What is Tetrachloroethylene?

Also known as PCE, tetrachloroethene, or PERC, tetrachloroethylene is a clear, colorless liquid with an ether-like odor and chemical formula C2CI4. It is a chlorocarbon that is noncombustible, volatile, and insoluble in water.

Tetrachloroethylene is a chemical solvent with significant use in the metal degreasing and dry cleaning industry. It is a manufactured chemical found in most household products like paint strippers, wood finishes, adhesives, and lubricants.

What is Tetrachloroethylene Found in?

The manufactured compound is a well-known dry cleaning agent and metal degreaser. The chemicals that enter the environment are from these man-made products, especially from industrial factories and commercial dry cleaners.

Is Perchloroethylene Dangerous to Humans?

Acute and severe exposure to perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene may lead to several health effects on adults, children, and pregnant women. When exposed to the chemical contaminant, an individual may experience reproductive/developmental effects, irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes, kidney problems, neurological effects, and an increased risk of getting cancer.

How Do Your Remove Tetrachloroethylene from Water?

The most common treatment used to remove tetrachloroethylene from water is with the use of granular activated carbon (GAC) in water filtration systems. With most of the water filtration units equipped with granular activated carbon, removing the water contaminant is easier. Boiling the contaminated water does not remove the contaminant. In fact, it will expose the individual to the contaminant by inhalation.

Does Perchloroethylene Cause Cancer?

According to the National Academy of Sciences, PERC or tetrachloroethylene in dry cleaning chemicals likely causes cancer. PERC in drinking water increases the risks of acquiring cancer, especially if the individual is exposed to the contaminant for longer periods at higher levels.

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