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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Carbon chloride; Carbon tet; Freon 10; Halon 104; Tetrachloromethane

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0570

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 56-23-5

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: FG4900000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1846 151

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Carbon Tetrachloride: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-2 Table -- 10 ppm TWA; 25 ppm Ceiling for 5 minutes in any 3 hours; 200 ppm Peak

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 10 ppm, 65 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 10 ppm, 65 mg/m3 TWA; Skin
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 5 ppm, 31 mg/m3 TWA; 10 ppm, 63 mg/m3 STEL; Skin; Appendix A2 - Suspected Human Carcinogen

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 2 ppm, 12.6 mg/m3 STEL (60 Minutes); Appendix A - NIOSH Potential Occupational Carcinogens

Health Factors

Carcinogenic Classification:
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Group B2, probable human carcinogen

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 2B, possibly carcinogenic to humans (Carbon Tetrachloride) [380 KB PDF, 171 pages]
NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 200 ppm

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin; CNS depression; nausea, vomiting; liver, kidney damage; drowsiness, dizziness, incoordination; dermatitis; [potential occupational carcinogen]; INGES. ACUTE: Abdominal pain; diarrhea.

Health Effects: Cumulative liver damage (HE3); Teratogen (HE5)

Affected Organs: CNS, eyes, lungs, liver, kidneys, skin

  1. Carbon tetrachloride is an OSHA Select Carcinogen.
  2. EPA's oral reference dose (daily oral exposure likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime) of carbon tetrachloride is 0.0007 mg/kg/day.
  3. Cytochrome P450 2E1 metabolizes carbon tetrachloride to toxic derivatives, such as the reactive trichloromethyl radical. Known metabolites include phosgene, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, chloroform, and hexachloroethane.
  4. Greater toxicity of carbon tetrachloride has been reported in heavy drinkers, possibly due to induction of additional CYP2E1 enzyme by chronic ethanol consumption.
Date Last Revised: 11/03/2005

Literature Basis:
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Carbon Tetrachloride.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Carbon tetrachloride.
  • EPA Air Toxics Website: Carbon tetrachloride. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network.
  • No Author: Carbon tetrachloride [380 KB PDF, 171 pages]. IARC Monogr. Eval. Carcinog. Risks Hum. 71 (pt. 2): 401-432, 1999.
  • No Author: Carbon Tetrachloride [162 KB PDF, 3 pages]. Report on Carcinogens (latest edition); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program.
  • Manno, M. and Rezzadore, M.: Critical role of ethanol abuse in carbon tetrachloride poisoning. Lancet 343(891): 232, 1994.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Carbon Tetrachloride. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 501-504.
  • Takahashi, S., et al.: Increased cytotoxicity of carbon tetrachloride in a human hepatoma cell line overexpressing cytochrome P450 2E1. J. Int. Med. Res. 30(4): 400-405, 2002.
  • Zangar, R.C., Benson, J.M., Burnett, V.L. and Springer, D.L.: Cytochrome P450 2E1 is the primary enzyme responsible for low-dose carbon tetrachloride metabolism in human liver microsomes. Chem. Biol. Interact. 125(3): 233-243, 2000.
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • sampling media: Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
    analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
    maximum volume: 15 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min (TWA)
    minimum time: 5 Minutes
    maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min (Ceiling)
    minimum time: 5 Minutes
    maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min (Peak)
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 1003) [266 KB PDF, 7 pages]
    method classification: Partially Validated
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Page last updated: 09/05/2006

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