Trichloroethylene Still a Contamination Concern across Puerto Rico
The environmental and building science experts at Zimmetry Environmental provide TCE testing services across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
TCE is an environmental pollutant and a significant concern for anyone living or working in proximity to sites where TCE was produced, used or waste sites containing the chemical.
Just last June, the U.S. Environmental Protection agency (EPA) released their Final Risk Assessment on Trichloroethylene (TCE) to address potential human health risks associated with exposure to this volatile organic compound (VOC). TCE has been used in Puerto Rico in the past and is now a concern at some of Puerto Rico’s Superfund sites, hazardous waste locations and other areas where it is now present across the Commonwealth.
Trichloroethylene is a nonflammable, colorless liquid with a somewhat sweet odor. It was mainly used as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts and as a component in some adhesives, paint removers and spot removers. Although TCE is not thought to occur naturally in the environment, it can be released into the air, water and soil at places where it is produced, used or disposed of.
TCE does break down rather quickly in air, but it breaks down slowly in soil or water and has been found in underground water sources and surface waters. People can be exposed to TCE through inhalation, ingestion and dermal exposure. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), “Exposure to moderate amounts of trichloroethylene may cause headaches, dizziness, and sleepiness; large amounts may cause coma and even death. Eating or breathing high levels of trichloroethylene may damage some of the nerves in the face. Exposure to high levels can also result in changes in the rhythm of the heartbeat, liver damage, and evidence of kidney damage. Skin contact with concentrated solutions of trichloroethylene can cause skin rashes.” The ATSDR also reports, “There is strong evidence that trichloroethylene can cause kidney cancer in people and some evidence for trichloroethylene-induced liver cancer and malignant lymphoma.”
“TCE is an environmental pollutant and a significant concern for anyone living or working in proximity to sites where TCE was produced, used or waste sites containing the chemical,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “TCE can also migrate into the air in homes and buildings in areas with contaminated soil or groundwater in a process known as vapor intrusion. In addition, it can enter the air in a building from contaminated water from the use of sinks, tubs and showers. To identify and address these concerns, Zimmetry’s environmental and building science experts provide testing and consulting services to identify TCE and other volatile organic compounds to ensure people are not being exposed to high levels of hazardous chemicals in the air they breathe.”
Zimmetry recently sponsored an educational video about TCE and exposure risks that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/DetCE36YMHs
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and air, environmental and compliance consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.
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