Encyclopedia > Tetrachloromethane

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Name Tetrachloromethane
Chemical formula CCl4
Appearance Colourless liquid
Formula weight 153.8 amu
Melting point 250 K (-23 °C)
Boiling point 350 K (77 °C)
Density 1.6 ×103 kg/m3
Solubility 0.08 g in 100g water
ΔfH0gas -95.5 kJ/mol
ΔfH0liquid -128 kJ/mol
ΔfH0solid -130.5 kJ/mol
S0gas, 1 bar ? J/mol·K
S0liquid, 1 bar 216 J/mol·K
S0solid ? J/mol·K
Ingestion Very dangerous, long term exposure can cause brain damage.
Inhalation As for ingestion.
Skin May cause irritation.
Eyes May cause irritation.
More info Hazardous Chemical Database (http://ull.chemistry.uakron.edu/erd/chemicals/7/6262)
SI units were used where possible. Unless otherwise stated, standard conditions were used.

Disclaimer and references

Carbon tetrachloride CCl4 is a manufactured chemical compound that does not occur naturally. Its systematic name is tetrachloromethane. It is a clear liquid with a sweet smell that can be detected at low levels.

It is also called carbon chloride, methane tetrachloride, perchloromethane, or benziform. Trade names include Benzinoform, Freon 10, Halon 104, Tetraform, or Tetrasol.

Carbon tetrachloride is most often found as a colorless liquid. It is not flammable and doesn't dissolve in water. It was used in the production of refrigeration fluid[?] and propellants for aerosol cans[?], as a pesticide, as a cleaning fluid and degreasing agent, in fire extinguishers[?], and in spot removers. Because of its harmful effects, these uses are now banned and it is only used in some industrial applications.

Health effects High exposure to carbon tetrachloride can cause liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage. These effects result from either eating, drinking, or breathing it, and possibly from exposure to the skin. The liver is especially sensitive to carbon tetrachloride because it swells and cells are damaged or destroyed. Kidneys are also damaged, causing a buildup of wastes in the blood. If exposure is low and then stops, the liver and kidneys can repair the damaged cells and function normally again.

If exposure is very high, the nervous system, including the brain, is affected. People may feel intoxicated and experience headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, and nausea and vomiting. These effects may subside if exposure is stopped, but in severe cases, coma and even death can occur.

There have been no studies in people on carbon tetrachloride's effects on reproduction or development, but studies in rats showed no adverse effects.

The US Department of Health and Human Services[?] has determined that carbon tetrachloride may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen.

Animals that ingested carbon tetrachloride over a long time developed liver cancer. It is not known if breathing carbon tetrachloride causes cancer in animals. It is also not known if breathing or ingesting it will cause cancer in people.

Several sensitive and specific tests are available to measure the amount of carbon tetrachloride in your breath, blood, urine, and body tissues. The tests cannott tell you how much carbon tetrachloride the subject was exposed to or whether there will be any effects on their health. The tests must be done soon after exposure because it leaves your body quickly. These tests aren't routinely performed in doctors' offices, but your doctor can tell you where to obtain such a test.

Typical recommended limits are 0.005 parts of carbon tetrachloride per million parts of drinking water (0.005 ppm). Drinking water exposures should not exceed 0.3 ppm for adults and 0.07 ppm for children for long periods of time (7 years).

There are limits on how much carbon tetrachloride can be released from an industrial plant into waste-water and the outside air. A typical maximum concentration limit in workplace air is 10 ppm for an 8-hour workday over a 40-hour working week.

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