Exposure Assessment Report: Risks to Toluene Exposure and Adverse Health Outcomes

33 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2013

Date Written: December 5, 2012


This report provides an exposure assessment for the chemical methylbenzene, which is commonly known as toluene. Toluene is a very common ingredient used among chemical and petroleum companies, thus increasing the likelihood of occupational and non-occupational exposures. Inhalation of toluene from air is the most common route of exposure. Exposure to toluene (C7H8) can lead to effects of the central nervous system, kidneys, and to areas concerning reproduction and development. Toluene exposure to women during pregnancy may lead to fetal solvent syndrome (FSS), which encompasses a range of development abnormalities such as neurobehavioral delays and large fontanelle. Toluene abuse and certain occupations (e.g. electric assembly plants) are at high risk of reaching exposure levels that may develop irreversible damage. Solvent abuse is not a rare practice and public awareness and future intervention strategies must be established in order to prevent future toluene abusers. From the occupational perspective, toluene is a ubiquitous industrial chemical and so possibilities of avoiding occupational exposures are limited. Future studies must focus on strategies that certain industries may implement in order to minimize any unnecessary health hazards and prevent adverse health outcomes.

Keywords: toluene, health, outcomes, effects, adverse health, occupational, solvent abuse, FSS, fetal solvent syndrome, methylbenzene, health hazard, health hazards, occupational exposure, solvent abuse

JEL Classification: I10, I18, I28, I31

Suggested Citation

Ciechanowski, Peter, Exposure Assessment Report: Risks to Toluene Exposure and Adverse Health Outcomes (December 5, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2312788 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2312788

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