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Early biochemical alterations in rat liver following carbon tetrachloride intoxication.

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Biochemistry.
  • Chemistry
  • Design
  • Philosophy


Carbon tetrachloride (tetrachloromethane, CCl4) was discovered in 1839 by the French chemist and physician, H. V. Regnault, as a product of the action of chlorine upon chloroform in sunlight (1). It is almost insoluble in water, but is miscible with chloroform, alcohol, ether and benzene (1, 2, 3). Its non-flammability and low cost are the chief factors combining to make CC14 one of the most widely-used volatile solvents today. Hardin (1) has prepared an interesting review which traces the history of CC14 through its various applications and uses. For approximately 12 years (1865-67), CCl4 had a short and unhappy trial as an anaesthetic, and was proven to be inferior to chloroform in this capacity.

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