Perchloroethylene (or Tetrachloroethylene) is widely used for dry-cleaning fabrics and metal degreasing operations. Effects resulting from acute (short term) high-level inhalation exposure of humans to Perchloroethylene include irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes, kidney dysfunction, and neurological effects such as reversible mood and behavioral changes, impairment of coordination, dizziness, headache, sleepiness, and unconsciousness.
The primary effects from chronic (long term) inhalation exposure are neurological, including impaired cognitive and motor neurobehavioral performance. Perchloroethylene exposure may also cause adverse effects in the kidney, liver, immune system and hematologic system, and on development and reproduction. Studies of people exposed in the workplace have found associations with several types of cancer including bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma.
EPA has classified Perchloroethylene as likely to be carcinogenic to humans