California Intends to Add Trichloroethylene To Proposition 65 Reproductive Toxicity List

By Carolyn Whetzel  

Nov. 29 --California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has announced plans to add trichloroethylene to the list of reproductive toxicants maintained under Proposition 65.

In a Nov. 27 notice of intent, the agency proposed listing the volatile organic compound based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency findings that trichloroethylene (CAS No. 79-01-06) caused male reproductive toxicity and developmental toxicity in laboratory animals.

Under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known as Proposition 65, the state must maintain a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive toxicity. Businesses must provide clear warnings whenever the public is exposed to an unsafe level of a listed substance.

TCE is used as an industrial solvent and is found in several consumer products, including paint removers and adhesives.

In 1988, California added the chemical to the Proposition 65 list of carcinogens.

IRIS Findings Cited

Findings in the EPA's 2011 Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) document and the Toxicological Review of TCE in support of the IRIS entry meet the criteria for listing the chemical as a reproductive toxicant under the Proposition 65 authoritative bodies mechanism, the OEHHA said.

The authoritative bodies mechanism is an administrative process that requires the OEHHA to add substances to the Proposition 65 list once the EPA or another official body formally identifies a chemical as causing reproductive harm, birth defects or cancer.

Along with the notice of intent, the agency posted its response to comments from the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance Inc. and another group questioning whether TCE was eligible for listing via the administrative process.


To contact the reporter on this story: Carolyn Whetzel in Los Angeles at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at


The OEHHA notice of intent is available at

The OEHHA responses to industry comments are available at