Absorption

1,1,1-TCE is rapidly absorbed through the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. Absorption through skin also occurs (Stewart and Dodd, 1964), but is of minor significance compared to uptake via inhalation. 1,1,1-TCE has a relatively low blood/air partition coefficient, therefore steady state tissue concentrations are attained slowly and the vapour is eliminated relatively rapidly in expired air after exposure.

Studies with human volunteers (males), exposed by inhalation to 1,1,1-TCE at concentrations from around 35 ppm to 350 ppm for 6 hours, demonstrated that about 25-40% of the 1,1,1-TCE inhaled was absorbed by the lungs. The amount varied depending on the 1,1,1-TCE concentrations in the inhaled air, duration of exposure, body weight and amount of adipose tissue, blood circulation and other factors (Astrand et al., 1973: Monster et al., 1979; Nolan et al., 1984). Uptake from inhalation increases with physical activity.

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