Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Trichloroethylene (tce) is a clear, colorless liquid with a sweet, chloroform-like odor. Long used in the 20th century in many industries, TCE is now considered a hazardous substance. Its production, transport, storage, and use are strictly controlled because of growing recognition and evidence that TCE is dangerous and even carcinogenic.

TCE has many synonyms: Acetylene trichloride, ethylene trichloride, ethinyl trichloride, trichloroethene, and colloquially “trike” and just “tri.” Its chemical formula is CICH=CCl2. It was widely produced after Word War I and was used in numerous ways in the following decades: In the food industry, it helped extract vegetable oils from plants such as soy and coconut and prepare flavoring extracts from spices; in the mid-20th century, it was also used as a dry cleaning agent, an ...

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