Local effects following inhalation of chloroform include shortness of breath and irritation of the nose and throat. Acute inhalation can cause systemic effects such as, excitement, nausea and vomiting followed by ataxia, dizziness, drowsiness. In humans, chloroform affects the central nervous system (brain), liver, and kidneys after a person breathes air or drinks liquids that contain large amounts of chloroform.
Chloroform is a colorless, sweet smelling liquid with anesthetic, euphoric, and sedative qualities when inhaled or ingested by humans. Chloroform has a boiling point of 61.15 °C and a melting point of −63.5 °C. It has a molar mass 119.37 g·mol−1. The density of chloroform varies based on its temperature: at -20°C, chloroform is 1.564 g/cm³, and at 60 °C, it is 1.394 g/cm³. Deuterated chloroform (CDCl3) is one of the most common NMR solvents. Low levels of chloroform are found in the air and in coastal waters, inland rivers, lakes and groundwater. For information on chloroform structure, chemical names, physical and chemical properties, classification, patents, literature and biological activities, click here. Read the Public Health Statement regarding chloroform from the USA Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Read a concise chemical assessment of chloroform from the World Health Organization. Low levels of chloroform are found in the air and in coastal waters, inland rivers, lakes and groundwater. Levels can be higher in industrial areas as well as in the air above swimming pools containing chlorine. Chloroform is used as a solvent, a substance that helps other substances dissolve. Also, it is used in the building, paper and board industries, and in pesticide and film production. It is used as a solvent for lacquers, floor polishes, resins, adhesives, alkaloids, fats, oils and rubber. Chloroform is used in making Fluorocarbon 22 (Chlorodifluoromethane), a refrigerant. Until the mid-1900s, chloroform was used as an anesthetic to reduce pain during medical procedures. Today, it is not used in this way due to its harmful effects. Chloroform can be made at home using bleach and acetone. It is legal to purchase and make chloroform in the United States. However, chloroform has been banned for use in drug, cosmetic, and food products since 1976. It is classified as an extremely hazardous substance in the United States. In some cases, chloroform is prohibited and restricted by FDA regulations. The use of chloroform in cosmetic products is prohibited because it causes cancer in animals and is likely to be harmful to human health, too. The regulation makes an exception for residual amounts from its use as a processing solvent during manufacture, or as a byproduct from the synthesis of an ingredient (21 CFR 700.18).
Safe And Legal Uses Of Chloroform In The United States
Chloroform For Personal Use As A Solvent
For Laboratory Work
For Chemistry Applications
Chloroform Is Used As A Plant And Botanical Extract Solvent
Solvent For Plant Extracts: Chloroform is an organic solvent used for the extraction, isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds from plants' extracts.
Industrial Use Of Chloroform: Chloroform is used in many industries. It is released from pulp and paper mills, hazardous waste sites, chlorinated water, and certain landfills. Chloroform is used in some refrigerants, solvents, and chemical manufacturing.
Reagent Use: As a reagent, chloroform serves as a source of the dichlorocarbene CCl2 group. It reacts with aqueous sodium hydroxide usually in the presence of a phase transfer catalyst to produce dichlorocarbene, CCl2. This reagent effects ortho-formylation of activated aromatic rings such as phenols, producing aryl aldehydes in a reaction known as the Reimer–Tiemann reaction. Alternatively, the carbene can be trapped by an alkene to form a cyclopropane derivative. In the Kharasch addition, chloroform forms the CHCl2 free radical in addition to alkenes.
Solvent Use: The hydrogen attached to carbon in chloroform participates in hydrogen bonding. Worldwide, chloroform is also used in pesticide formulations, as a solvent for fats, oils, rubber, alkaloids, waxes, gutta-percha, and resins, as a cleansing agent, grain fumigant, in fire extinguishers, and in the rubber industry. CDCl3 is a common solvent used in NMR spectroscopy.
Information From Wikipedia: Chloroform, or trichloromethane, is an organic compound with formula CHCl3. It is a colorless, sweet-smelling, dense liquid that is produced on a large scale as a precursor to PTFE. It is also a precursor to various refrigerants. It is one of the four chloromethanes and a trihalomethane. It is a powerful anesthetic, euphoriant, anxiolytic and sedative when inhaled or ingested.
