It is usually in liquid form and is colourless. The chemical is mainly used for dry-cleaning of fabrics and people usually refer to it as “dry-cleaning fluid.” Tetrachloroethylene is a potent solvent for organic…
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It can cause cancers in the human body. The chemical acts as a central nervous system depressant. It also affects the skin by causing irritation. The chemical enters the human body via skin or via the respiratory system. Tetrachloroethylene is at times detected in drinking water due to contaminated sources. People who are at highest risk of contamination from this chemical are workers of dry-cleaning factories. This chemical can be detected in the human body by testing breath, blood and urine samples (EPA). The chemical has acute and chronic effects on health. A healthy individual is at risk of tetrachloroethylene contamination due to the clothes being worn that are washed by the dry-cleaner or by the drinking of contaminated water (ATSDR).
As mentioned above, tetrachloroethylene can enter the human body via inhalation of air containing it, by drinking contaminated water or by working at a place where the chemical is present in high percentage. There are a few ways to detect the quantity of this chemical in the human body. A detection of the human breath can be done to check the levels of tetrachloroethylene in the same way as alcohol is detected in the human breath. This procedure is carried out in individuals who live in areas where this chemical is present in the air. An alarming fact about the chemical is that the chemical when inhaled is stored in the body’s fat reservoirs. From the fat storage it is slowly released into the bloodstream hence it can be detected in breath detections after heavy exposure to the chemical. Breakdown products of the chemicals such as tri-chloroacetic acid can be detected in the urine and blood samples of individuals who have been exposed to it. These tests can be performed simply by taking samples in containers and sending them to laboratories. Exposure to other chemicals can produce the same breakdown products in the urine and blood samples, so the tests for breakdown products
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