Tetrachloroethylene is used in industry to make hydrochlorofluorocarbons, as a dry-cleaning agent and as a metal degreaser. It is also used to finish and process textiles, in the production of paint strippers and printer inks, as well as adhesives and specialized cleaning fluids.
Tetrachloroethylene can be a major water pollutant in some places and consequently, as well as being ingested, it may be emitted in small quantities from water. Consumer products that may contain this chemical include adhesives, fragrances, stain removers, wall cleaners, textile finishes, dry-cleaning products, waterproof products, wood cleaners, car cleaning products. Tetrachloroethylene can also enter our homes from the outside e.g. if you leave near a company who uses them.
Tetrachloroethylene has been associated with: arrhythmias, breast cancer, cognitive impairment, oesophageal cancer, fetotoxicity, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, menstrual disorders, pulmonary oedema, reduced fertility in men and women, sperm defects, acute tubular necrosis, adult leukaemia, bladder cancer, brain cancer, cervical cancer, visual impairment, craniofacial defects, dementia, liver cancer, immunosuppression, low birth weight, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, peripheral neuropathy, kidney cancer, scleroderma etc.