Toxicology of Specific Groups of Substances
Published Online: 15 DEC 2009
Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
General, Applied and Systems Toxicology
How to Cite
Leira, H. L., Fonnum, F. and Syversen, T. 2009. Organic Solvents. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology.
- Published Online: 15 DEC 2009
This chapter describes the exposure, absorption, metabolism and toxic effects, particularly effects to the nervous system, of organic solvents. Since both occupational and domestic exposure is usually to mixtures of individual solvents rather than to single compounds, the metabolic interaction of solvents is addressed, as well as toxic effects of mixtures. Organic solvents have many clinical effects in common, but some solvents have individual effects, for example, the polyneuropathy induced by n-hexane, leukaemia induced by benzene and ventricular fibrillation induced by chlorinated solvents. Such effects, as well as particular metabolic profiles are described in individual sections on aliphatic solvents (chlorinated and nonchlorinated), alicyclic and aromatic solvents, alcohols and glycol ethers. Future challenges include exposure assessment, particularly with regard to occupational exposure. Furthermore, the mechanisms underlying the effects of organic solvents on the central nervous system are still not clear. Further work is also needed regarding carcinogenic properties, the role of genetic polymorphisms and possible immunotoxicological effects.
- organic solvents;
- mixed function oxidase;
- occupational exposure