Key scientific issues in the health risk assessment of trichloroethylene. Academic Article uri icon


  • Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a common environmental contaminant at hazardous waste sites and in ambient and indoor air. Assessing the human health risks of TCE is challenging because of its inherently complex metabolism and toxicity and the widely varying perspectives on a number of critical scientific issues. Because of this complexity, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drew upon scientific input and expertise from a wide range of groups and individuals in developing its 2001 draft health risk assessment of TCE. This scientific outreach, which was aimed at engaging a diversity of perspectives rather than developing consensus, culminated in 2000 with 16 state-of-the-science articles published together as an Environmental Health Perspectives supplement. Since that time, a substantial amount of new scientific research has been published that is relevant to assessing TCE health risks. Moreover, a number of difficult or controversial scientific issues remain unresolved and are the subject of a scientific consultation with the National Academy of Sciences coordinated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and co-sponsored by a number of federal agencies, including the U.S. EPA. The articles included in this mini-monograph provide a scientific update on the most prominent of these issues: the pharmacokinetics of TCE and its metabolites, mode(s) of action and effects of TCE metabolites, the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor in TCE toxicity, and TCE cancer epidemiology.

published proceedings

  • Environ Health Perspect

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Chiu, W. A., Caldwell, J. C., Keshava, N., & Scott, C. S.

citation count

  • 66

complete list of authors

  • Chiu, Weihsueh A||Caldwell, Jane C||Keshava, Nagalakshmi||Scott, Cheryl Siegel

publication date

  • September 2006