What is TCE?
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chlorinated solvent.
TCE is used commercially as industrial degreasers, spot removers, and in dry cleaning.
TCE is not a natural chemical, it is manmade.
Exposure typically occurs via drinking contaminated water. TCE typically gets into drinking water aquifers when it is improperly disposed of, and is able to leach into groundwater.
TCE can also be inhaled. The chemical is a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) which means it readily vaporizes.
Chronic TCE exposure can cause damage to the liver, the kidneys and the central nervous system. It may also lead to increased risk of cancer.
The MCL for TCE is 5.0 ppb (5.0 grams per billion grams of water).
The presence of TCE has been detected in minute quantities in seven City of Pocatello wells. In addition, two wells, which exceeded the safe drinking water standards, have been taken off-line until such time as the contamination level decreases below the MCL. The City is continuing to work toward a solution for cleaning up the aquifer through proven scientific methods.
Visit EPA's excellent fact sheet on TCE and groundwater at: http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW/dwh/t-voc/trichlor.html
Also visit Environmental Defense Fund's TCE Scorecard at: http://www.scorecard.org/chemical-profiles/summary.tcl?edf_substance_id=79-01-6