Chronic effects


Symptoms from chronic carbon tetrachloride exposure are similar to those seen in acute exposure (see above). With long-term chronic exposure to low concentrations of carbon tetrachloride, both kidney and liver injury occur. However the milder the exposure, the greater the tendency for predominantly liver effects (Reid, 2001). Toxic hepatitis and cirrhosis have been reported after chronic exposure to high concentrations of carbon tetrachloride (ATSDR, 1992a). Persistent nausea should prompt an evaluation of liver function for toxic hepatitis.

Toxicology of Solvents Dermal

Dermatitis can occur following long or repeated skin contact with carbon tetrachloride liquid. It causes defatting and removal of the surface oils from the skin, leading to dryness, cracking and dermatitis.

Stewart and Dodd (1964) and Stewart et al. (1961) have conducted experimental human exposure studies with volunteer subjects. These reports indicate that absorption of the liquid through the skin may be significant, particularly in chronic exposure (Reid, 2001).

Two cases of conjunctival haemorrhage have been reported after dermal absorption of carbon tetrachloride (Javier Perez et al., 1987).

On critical examination of the relevant literature, Grant and Schumann (1993) concluded that chronic exposure to carbon tetrachloride was strongly suspected of causing retrobulbar neuritis, optic neuritis and optic atrophy. However, despite numerous claims in the literature, the link has not been firmly established (Grant and Schumann, 1993).


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