Medicinal Uses: Chloroform is also used in the extraction of antibiotics, vitamins, and flavors, owing to its solvent property. Being 40 times sweeter than sugar, and because of its pain-relieving properties, it was used in toothpaste, mouthwash, and toothache-relieving medicines.
Laboratory Uses: Chloroform is used for the preservation of organic tissues in laboratories, such as anatomical specimens, as it prevents their decay. Chloroform has many applications in molecular biology like DNA extraction from cells, using an extraction buffer.
Industrial Use: Chloroform is used as a heat transfer medium in fire extinguishers, where it lowers the temperature of carbon tetrachloride. Chloroform serves as an intermediate in the production of dyes and pesticides like chloropicrin, and is used as a fumigant of stored-grain crops.
Organic (Phenol–Chloroform) Extraction Use: Organic (phenol–chloroform) extraction uses sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) and proteinase K for the enzymatic digestion of proteins and nonnucleic acid cellular components. A mixture of phenol:chloroform:isoamyl alcohol is then added to promote the partitioning of lipids and cellular debris into the organic phase, leaving isolated DNA in the aqueous phase. Following centrifugation, the aqueous phase containing the purified DNA can be transferred to a clean tube for analysis.
To learn about the social, medical and criminal history of chloroform, order the book titled "Chloroform: The Quest for Oblivion" on Amazon. Chloroform is a dangerously toxic substance.
How Much Does Chloroform Cost?
Chloroform is not an expensive solvent to purchase in the United States. A 4 liter bottle (1.06 gallons) of laboratory grade chloroform for chemistry work sells for $81 online at Lab Alley. A small bottle of chloroform for household or personal use is very affordable for most Americans. A 100ml bottle (3.39 ounces) of chloroform costs $24. A 5 gallon metal pail of chloroform for industrial use costs $270. High quality and high purity (99%) chloroform is not sold on Amazon.
Chloroform chemical formula is CHCl3 and its molar mass is 119.37 g mol-1. The molecule has the typical structure of a methane, which is the most related molecule due to chloroform is a methane where 3 hydrogen atoms has been substituted by 3 chloride atoms.
Chloroform is known to form as a by-product of water chlorination along with a range of other disinfection by-products and as such is commonly present in municipal tap water and swimming pools. Reported ranges vary considerably but are generally below the current health standard for total trihalomethanes of 100μg/L. Nonetheless, the presence of chloroform in drinking water at any concentration is considered controversial by some. To read the Occupational Health Guideline for chloroform, click here. To read the EPA Hazard Summary of Chloroform, click here.
Chloroform is a colorless liquid with and ethereal odor. Its density is 1.489 g mL-1 and its melting point is -63.5 ºC and its boiling point is 61.15 °C. It is slightly soluble in water and it is soluble in benzene, ditethylether and carbon tetrachloride.
Chloroform can harm the eyes, skin, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. Chloroform can be toxic if inhaled or swallowed. Exposure to chloroform may also cause cancer. Workers may be harmed from exposure to chloroform. Large amounts of chloroform can cause sores when the chloroform touches your skin.
Chloroform is suspected of causing cancer (i.e., carcinogenic) as per the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs. It is classified as an extremely hazardous substance in the United States as defined in Section 302 of the U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C. 11002), and is subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities that produce, store, or use it in significant quantities.
Chloroform was formerly used as an inhaled anesthetic during surgery, however, the main use of chloroform in USA industry is as asolvent. Around the glove, chloroform is also used in pesticide formulations, as a solvent for fats, oils, rubber, alkaloids, waxes, and resins, as a cleansing agent, grain fumigant, in fire extinguishers, and in the rubber industry. It is used as asolvent in organic chemistry, in photography and in making dyes, drugs and pesticides.
It is not illegal to have chloroform in America. According to U.S. regulations, it islegal to buy chloroform online from Lab Alley. Chloroform should be used with exteme caution because it can be harmful and fatal in someone is exposed to extremely large doses for an extended period of time.
