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Science Board Seeks Input on TCE Report

RALEIGH − State Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board officials are asking the public for input on a draft indoor action level report from a study of trichloroethylene, or TCE.

A clear, colorless liquid with a sweet odor that evaporates quickly, TCE is used as a solvent, an intermediate for refrigerant manufacture and as a spotting agent in dry cleaning facilities, according the Environmental Protection Agency.

This image shows possible routes of exposure to TCE, including workplace, closed military and industrial sites, as well as movement through air, soil, and groundwater. Image: NIH

A carcinogenic to humans, TCE can, depending on the level of exposure, affect the developing fetus and cause health concerns including irritation of the respiratory system and skin, lightheadedness, drowsiness and headaches. Repeated or prolonged exposure to TCE has been associated with effects in the liver, kidneys, immune system and central nervous system.

The report was distributed and reviewed during the advisory board’s Oct. 22 meeting and is available for public comment through Nov. 21. Comments may be submitted by email to, or by mail to N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, Attn: Louise Hughes, 1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1601.

The draft report is the culmination of research and deliberations by the board, which provides guidance to the state departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services as the agencies work to address emerging compounds statewide, according to the release Wednesday from the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board includes 16 members that represent academic institutions and the public and private sectors. The board assists the Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Health and Human Services by providing guidance on how to manage emerging compounds to better protect public health and the environment.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.