1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane is used as a solvent, and in the production of wood stains and varnishes.

Substance details

Substance name: 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane

CASR number: 630-20-6

Molecular formula: C2H2 Cl4

Synonyms: asym-tetrachloroethane

Physical properties

1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane is a colourless liquid solvent with a sweet odour.

Melting Point: -70.2°C

Boiling Point: 130.5°C

Specific Gravity: 1.5532

Chemical properties

1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane is nonflammable, soluble in most organic solvents and mostly insoluble in water. It is a liquid at room temperature, but some will evaporate giving a sweet odour.

Further information

The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) holds data for all sources of 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane in Australia.


1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane may cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat. It is a Central Nervous System depressant. In high concentrations, in air, with closed or poorly ventilated areas, single exposures to 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane may cause central nervous system effects leading to dizziness, headache, sleepiness, confusion, nausea, difficulty in speaking or walking, and possibly unconsciousness, coma and death. Similar compounds have caused adverse liver and kidney effects, from high exposures or from long term exposures. 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane may also cause liver and kidney problems from high or long-term exposures. It will also defat the skin causing irritation and dryness.

Entering the body

1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane can enter the body when a person breathes air containing it, or when a person drinks water that has been contaminated with the compound. It can pass through the skin.


Workers in the industries that use or produce 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane are at risk of exposure. Consumers can be exposed to 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane by exposure to air from production and processing facilities using 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane.

Health guidelines

No national guidelines.


1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane will exist as a gas if released to the atmosphere. It evaporates from soil and water when they are exposed to the air. In the air when it reacts into other chemicals, it takes a long time. It has moderate acute (short-term) toxicity on aquatic life. It has moderate chronic (long-term) toxicity to aquatic life. Chronic and acute effects on plants, birds or land animals have not been determined. 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane does not bioaccumulate. (This information is based upon the studies on 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane.)

Entering the environment

Industrial emissions of 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane can produce elevated concentrations in the atmosphere around the source. Since it takes a long time to breakdown in the air it is likely to spread far from where it is used. Most of the releases are to the air, releases to the soil and water quickly evaporate to the air. (This information is based upon the studies on 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane.)

Where it ends up

1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane enters the air during production, use and transporting it. 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane and its products of degradation contribute to photochemical smog. Although most of the 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane released is to the air, when released to the soil it will either evaporate or leach into the ground water (bores).

Environmental guidelines

No national guidelines.

Industry sources

The primary sources of 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane emissions are the industries that manufacture it or use it in production. Some of the industries that use it in production are the chemical industry and wood stain and varnish manufacturers . These are emissions to the air unless there is a spill.

Diffuse sources, and industry sources included in diffuse emissions data

Other possible emitters of 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane (solvent use) are the manufacturers of fabricated metal parts.

Natural sources

1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane does not occur naturally in the environment.

Transport sources

No mobile sources.

Consumer products

Wood stains and varnishes. Information on other consumer products containing 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane is proprietary.

Sources used in preparing this information

  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1997), ToxFAQS 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane (accessed, June, 1999)
  • CalEPA Air Resources Board Toxic Air Contaminant Summary 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane (accessed, June, 1999)
  • ChemFinder WebServer Project (1995), 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane (accessed, June, 1999)
  • Environmental Defense Fund (1998), 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane: The Chemical Scorecard: (accessed, June, 1999)
  • Environmental Health Center, a division of the National Safety Council, Environment Writer – Chemical Backgrounders 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane (C2H3Cl4) (July, 1997) (accessed, June, 1999)
  • National Environment Protection Council (1998a), National Environment Protection Measure for the National Pollutant Inventory (accessed, June, 1999)
  • New Jersey Department of Health, Right to Know Program (1986), TRIFacts, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane (accessed, June, 1999)
  • NTP Chemical Repository, Radian Corporation, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane (AUGUST 29, 1991) (accessed, June, 1999)
  • Technical Advisory Panel (1999), Final Report to the National Environment Protection Council.