Irish Air Corps Chemical List Update – Trichloroethylene (TCE)

We have just added a link to information on Trichloroethylene from PubChem the Open Chemistry Database. Please have a look at green links on our chemical info page here. We will add more on a regular basis.

It is interesting to note the large number of illnesses associated with or suspected from Trichloroethylene exposure. How many colleagues do we know who have died or are affected by some of the following?

  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Lung Tumours
  • Liver Tumours
  • Kidney Tumours
  • Testicular Tumors
  • Irritation of eyes, skin;
  • Headache
  • Visual disturbance
  • Lassitude (weakness, exhaustion)
  • Dizziness
  • Tremor
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dermatitis
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Paresthesia
  • Liver injury
  • Male reproductive toxin
  • Developmental effects
  • Increase in miscarriages
  • Congenital heart disease in children
  • Increased histamine release & inflammatory cytokine production from antigen-stimulated mast cells

EPA: Carcinogenic to humans, IARC: Carcinogenic to humans (evidence for cancer is based on kidney cancer, limited evidence for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and liver cancer, as well as, various tumors in animals). NTP: Known to be a Human Carcinogen.

Trichloroethylene also goes by the synonyms below as well as a large number of trade names.

  • Ethinyl Trichloride
  • Trichloride, Ethinyl
  • Trichloroethene (not to be confused with Trichloroethane)
  • Trielina
  • Trilene

2 thoughts on “Irish Air Corps Chemical List Update – Trichloroethylene (TCE)”

  1. FYI,

    In 2008 the Heath Protection Agency in the UK in writing about the toxicological effects of TCE wrote on Page 7 of 11 at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/341375/hpa_trichloroethylene_toxicological_overview_v1.pdf

    Central nervous system toxicity is the main effect following chronic exposure to
    trichloroethylene. Occupational studies have consistently reported central nervous system
    effects, including fatigue, vertigo, dizziness, headaches and impaired ability to concentrate
    [1, 3]. Other neurological effects include mood swings, trigeminal neuropathy, cranial nerve
    VII damage, impaired acoustic-motor function and psychotic behaviour with impaired
    cognitive function [1].

    and in 1997 the American ATSDR in their 335 page profile of TCE wrote on Page81

    Some of the people from this population did show residual damage to the facial and trigeminal nerves, measured by a decreased blink reflex (indicating damage
    to cranial nerves V and VII) 6 years post-exposure (Feldman et al. 1988).

    and in 2011 the NCBI wrote about the EPA in America review of the health effects of TCE as per this link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3621199/ and from that there is a link that references all the other research into TCE at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3621199/bin/ehp.1205879.s001.pdf and it is here you find mention of Autoimune Disease and Respiratory Tract Toxicity

    1. Hello Ben,

      Many thanks for the comment.

      Trichloroethylene as you are probably aware is a degreaser and once ingested / inhaled into the human body it doesn’t stop being a degreaser. Nerves are insulated with a substance called Myelin. Myelin is a fat and degreasers eliminate fat. We already have colleagues that have suffered autonomous nervous system damage, vagus nerve damage and other effects we suspect are related to the degreasing properties of Trike.

      Lately we are also investigating whether there are more subtle immunological reactions to Trike that are long lasting, similar in nature to allergies and caused a sensitisation to other substances such as isocyanates in plastics etc.

      Direct acute effects of Trike are relatively simple & well studied, long term chronic effects are unfortunately more complicated.

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