Carbon tetrachloride

TSCA Ten: Snapshots of the first 10 chemicals to be reviewed under the new TSCA

Updated: August 2018

Summary: An overhaul in 2016 of the main U.S. chemical safety law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, required EPA to choose the first 10 chemicals for risk evaluation. Carbon tetrachloride, one of the first 10 chemicals, has many industrial manufacturing uses, but can also be found in commercial paints, adhesives, degreasers, and more. EPA has classified it as a likely carcinogen.

What kinds of products may use it?

Due to its role as an ozone depleter, many consumer uses of carbon tetrachloride have been phased out as a result of the Clean Air Act and Montreal Protocol.

Current commercial uses include:

  • Paints and coatings
  • Adhesives and sealants
  • Industrial adhesives and tapes
  • Degreasers and cleaners
  • Paint remover

What hazards does it pose?

  • Likely human carcinogen 
  • Liver and kidney toxicity
  • Ozone depleting substance

Who may be exposed or most at risk?

  • Workers and occupational bystanders in carbon tetrachloride manufacturing and processing industries or using commercial products containing carbon tetrachloride
  • People that depend on water sources contaminated with carbon tetrachloride

Production profile (2015)

  • U.S. manufacture (production and import): 142,582,067 lbs
  • Number of manufacturers: At least 5
  • Number of manufacturing sites: 9

What industries use it?

  • Refrigerant gas manufacturing
  • Inorganic and organic chemical manufacturing 
  • Pesticide, fertilizer, and other agricultural chemical manufacturing
  • Plastic and resin manufacturing
  • Industrial gas refining/manufacturing

Carbon tetrachloride additional resources