Who Is at Risk for Exposure to Carbon Tetrachloride?

Course: WB 2888
CE Original Date: December 31, 2017
CE Renewal Date: December 31, 2019
CE Expiration Date: December 31, 2021
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Learning Objective

After completing this section, you will be able to

  • Identify who is at risk for exposure to carbon tetrachloride (CCl4).
Introduction

Exposures that occur to workers involved in the manufacture or use of CCl4 are potentially higher than exposures occurring in the general U.S. population.

People living near waste sites or areas of heavy carbon tetrachloride use might have an increased risk for exposure from contaminated media (air, water, or soil).

Workers

Workers employed in industries that manufacture or use CCl4 are at greater risk for exposure to higher levels of CCl4 than the general U.S. population.

Workers who might be exposed to CCl4 include:

  • Air transportation workers,
  • Hazardous waste workers,
  • Museum workers,
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers,
  • Steel mill and blast furnace workers,
  • Telephone and telegraph equipment manufacturers, and
  • Workers in tin-waste recovery operations.

Other workers who no longer use CCl4, such as the following, might have been exposed in the past:

  • Automobile mechanics,
  • Dry cleaners,
  • Grain workers (inspection, storage, milling, processing), and
  • Pesticide applicators.
Special Populations

Subsets of the U.S. population, such as people who live near hazardous waste sites or facilities that use or manufacture CCl4, might be exposed to localized higher air concentrations of CCl4.

General Populations

Because background levels of CCl4 in ambient air are low and continue to decline, the U.S. general population is not likely to be exposed to large amounts of carbon tetrachloride. The 2015 annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers documented 52 CCl4 exposures that had no major outcomes [AAPCC 2015].

Key Points
  • Workers using CCl4 or CCl4-containing products are potentially at risk for exposure to higher levels of CCl4 than the general U.S. population.
  • People who live near hazardous waste sites or facilities that use or manufacture CCl4, might be exposed to localized higher air concentrations of CCl4.
Page last reviewed: December 4, 2017