What is 1,1-Dichloroethylene?
1,1-Dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE) is a man-made substance used to make fire retardant fibers and polyethylene food wraps. It is a clear, colorless, flammable liquid with a mild, sweet smell. Dichloroethylene evaporates quickly at room temperature and can pollute the air.
When 1,1-DCE gets into water or on soil it evaporates quickly. However, in groundwater or soil, it breaks down very slowly.
Most 1,1-DCE in the environment results from industrial use and improper disposal.
Can a medical test determine exposure to 1,1-Dichloroethylene?
1,1-DCE can be detected in the breath, urine, blood, and body tissues. Breath tests are now the most common way to tell whether a person has been recently exposed to 1,1-DCE. These tests require specialized equipment and are not available at all doctor's offices. Your physician can tell you where these tests can be done.
Tests of lung, liver, and kidney function are used to assess damage to these systems. However, they cannot pinpoint the cause of the damage.
Seek medical advice if you have any symptoms that you think may be related to chemical exposure.
This fact sheet summarizes information about this chemical and is not a complete listing of all possible effects. It does not refer to work exposure or emergency situations.
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