Chloroform is used as a reagent, solvent and anesthetic. Chloroform is frequently mixed with Methanol for extraction and separation processes in laboratories. Industrially, chloroform is most often used as a precursor in the chemical reaction to create polytetrafluoroethylene, commonly known as "Teflon." Chloroform is frequently used in mixtures with phenol and isoamyl alcohol for RNA and DNA extraction processes. Chloroform is frequently used as a solvent in research laboratories because it is relatively unreactive, miscible with most organic liquids, and conveniently volatile. You’ve likely watched many movies where chloroform is used to knock people out in order to kidnap them or disable them for some other reason. It’s definitely good for that, but subversive maneuvers isn’t what it was originally made for. Originally it was used as an anesthetic to knock people out for surgery. Chloroform is also seen in pesticide formulas in countries outside the United States, as a solvent for several materials, as a grain fumigant, an ingredient in fire extinguishers to lower the freezing temperatures of carbon tetrachloride and other refrigerants, as well as in the rubber industry. Warning: Chloroform can daze or knock out people even when it's consumed in small doses. Chloroform should not be consumed. Chloroform (CHCl3) is dangerous due to its ability to depress the central nervous system.
Chloroform is used in the purification of some antibiotics, alkaloids, and vitamins. A small percentage is also sold as a laboratory reagent solvent for use as a reaction medium in the preparation of organic nitrogen compounds, acids, aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, ethers, and other fine chemicals. It is used as a chemical intermediate in the preparation of dyes, plastics, resins and pesticides. It can also be involved as an industrial solvent in photography and as a heat transfer medium in fire extinguishers. Phenol–chloroform extraction is a liquid-liquid extraction technique in molecular biology used to separate nucleic acids from proteins and lipids. Urine is purified by extraction with chloroform.
By the time the American Civil War broke out in 1861, both ether and chloroform had been in use for several years as methods of surgical anesthesia. Though both anesthetic agents were developed around the same time (the 1840s), chloroform soon emerged as the more widely used, as it took action faster and was non-flammable. During the Civil War, ether and particularly chloroform became indispensable tools for military doctors, who performed tens of thousands of amputations and other types of procedures for wounded Union and Confederate soldiers.
Also called trichloromethane, chloroform is prepared through the chlorination of methane gas. It was first prepared in 1831 by the American chemist Dr. Samuel Guthrie, who combined whiskey with chlorinated lime in an attempt to produce a cheap pesticide. In 1847, the Scottish physician Sir James Young Simpson first used the sweet-smelling, colorless, non-flammable liquid as an anesthetic. When administered by dripping the liquid onto a sponge or cloth held so that the patient inhaled the vapors, chloroform was seen to have narcotic effects on the central nervous system, and produced these effects relatively quickly.
On the other hand, there were higher risks associated with chloroform than with ether, and its administration required greater physician skill. There were early reports of fatalities due to chloroform, beginning with a 15-year-old girl in 1848. Skill and care were required to differentiate between an effective dose (enough to make patient insensible during surgery) and one that paralyzed the lungs, causing death. Fatalities were widely publicized, and the risks involved led some patients facing surgery to decline anesthesia and brave the pain. Still, use of chloroform spread quickly, and in 1853 it was famously administered to Britain’s Queen Victoria during the birth of her eighth child, Prince Leopold.
American military doctors began using ether as an anesthetic on the battlefield during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), and by 1849 it was officially issued by the U.S. Army. Though many army doctors and nurses had experience with using ether by the time of the Civil War, chloroform became more popular during that conflict, due to its faster-acting nature and a large number of positive reports of its usage during the Crimean War in the 1850s. During the Civil War, chloroform was used whenever it was available to reduce the pain and trauma of amputation or other procedures.
Usage of ether and chloroform later declined after the development of safer, more effective inhalation anesthetics, and they are no longer used in surgery today. Chloroform in particular came under attack in the 20th century, and was shown to be carcinogenic by ingestion in laboratory mice and rats. It is now used mainly in the preparation of fluorocarbons, used in aerosol propellants and refrigerants; it is also found in some cough and cold medicines, dental products (including toothpaste and mouthwashes), topical liniments and other products.
Chloroform Anesthesia Dosage
In 1848, Hannah Greener, a 15-year-old girl who was having an infected toenail removed, died after being given the anesthetic. Her autopsy establishing the cause of death was undertaken by John Fife assisted by Robert Mortimer Glover. A number of physically fit patients died after inhaling it. However, in 1848 John Snow developed an inhaler that regulated the dosage and so successfully reduced the number of deaths. In humans, a fatal oral dose of chloroform may be as low as 10 mL (14.8 g), with death due to respiratory or cardiac arrest. Chloroform is well-known for its anesthetic properties. If consumed in mild doses, it can daze or knock out the recipient. Read more about dosages of chloroform here.