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Title: Chloroform / published under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, and the World Health Organization
Authors: World Health Organization
International Programme on Chemical Safety
Issue Date: 1994
Publisher: Geneva : World Health Organization
Language: English
Abstract: Evaluates the risks to human health and the environment posed by exposure to chloroform, a volatile liquid used in pesticide formulations and as a solvent and chemical intermediate. Its use as an anaesthetic and in proprietary medicines has been discontinued in many countries following well-documented reports of adverse effects on respiratory, cardiac and liver function. Exposure of the general public occurs via food, drinking-water, and indoor air, with water use in homes making a substantial contribution to levels in indoor air. Studies have demonstrated significant dermal absorption while showering. The most extensive chapter reviews the results of toxicity studies in laboratory animals and in vitro test systems. While both the liver and the kidney are target organs, the most universally observed toxic effect is damage to the liver. Studies indicate that cytotoxicity followed by cell proliferation is the most important cause for the development of liver and kidney tumours following experimental exposure to chloroform. The severity of toxic effects was observed to vary according to species, vehicle, and route of administration. A chapter on health effects in humans notes disturbances in respiratory and cardiovascular functions observed following short-term exposure. As in animals, liver and kidney damage were the most frequently reported adverse effects of long-term exposure. Data were judged inadequate to implicate chloroform exposure via drinking-water as a cause of human cancer. Concerning effects on the environment, the report concludes that the generally low levels of chloroform in surface water should not pose a hazard to aquatic organisms. Higher levels of chloroform resulting from industrial discharges or spills may be hazardous to the embryo-larval stages of some aquatic species
Description: Summary and evaluation; conclusions and recommendations also in French and Spanish
DC.HQ
174 p.
Subject: Chloroform
Context: adverse effects
metadata.dc.subject.other: Chemical Toxicology and Carcinogenicity
URI: http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/40319
Other Identifiers: 9241571632
Appears in Collections:Publications



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