Industrial Chemical Rises, Study Finds
    Trichloroethylene, or TCE, is widely found in drinking water. California has some of the nation's worst contamination.
    By Ralph Vartabedian
    Times Staff Writer

    July 27, 2006

    After a detailed study of the most widespread industrial contaminant in U.S. drinking water, the National Research Council will report today that evidence is growing stronger that the chemical causes cancer and other human health problems.

    The 379-page report clears a path for federal regulators to formally raise the risk assessment of trichloroethylene, known as TCE, a step that has been tied up by infighting between scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Defense Department.

    California has some of the nation's worst TCE contamination, including vast tracts of groundwater in the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys that are a drinking source for more than 1 million Southern Californians. The state's 67 Superfund sites with TCE contamination are clustered in Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties.

    If the risk posed by TCE is significantly higher than previously thought, it could prompt lower limits for TCE in water, as well as stricter cleanups of hundreds of military bases and other polluted facilities. The contamination occurred because TCE, a chemical solvent, was widely dumped into the ground.

    Already, some EPA offices are forcing tougher cleanups based on evidence that the chemical poses a greater-than-expected cancer risk.

    The EPA attempted to issue a risk assessment in 2001 that found TCE to be two to 40 times more carcinogenic than previously thought, but that action was opposed by the Defense Department, the Energy Department and NASA. The Pentagon has 1,400 properties contaminated with TCE.

    The Bush administration sent the matter to the National Research Council for study, based on military assertions that the EPA had overblown the risks. But the new report does not support that criticism.

    "The committee found that the evidence on carcinogenic risk and other health hazards from exposure to trichloroethylene has strengthened since 2001," the report said.

    The report urged federal agencies to complete their assessment of TCE risks as soon as possible "with currently available data," meaning they should not wait for additional basic research, as suggested by the Defense Department.

    The report is to be formally released today by the National Research Council. An early copy was provided to The Times by the Natural Resources News Service, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that investigates environmental issues. The authors of the study also briefed members of Congress on Wednesday.

    "It is the strongest report on TCE that we have had," said Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-N.Y.), whose district includes hundreds of homes that have air filtration systems to eliminate TCE vapors from the ground. "The fact that we have this TCE-laden drinking water used by millions of people is abominable."

    Hinchey and others in Congress are demanding stronger cleanup standards and lower limits for the chemical in drinking water. Currently, the EPA allows 5 parts per billion; that could be lowered to as little as 1 part per billion for drinking water if the risk assessment sidetracked in 2001 is adopted, according to an analysis by the Air Force.

    It would drive up cleanup costs by billions of dollars but potentially save thousands of lives, scientists say. The report's authors told Congress on Wednesday that they did not think the EPA should throw out its 2001 draft risk assessment and start over. Instead, they hope the TCE analysis can be completed within six months to a year.

    Dr. Gina Solomon, an environmental health expert who served on a scientific advisory board that reviewed the original assessment, said the new report could have a profound effect on the issue.

    "That is a very strong statement, a ringing endorsement of the EPA's 2001 draft risk assessment," said Solomon, an associate clinical professor of medicine at UC San Francisco and a staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

    Solomon said the report also rejected a key position of the chemical industry and Pentagon environmental experts that TCE was not dangerous at low levels of exposure.

    Federal regulators should stick with the current scientific model that the cancer risk posed by TCE is proportional to the level of exposure, the National Research Council said.

    In its report, the council found the evidence of TCE risk was greatest for kidney cancer, but not as high for liver cancer. It did not study other diseases that could be connected, including leukemia.

    The report found merit in the Pentagon's criticism of EPA methodology on epidemiology, which is the study of how disease is distributed in the population. It called for a new survey of prior research.

    The report from the National Research Council has been awaited by communities exposed to TCE across the country.

    "We can't afford any more delays," said Jerry Ensminger, a former Marine drill sergeant who served at Camp Lejuene, where drinking water supplies were tainted. His daughter died at age 9 in 1976 from leukemia, which Ensminger blamed on TCE exposure.

    Ensminger said he was heartened by the report's conclusions, but remained concerned about whether the government would move quickly to deal with the chemical contamination.

    "I want to know why the Bush administration does not err on the side of life when it comes to the environment," he said.

  6. #6
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    Bottled water is not necessarily safer than municipal water. There are standards for these sorts of things in municipal water, bottled water is not necessarily tested as rigorously as muni water.

    BTW, the allowable industrial exposure rates are many times higher than the allowable amounts in muni water, which is 5 parts per billion.
    Our municipal water has come with a hazard warning on the water bill for over ten years. It causes cancer. Besides it can turn a pan black overnight and eat through a water heater in three years.

