U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

Dense Nonaqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs)

Environmental Occurrence

Halogenated Alkenes

trans 1,2-Dichloroethene

trans 1,2-dichloroethylenetrans 1,2-dichloroethene (trans-DCE) is typically used in industry as a mixture of the trans and cis isomers of DCE. It has been and may continue to be used as a general solvent for organic materials, dye extraction, perfumes, lacquers, thermoplastics, and organic synthesis (Lewis 2001). Its use in the United States is limited because it poses a potential fire hazard (Bingham et al. 2001). The EPA Toxics Release Inventory contains information on 16 facilities that reported the release through air emissions of a total of 5,521 pounds of DCE in 2005.

trans-DCE is widely distributed in the environment as a byproduct of the biodegradation of tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene (TCE), two of the most commonly reported organic compounds found at Superfund sites. Most of the trans-DCE found in the environment is due to the biodegradation of these two chemicals.

trans-DCE is among the 15 most commonly detected volatile organic compounds found in drinking water above maximum contaminant levels (Zorgorski et al. 2006). TCE and trans-DCE were the eighth most frequently occurring pairs of chemicals detected in this study.

The U.S. Geological Survey produces reports on the occurrence of contaminants like trans-DCE in localities throughout the United States, including large water basins, as part of the National Water Quality Assessment Program.

For Further Information

The 2005 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Public Data Release Report

Certain classes of businesses report on their releases of pollution to EPA, which compiles the data in the TRI.

Handbook of Environmental Fate and Exposure Data for Organic Chemicals, Volume II: Solvents
P. Howard. Lewis Publishers, 1991, 546 pp

This handbook is a compilation of physical, chemical, fate, and transport information on selected organic chemicals.

Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 14th Edition
Lewis, R. (ed.)
John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2001

This dictionary contains information on chemicals and chemical terms.

Patty's Toxicology, 5th Edition
Bingham, E., B. Cohrssen, and C. Powell
John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2001

This dictionary contains a compilation of industrial toxicology information and data on selected chemicals.

Adobe PDF LogoThe Quality of Our Nation's Waters: Volatile Organic Compounds in the Nation's Ground Water and Drinking-Water Supply Wells
Zogorski, John, Janet M. Carter, Tamara Ivahnenko, Wayne W. Lapham, Michael J. Moran, Barbara L. Rowe, Paul J. Squillace, and Patricia L. Toccalino
U.S. Geological Survey, USGS Circular 1292, 2006, 1112 pp

This report summarizes the findings of an investigation of aquifers that supply drinking water to the public. The purpose of the investigation was to determine the presence or absence of 55 volatile organic chemicals in the aquifers.