EPA Releases Final Risk Assessment on Trichloroethylene

Published July 2, 2014

Last week EPA released its final risk assessment for trichloroethylene (TCE), identifying occupational health risks to workers who use the chemical as a degreaser in small commercial shops and as a stain-removing agent in dry cleaning. The assessment also addresses health risks to consumers exposed to TCE when using spray aerosol degreasers and spray fixatives.

According to the risk assessment, there are cancer risk concerns for users and bystanders occupationally exposed to TCE when using TCE-containing vapor degreasers and spot cleaners. EPA found that occupational exposures to commercial degreasers show the greatest cancer risk when compared to spot-cleaning exposure scenarios.

Results of the assessment show that there are approximately 30,000 workers and occupational bystanders at small commercial degreasing operations and approximately 300,000 at dry-cleaning operations.

The risk assessment was developed as a part of EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan, which identified chemicals for review and assessment of potential risks to human health and the environment. TCE is the first chemical for which the work plan risk assessment process has been completed.

Learn more on EPA’s website.