Elimination

Chloroform is excreted mainly via the lungs as chloroform and carbon dioxide. In one study, volunteers were given 500 mg of chloroform in capsule form. Between 17.8% and 66.6% of the dose was exhaled as chloroform in 8 hours post ingestion. Maximum pulmonary excretion occurred between 40-120 minutes after ingestion.

Females eliminated less, probably due to uptake by adipose tissue of which females have a greater proportion. Chloroform was detectable in the breath of some subjects for up to 24 hours but at concentrations below measurable limits. Up to 68.3% of the dose was exhaled as chloroform and up to 50.6% as carbon dioxide. Maximum concentrations of carbon dioxide were obtained 75-210 minutes after ingestion of 500 mg 13C-labelled chloroform in olive oil (Fry et al., 1972).

The first half-life in subjects administered 500 mg of chloroform in capsule form was 9-21 minutes; the second phase had a half-life of 86-96 minutes (Fry et al., 1972).

Urinary excretion of chloroform was low (<1%) following dermal exposure. Of the absorbed dose, more than 95% was excreted via the lungs and over 88% of this was carbon dioxide. The maximum pulmonary excretion occurred between 15 minutes and 2 hours after dosing (Dick et al., 1995).

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