Fact Sheet: 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene

1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene FACT SHEET

Brief Overview:
Contaminant: 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
Category: Organic
Source: Dye carrier, solvent; manufacture of organic chemicals
Effect: Changes in liver, kidneys and adrenal glands
Followup: Treat and retest quarterly
Treatment: Granular activated charcoal

1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene (1,2,4-TCB) is an aromatic, colorless organic liquid. The greatest use of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene is primarily as a dye carrier. It is also used to make herbicides and other organic chemicals; as a solvent; in wood preservatives; in abrasives. It was once used as a soil treatment for termite control.

Current production figures on 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene are not available. EPA estimated 1983 production to be in the range of 3 to 8 million lbs., with imports over 3 million lbs. Major environmental releases of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene are due to its manufacture and use as a dye carrier.

From 1987 to 1993, according to EPA’s Toxic Chemical Release Inventory, 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene, releases to land and water totalled over 180,000 lbs. These releases were primarily from textile finishing industries. The largest releases occurred in North Carolina and Virginia.

What happens to 1,2,4-TCB when it is released to the environment? 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene (1,2,4-TCB) binds well to the soil and therefore will not leach appreciably to the groundwater when released to land. However, 1,2,4-TCB has been detected in some groundwater samples which indicates that it can be transported there by some process. If released to water it will largely evaporate within a few hours. It has some potential to accumulate in fish.

Short-term: EPA has found 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: changes in liver, kidneys and adrenal glands
Long-term: 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the MCL: increased adrenal gland weights

Treat and retest quarterly.

Granular activated charcoal in combination with Packed Tower Aeration