PRIO – A tool for Risk Reduction of Chemicals

Chlorinated solvents

Chlorinated solvents are hydrocarbons with one to two carbon atoms, where several hydrogen atoms are exchanged with chlorine atoms. 

The Swedish Chemicals Agency has drawn up substance information and flow analyses for some chlorinated solvents, dichloromethane, tetrachloroethene, tetrachloromethane, trichloroethane and tricholorothene, search for flow analyses and substance information here.

Their good fat-dissolving properties mean that they are used as degreasing agents, for instance for metals, and as dry-cleaning fluids. The use of chlorinated solvents is now banned in consumer products in Sweden. In professional use, an exemption from the Swedish Chemicals Agency is required for trichloroethylene and methylene chloride. Here you can search in the Restricted Substances database. The use of chlorinated solvents has decreased sharply since the bans came into effect and the requirement for dispensations was introduced (link to brief statistics on "Chlorinated solvents").

Chlorinated solvents in general are harmful to health and can cause or are suspected of causing cancer. They are toxic or harmful to aquatic organisms and can cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment. Certain chlorinated solvents also deplete the ozone layer. Here you can search in the Classification list.

Further information:

Swedish restrictions and bans

Begränsningsuppdraget, bilaga Ämnesredovisningar (The restriction task, Substance accounts annex). KemI report 10/90, Swedish Chemicals Inspectorate, 1990.

Klor och klorföreningar (Chlorine and chlorine compounds). KemI report 15/94, Swedish Chemicals Inspectorate, 1994.