• fetal alcohol syndrome;
  • benzene;
  • xylene;
  • toluene;
  • glycol;
  • glycol ethers


Increasing exposure of pregnant mothers to various industrial solvents due to voluntary abuse or involuntary exposure in the work place is raising the possibility of production of teratological effects in the offsprings. Ethanol, which can be broadly categorized as a solvent and which is also extensively abused, is well known for its teratological deragements in humans, termed as “fetal alcohol syndrome” as well as in animals. Benzene and its derivatives (xylene and toluene), alcohols, glycols and glycol ethers, and other solvents have also been reported to produce various types of teratogenic effects in animal (e.g., mice, rats, and rabbits) studies. In the case of toluene, some teratogenic anomalies have been reported in three children of mothers exposed to pure toluene vapor throughout the pregnancy.