Fact sheet: 1,1,2-trichloroethane

From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

Discover a list of a contaminant's important chemical properties, how it will react in the environment, main sources of contamination related, and a brief overview of health and safety issues.

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General information

CAS number


Molecular formula


Formula weight

133.4 g/mol


Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAH)

Properties (at room temperature where applicable)

Compound properties list
Melting/boiling point -37 °C / 114 °CLiquid
Relative density1.43 g/cm3Sinks in water
Vapour pressure25 mm HgModerately volatile
Vapour density4.6Denser than air
Solubility in water4,500 mg/LModerately soluble
Henry's law constant7 x 10-4 atm·m3/molModerate volatilization when dissolved
log Koc (Depending on soil or sediment characteristics)1.8 - 2.0*Moderate adsorption to organic matter

Environmental behaviour

At 20 0C, 1,1,2-trichloroethane is a liquid denser than water and moderately volatile. Characterized by moderate solubility, it will volatilize moderately once dissolved and adsorbs moderately to organic matter. During a spill, this compound will partially evaporate but may also enter into the soil or migrate into a waterway. Once it encounters water (surface or subsurface), the 1,1,2-trichloroethane will dissolve or sink until it reaches an impermeable surface. The liquid 1,1,2-trichloroethane that accumulates in a saturated zone will gradually dissolve before partially volatilizing. The adsorbed 1,1,2-trichloroethane in the vadose and saturated zones will take some time disappear, liberating contamination in either the gaseous or dissolved state. The resulting plumes (gaseous or dissolved) will be relatively moderate in size.

Health and safety

1,1,2-Trichloroethane should be handled with care as it is toxic.

Principal resources

1,1,2-Trichloroethane is produced industrially from ethene, which is chlorinated to give 1,2-dichloroethane, followed by further chlorination to produce 1,1,2-trichloroethane. It is also a co-product in the production of l,l,l-trichloroethane. 1,1,2-Trichloroethane is sometimes present as an impurity in commercial samples of l,l,l-trichloroethane and trichloroethene. It may also be formed during the anaerobic biodegradation of 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane in groundwater or landfills.

The principal use of 1,1,2-trichloroethane is as an intermediate in the production of l,l-dichloroethene (vinylidene chloride), which in turn is used to produce polyvinylidene chloride copolymers. 1,1,2-Trichloroethane is also used, to a limited degree, when a strong solvent is required, such as for chlorinated rubbers. It may also be used as a solvent for fats, oils, waxes and resins.


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for 1,1,2-Trichloroethane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Georgia, USA. (Viewed March 2010)

Montgomery, John H. 2007. Groundwater Chemicals, Desk Reference, Fourth Edition, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida, USA.