Perchloroethylene

Source: Environment Canada

Toxicity of PERC

In the evaluation report according to the List of Priority Substances (tetrachlorethylene), published in 1993, the conclusion was that the current releases of PERC can damage the environment (Article 11 (a) of the Act).

Environmental toxicity of PERC was mainly based on the finding that the concentrations in the air above the level of toxicity to plants. Limited data also indicated that PERC concentrations in some surface waters enclosed by groundwater contaminated above the level of toxicity to the most sensitive aquatic species. It was found that the exposure of the general Canadian population levels were below the tolerable daily intake level, but considering the small "margin of safety" means any action that may reduce the exposure of human beings human PERC would be desirable from the point of view of health. Recent studies of groundwater contamination support the need précautionnaires actions.

The management policy of the federal Toxic Substances provided scientific management structure PERC. Under this policy, PERC is a candidate for Track 2 because its bio-accumulation characteristics do not meet the criteria for Track 1 substances.

This policy defined the goal of management to minimize environmental and health risks of substances of channel 2 in minimizing their exposure and / or release and during the life cycle of these substances. Therefore, selecting the best management options PERC reflect scientific, technical and socio-economic.

Uses in Canada

This Issue Table attacked the use of PERC in the dry cleaning industry, while another table consultation attacked the use of chlorinated solvents, including PERC and trichlorethylene, by industry degreasing solvents. Together, these two industries used in 1994 to about 62% of PERC in Canada, the other 38% were generally used by the chemical and petroleum industries.

To date, 11,600 tons of PERC imported into Canada in 1994 were the United States (Dow Chemical, PPG Industries and Vulcan Chemicals) or the UK (ICI Chemicals). 3304 dry cleaning facilities used it about 5549 tons of PERC in 1994, and industry degreasing use 1,600 tons.

The balance of imported PERC was used as a chemical base in the manufacture of HCFC-123 as a source of chloride in the regeneration of reforming catalysts in the petroleum and petrochemical industries, as an element in the solutions spotting and cleaning in adhesives in textile cleaning, as laboratory reagents, and other uses. In recent years the PERC replaced carbon tetrachloride as a source of chloride in the activation of catalysts. The use of PERC as a chemical base in the manufacture of HCFCs increased also.