    I have been using bottled water since 1990 for this reason.
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  7. #7
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    I used to formulate aqueous detergents for industrial parts washing machines to clean all sorts of parts: machined, stamped, impact, cast, etc. The old vapor degreasers that didn't recapture a significant portion of the solvent are being phased out or are already out of comission; mainly because it's too expensive and permits for TCE limit how much can be released into the environment.

    There are two isomers of TCE; 1,1,1 Trichloroethane and 1,1,2 trichloroethane. TCE is usually used to denote the 1,1,2 isomer; aka "trike".

    I made detergents that used sodium metasilicate and/or sodium hydroxide as builders. Most places couldn't or wouldn't use detergents with phosphates. I also made acidic detergents using citric acid.

    Other solvents used in industrial cleaning include dichloromethane, n-propyl bromide, N-methylpyrrolidone, d-limonene, mineral spirits, ligroin. Dichloromethane by now is probably as restricted as TCE or Perchloroethane ("perc"). I remember seeing a soy-based cleaner for non-aqueous applications but can't remember what it was called.

    There are lots of alternatives to using TCE for most applications; the big drawbacks are cost, ease of use, new waste stream to deal with, retraining, maintenance, etc. When I'd visit a plant that used our parts washers and also used a trike vapor degreaser; the guys would complain that our machine involved more work. I said yeah, but if there's a leak you just mop it up. If that vapor degreaser leaks you have to shut the plant down and the EPA and OSHA are crawling your @ss. Plus, you can't replace the lost solvent that year because your permit doesn't allow it. And if anybody gets so much as a hangnail afterwards, some lawyers will be paying you a visit claiming all sorts of stuff.

  8. #8
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edp773
    Our municipal water has come with a hazard warning on the water bill for over ten years. It causes cancer. Besides it can turn a pan black overnight and eat through a water heater in three years.

    I have been using bottled water since 1990 for this reason.
    Depends where you live. The cancer warning should be explained to you by the water provider - they are required to provide these warnings if the water doesn't meet specific standards, and they should tell you explicitly which constituents don't meet the standard. All natural water has some dissolved minerals in it, and there are also plenty of things that can be in your water like iron and manganese that can cause staining and taste issues, but aren't necessarily a health risk.

  9. #9
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle
    There are two isomers of TCE; 1,1,1 Trichloroethane and 1,1,2 trichloroethane. TCE is usually used to denote the 1,1,2 isomer; aka "trike".
    Tricholorethene (TCE) is different than trichloroethane (TCA).

  10. #10
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edp773
    Our municipal water has come with a hazard warning on the water bill for over ten years. It causes cancer. Besides it can turn a pan black overnight and eat through a water heater in three years.

    I have been using bottled water since 1990 for this reason.

    IMO, that is completely unacceptable, that substance must be removed from the water...if some corporation put it there through lack of environmental concerns, they need to foot the bill of the cleanup, regardless of the cost.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member user0ne's Avatar
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    also when buying/using these items:
    typewriter correction fluids
    paint removers/strippers
    adhesives
    spot removers
    rug-cleaning fluids

    I would make shure its not in the ingredients

    it is also used as an extraction solvent for greases, oils, fats, waxes, and tars, a chemical intermediate in the production of other chemicals, and as a refrigerant.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    IMO, that is completely unacceptable, that substance must be removed from the water...if some corporation put it there through lack of environmental concerns, they need to foot the bill of the cleanup, regardless of the cost.
    It could be a man-made contaminant introduced into the source water upstream from the intake, it could be naturally occurring, it could be leaching out of the water system's pipes if they don't have adequate corrosion control. More information is required.

  13. #13
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user0ne
    also when buying/using these items:
    typewriter correction fluids
    paint removers/strippers
    adhesives
    spot removers
    rug-cleaning fluids

    I would make shure its not in the ingredients
    Auto degreasers, carb and injector cleaners, other automotive products, as well.

    Heck, you can probably buy a gallon of the stuff from your local hardware for less than 20 bucks.

  14. #14
    Seor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Isn't this thread a little too substantive for Foo?
    The search for inner peace continues...

  15. #15
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    IMO, that is completely unacceptable, that substance must be removed from the water...if some corporation put it there through lack of environmental concerns, they need to foot the bill of the cleanup, regardless of the cost.
    I agree totally, but that hasn't happened. It would be too long a story to tell everything. Reverse osmosis plants at our cost has not cured the problem.

    But to add to the problem an improper toxic waste dump left leaking barrels and the owners disappeared. Our aguafer or watertable flows from the east where the dump is located.
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