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Excretion of organic chlorine compounds in the urine of persons exposed to vapours of trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene
  1. Masana Ogata,
  2. Yoshiko Takatsuka,
  3. Katsumaro Tomokuni
  1. Department of Public Health, Okayama University Medical School, Okayama, Japan


    Ogata, M., Yoshiko, T., and Tomokuni, K. (1971).Brit. J. industr. Med.,28, 386-391. Excretion of organic chlorine compounds in the urine of persons exposed to vapours of trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene. Male volunteers were exposed to 170 p.p.m. of trichloroethylene vapour either for 3 hours or for 7 hours with one break of 1 hour; or to 87 p.p.m. of tetrachloroethylene vapour for 3 hours. Urine was collected frequently up to 100 hours after the start of exposure, and was analysed for trichloroethanol and trichloroacetic acid. After trichloroethylene exposure, trichloroethanol was excreted most rapidly shortly after exposure ceased, and trichloroacetic acid most rapidly 42 to 69 hours after exposure ceased. Total recoveries of trichloroethylene inhaled, up to 100 hours, were: trichloroethanol, after 3 hours' exposure, 53·1%; after 7 hours' exposure, 44%; trichloroacetic acid, similarly: 21·9% and 18·1%. The effects of exposure on blood pressure, pulse rate, flicker value, and reaction time were measured. The diastolic blood pressure was decreased significantly after 3 hours' exposure to 170 p.p.m. trichloroethylene. After tetrachloroethylene exposure, in 67 hours trichloroacetic acid was excreted to 1·8% tetrachloroethylene retained and an unknown chloride equivalent to 1·0%.

    Urine samples from 10 workers in an automobile parts factory were analysed for trichloroethanol and trichloroacetic acid. Trichloroethanol concentrations in the urine taken after work were higher than in the urine taken before work while for trichloroacetic acid the concentrations were reversed, due to the difference in the time course of excretion. The urinary levels of trichloroethanol, trichloroacetic acid, and total trichloro compounds were almost proportional to the environmental concentration of trichloroethylene.

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