Cinnaminson, NJ, June 9th, 2015
Toluene (C7H8) is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that is widely used in a number of industrial processes. It is a clear, colorless liquid with a strong, sweet and pungent odor that occurs naturally in crude oil.
It is also produced in the process of making gasoline, coke from coal and other fuels from crude oil. Toluene is used to make numerous products such as paints, paint thinners, fingernail polish, spot removers, lacquers, adhesives, rubber, antifreeze, and even in some printing and leather tanning processes. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the largest industrial use of toluene is in the production of benzene, which is a chemical used to make plastics and synthetic fibers. Toluene is also used to boost the octane of gasoline.
In occupational settings, workers can be exposed to toluene by breathing contaminated air or through skin contact. Others can be exposed to toluene both indoors and outdoors by breathing automobile exhaust, pumping gasoline, consuming contaminated foods or water, or using other products that contain toluene, such as kerosene, heating oil, paints and lacquers.
Exposure to low to moderate levels of toluene can cause tiredness, confusion, weakness, memory loss, nausea, loss of appetite along with hearing and color vision loss. Exposure to high levels can result in unconsciousness and even death.
“Toluene has been listed since 1991 on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that the central nervous system is the primary target organ for toluene toxicity in humans for both short-term and long-term exposures.”
EMSL provides sampling supplies and testing solutions to identify toluene; toluene-2, 4-diisocyanate (2,4-TDI); and toluene-2,6-diisocyanate (2,6-TDI). EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about toluene exposure risks that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/qcwtP1TOIME.
To learn more about toluene testing or other occupational, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.