Toxic substances list: trichloroethylene

According to the 1993 Priority Substances List Assessment Report, Trichloroethylene (TCE) was primarily used as a solvent in the vapour-degreasing and cold-cleaning of fabricated metal parts, and in smaller amounts in dry-cleaning operations, paints and paint removers, and various household products. Domestic consumption was supplied by importation. Due to the dispersive and non-destructive nature of its uses, the majority of the trichloroethylene consumed was expected to enter the Canadian environment, primarily the atmosphere. Trichloroethylene had been detected in ambient air and in the air inside homes in Canada, as well as, occasionally, in drinking water and surface waters across the country. It had also been detected in groundwaters as a result of inappropriate disposal.

CAS (Chemical Abstract Service) registry number: 79-01-6

Risk assessment


This substance was identified to enter the environment from the following source:

Strategic options report

Trichloroethylene is regulated by the Solvent Degreasing Regulations, based on the key recommendations from the 1996 report of stakeholder consultations on the Strategic Options for the Management of Toxic Substances of Trichloroethylene and Tetrachloroethylene in Solvent Degreasing. Please contact to request a copy.

Risk management tools

Tools developed to manage risks associated with the substance:

Other information


Substances Management Information Line
Chemicals Management Plan
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3

Telephone: 1-800-567-1999  (in Canada) or 819-938-3232


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