Studies on the toxicity and maximum allowable concentration of chloroform

Biomed Environ Sci. 1993 Jun;6(2):179-86.


Chloroform has obvious hepato-, nephro-toxicity and carcinogenicity. In order to get necessary data for recommendation of maximum allowable concentration of chloroform in workplace, a series of studies were carried out. The results showed that exposed workers mainly distributed in the industries of perspex processing, production of refrigerants, drugs and pesticides. The exposure level ranged 4.27-147.91 mg/m3 in 119 air samples collected from 3 representative worksites, with 45.4% air samples below 20 mg/m3. The workers exposed to chloroform at 29.51 mg/m3 had slight liver damage indicated by the higher rates of abnormal serum prealbumin and transferrin levels than those of control workers. The neurobehavioral functions of these workers were also obviously affected, manifested as increases in scores of passive mood states and dose-related negative changes in neurobehavioral testing. The observed effect threshold concentration of subacute inhalation in rats was 592 mg/m3 according to the observation on the biochemical changes in liver tissue and abnormal activities of serum enzymes. Mainly based on the above results, we recommended 20 mg/m3 as the Maximum Allowable Concentration in workplace in China at present.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China
  • Chloroform / adverse effects
  • Chloroform / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / physiology
  • Male
  • Maximum Allowable Concentration
  • Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*


  • Chloroform