|Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #)||
||EPA Method 502.2||EPA Method 524.2
||EPA Method 601
||EPA Method 624
||EPA Method 8010
||EPA Method 8021
||EPA Method 8260
Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details
on this compound.
|Use|| GENERAL SOLVENT FOR ADHESIVES & PESTICIDES
AS SOLVENT FOR FATS, OILS, RUBBERS, ALKALOIDS, WAXES, GUTTA-PERCHA,
RESINS; AS CLEANSING AGENT; IN FIRE EXTINGUISHERS TO LOWER FREEZING
TEMP OF CARBON TETRACHLORIDE; IN THE RUBBER INDUSTRY
REGISTERED FOR USE IN USA AS INSECTICIDAL FUMIGANT ON STORED BARLEY,
CORN, OATS, POPCORN, RICE, RYE, SORGHUM & WHEAT SRP: FORMERLY
CHEM INT FOR FLUOROCARBON 22 (CHLORODIFLUOROMETHANE)
EXTRACTION & PURIFICATION SOLVENT - EG, FOR PENICILLIN
MILDEWCIDE FOR TOBACCO SEEDLINGS
DRY CLEANING AGENT
CHEM INT FOR DYES & PESTICIDES
POLYMER CHAIN TRANSFER AGENT
CHEM INT FOR TRIBROMOMETHANE
MEDICATION: GENERAL ANESTHETIC (FORMER USE)
COMPONENT OF COUGH SYRUPS, TOOTHPASTES (FORMER USE)
COMPONENT OF LINAMENTS & TOOTHACHE CMPD (FORMER USE)
|Consumption Patterns|| CHEM INT FOR FLUOROCARBON 22, 96%; OTHER, 4% (1981)
Fluorocarbon 22, 93% (refrigerants, 70%; fluoropolymers, 30%); miscellaneous, 4%; export, 3%
CHEMICAL PROFILE: Chloroform. Fluorocarbon 22, 90% (refrigerants, 70%; fluoropolymers,
30%); export, 8%; other, 2%
CHEMICAL PROFILE: Chloroform. Demand: 1988: 500 million lb; 1989: 525 million lb; 1993
/projected/: 650 million lb (Includes exports, but not imports, which totaled 24 million lb last
|Apparent Color|| CLEAR, COLORLESS LIQUID
|Odor|| Pleasant, etheric, nonirritating
|Molecular Weight|| 119.39
|Density|| SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 1.4832 AT 20 DEG C/4 DEG C
|Odor Threshold Concentration|| 3.30 mg/l (Detection in air; purity not specified)
Odor thresholds: low= 250 mg/cu m; high= 1000 mg/cu m. From table
|Sensitivity Data|| Skin and eye irritant
Threshold of irritation: 20480 mg/cu m
|Environmental Impact|| Chloroform is likely to enter the environment associated with its use as an industrial
solvent, extractant and chemical intermediate as well as from its indirect production in the
chlorination of drinking water, municipal sewage and cooling water. The majority of the
environmental releases from industrial uses are to the atmosphere; releases to water and land will
be primarily lost by evaporation and will end up in the atmosphere. Release to the atmosphere
may be transported long distances and will photodegrade with a half-life of a few months. Spills
and other releases on land will also leach into the groundwater where it will reside for long
periods of time. Chloroform will not be expected to bioconcentrate into the food chain but
contamination of food is likely due to its use as an extractant and its presence in drinking water.
Major human exposure is from drinking water and ambient air, the latter particularly in the vicinity
of industrial sources. Exposure may be via inhalation, ingestion, or by cutaneous contact.
|Environmental Fate|| TERRESTRIAL FATE: When spilled on land, chloroform would be expected to
evaporate rapidly into the atmosphere due to its high vapor pressure. It is poorly adsorbed to soil,
expecially soil with low organic carbon content such as subsoils and can leach into the
AQUATIC FATE: When released into water, chloroform will be primarily lost by evaporation
into the atmosphere. Laboratory experiments have measured the half-life for evaporation to be
several hours and modeling studies suggest that the volatilization half-life is 36 hours in a river, 40
hours in a pond and 9-10 days in a lake. Field monitoring data suggest the half-life of chloroform
to be 1.2 days in the Rhine River and 31 days in a lake in the Rhine basin . Chloroform from a
municipal treatment plant injected into an estuarine arm of Chesapeake Bay entirely disappeared
within 4 km in the spring and within 11 km in winter under ice, and the decrease in concentration
cannot be entirely due to dilution . Little chloroform will be adsorbed to sediment.
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Chloroform released to the atmosphere will degrade by reaction with
hydroxyl radicals with a half-life of 80 days. It will be transported long distances and will partially
return to earth in precipitation.
|Drinking Water Impact|| SEAWATER: Pacific Ocean <0.05 parts per trillion ; Northeast Atlantic Ocean 4-13
parts per trillion , avg 8 parts per trillion ; Point Reyes (near shore) 2.8 ppb . Gulf of Mexico
4-200 ppb .
DRINKING WATER: US Federal Survey of Finished Waters find a 70.3% occurrence in
groundwater supplies(9); 30 Canadian Treatment Facilities (treated water) 35 ppb avg summer,
21 ppb avg winter (93-97% pos, 110 ppb max - raw water had 2-6 ppb avg concn) ; US 5 City
Survey 1-301 ppb ; Drinking Water wells in NY & NJ 67-490 ppb ; Other cities report values
between 0-190 ppb(4-7) with the values highest in summer and lowest in winter and increasing
on contact with residual chlorine(7). National Organic Reconnaissance Survey (80 US water
supplies, 1975) 0-311 ppb, National Organics Monitoring Survey (113 finished water supplies,
1976-1977) 32-68 ppb median of positive supplies, 92-100% pos(8).
GROUNDWATER: Contaminated wells in NY and NJ 67-490 ppb ; Groundwater in the
Netherlands 5 ppb .
SURFACE WATER: Ohio River Basin (1980-81, 11 stations, 4972 samples) 72% pos, 832
samples 1-10 ppb, 27 samples >10 ppb . 14 Heavily Industrialized River Basins in US (204
sites) 1-120 ppb, 79% pos . US - 5 industrial cities 9-31 ppb avg, 394 ppb max . 11 Water
Utilities on Ohio River 0.8 ppb avg, 4.8 ppb max, 68% pos ; Delaware River and tributaries -
30 sites 93% of samples >1 ppb ; Ohio River and tributaries 232 samples 0.1-22 ppb, 72%
pos(6); Lakes Erie, Michigan and Huron 1-30 ppb, 11 of 13 sites pos(7).
RAIN AND SNOW: Detected in rain and snow in Japan(1,2) and 250 parts per trillion rain in
West Los Angeles .
EFFL: Rubber and chemical companies - Louisville, KY 22 ppm max . Industries whose
wastewater levels of chloroform exceed a mean level of 500 ppb are auto and other laundries,
aluminum forming, pharmaceuticals, and pulp and paper mills; the pharmaceutical industry
contributes the largest amount of chloroform with mean and max wastewater concn of 49 and 280
ppb, respectively . Auto exhausts typically 27 ug/cu m .