May 5, 2022

Toxicological Profile Published for the Industrial Chemical 1,1-Dichloroethene

A new final toxicological profile for the industrial chemical 1,1-dichloroethene, also known as vinylidene chloride, is available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR describes 1,1-dichloroethene as a colorless liquid with a mild, sweet smell that is not found naturally in the environment. The agency’s toxicological profile for 1,1-dichloroethene explains that the chemical is used to make plastics like flexible films as well as flame-retardant coatings for fiber and carpet backings. It is also found in packaging materials, piping, and adhesives. Occupational exposures to 1,1-dichloroethene are of concern among workers in industries that make or use the chemical. ATSDR warns that breathing high levels of 1,1-dichloroethene can affect the central nervous system, and skin or eye contact with the chemical can cause irritation.

Laboratory animals exposed to 1,1-dichloroethene via inhalation or ingestion developed damaged livers, kidneys, and lungs. According to EPA, there is “suggestive evidence of carcinogenicity” of 1,1-dichloroethene by the inhalation route, but the evidence is not sufficient to assess the chemical’s carcinogenic potential in humans. EPA states that “data are inadequate for an assessment of human carcinogenic potential” by the oral route. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program has not evaluated the carcinogenicity of 1,1-dichloroethene. The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards provides additional information on 1,1-dichloroethene.

New final toxicological profiles are also available for the pesticide DDT and two chemicals that can form when DDT breaks down, DDE and DDD, as well as for pentachlorophenol, a pesticide and wood preservative.

ATSDR toxicological profiles characterize the toxicology and adverse health effects information for hazardous substances. The peer-reviewed profiles identify and review the key literature describing substances’ toxicological properties. Information on substances’ potential for human exposure; chemical and physical properties; regulations and guidelines; and production, import, use, and disposal can also be found in ATSDR’s toxicological profiles. A full list of toxic substances with published profiles is available on the agency’s website.