U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

Dense Nonaqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs)

Environmental Occurrence

Halogenated Alkanes

1,1,2,2- Tetrachloroethane

1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane (1,1,2,2-TetCA) is a synthetic chemical and does not naturally occur in the environment. The compound was used as an industrial solvent for cleaning and degreasing metals, in paint removers and photographic films, as an extractant for oils and fats, as an ingredient in pesticides, and to produce trichloroethene and other chemicals (EPA 2000).

Currently, 1,1,2,2-TetCA is not produced as an end product in the United States or Canada. As a result, its occurrence in the environment is the result of prior releases or emissions or discharges when it is generated as a byproduct. EPA's Toxics Release Inventory reports that 1,861 pounds of 1,1,2,2-TetCA were released in 2007, primarily through air emissions.

1,1,2,2-TetCA has been found at many National Priority List (NPL) sites, so residents that live near an NPL site could have a slight chance of being exposed. Exposure to the compound is most likely to occur by breathing in vapors or by ingesting contaminated drinking water (ATSDR 2008).

Across the United States, the average amount of 1,1,2,2-TetCA measured in ambient air from rural and urban locations generally is less than 10 parts per trillion. Less than 0.001 percent of 166,559 samples collected from public water systems from 1993 to 1997 showed detection of 1,1,2,2-TetCA (ATSDR 2008).


U.S. EPA, Technology Transfer Network Air Toxics Web Site, 2000

Toxicological Profile for 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR),258 pp, 2008