In mammals, trichloroethylene absorption may occur after inhalation, ingestion or skin exposure. Intraperitoneal uptake has been reported in experimental animals (IPCS, 1985).

In a study of five male volunteers inhaling trichloroethylene at a concentration of 70 ppm for 4 hours on 5 consecutive days, the uptake of trichloroethylene was calculated as 6.6 ± 0.4 mg/kg lean body mass in 4 hours. The trichloroethylene concentration in blood and exhaled air 18 hours after the fifth exposure, was twice as high as the concentration 18 hours after the first exposure (Monster et al., 1979). The relatively high and almost constant absorption per minute of trichloroethylene is explained by the relatively high partition coefficient between blood and air (Monster, 1979).

Trichloroethylene is readily absorbed across the skin but, in industrial situations, skin exposure is likely to be limited by the irritant nature of trichloroethylene on the skin (Sato and Nakajima, 1978).

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