Carbon tetrachloride is a colorless non-flammable chemical once used as a paint thinner and was once used as solvent for fats and oils, which must be why it was good at dissolving paints. It was used as a cleaning fluid or fire extinguisher. However it was soon discovered that it could cause cancer and thus was never used again for any paint thinners or any kind of solvents. For anybody interested its chemical formula is:


Its vapor pressure is 91.0 mmHg (as in the higher a solvent's vapor pressure, the faster it can vaporize from a liquid into a gas. Solvents with a high vapor pressure are dangerous because they are flammable and their vapors ignite easily.) It doesn't have a flash point unlike most solvents (a flash point is the temperature at which a chemical ignites). Its American threshold limit value is 5 ppm (parts per million). This is extremely bad since the American government doesn't approve of anybody breathing in a mere 5 ppm (as in 0.0005% of it in the air) of this stuff, since it is highly suspect as a cancer causing agent. Some of Carbon tetrachloride's synonyms are tetrachloromethane and perchloromethane.