Chloroform is also called Trichloromethane
, Methyl trichloride
and Methane trichloride
Chemical Formula: CHCl3
Molecular Weight: 119.38
Solubility: 0.8g/100g water @ 20C (68F)
Specific Gravity: 1.48 @ 20C/4C
Boiling Point: 62C (144F)
Melting Point: -63.5C (-83F)
Vapor Density (Air=1): 4.1
Vapor Pressure (mm Hg): 160 @ 20C (68F)
Evaporation Rate (BuAc=1): 11.6
It is a clear, colourless liquid, with a pleasant non-irritating smell that gives a sweet taste. It is a solvent and is flammable at high temperatures. It can be explosive when a high concentration is present the air and a spark is created.
Chloroform evaporates easily and will break down into many products including phosgene and hydrogen chloride, both of which are toxic. However, this process very slowly.
It also dissolves easily in water, where it evaporates much slower.
This chemical, at 900ppm in air, can cause dizziness, eye irritation, fatigue, and headache when breathed for a short time. Acute exposure can cause fainting.
Skin exposure can cause minor irritations or sores. The larger the amount, the more severe the reaction.
It is not known whether exposure to cholorform can cause birth defects or reproductive effects in humans. Animal studies have shown that rats exposed to amounts from 30 to 330ppm had miscarriages or offspring with birth defects. Males had abnormal sperm.
Chloroform is not a proven carcinogen, however it caused liver and kidney cancer in rats fed water or food containing chloroform.