[ Planter ] [Cobwebs] [Cobwebs Archive]

Household Solvents

Credit:  U.S.E.P.A. Great Lakes Region 5, Virtual Household Ecology 
Toluene (also known as toluol or methylbenzene) and xylene (also known as xylol 
or dimethylbenzene) are aromatic hydrocarbons found around the home in paints, 
paint and varnish removers, degreasers, cleaners, lacquers, glues, nail polish, 
and cement. Because of their excellent ability to dissolve substances, they are 
often used in insecticides and other pesticides to dissolve the active 
Toluene and xylene are volatile, flammable, and toxic.
Toluene and xylene are irritating to the skin and respiratory tract and may 
cause liver damage. 
These aromatic hydrocarbons enter your system through 
inhalation and ingestion, but are poorly absorbed by the skin. The target organs 
attacked by toluene and xylene are the central nervous system, eyes, liver, 
kidneys, and skin.
Toluene and xylene are narcotic in high concentrations. 
Intentional inhaling of these substances can cause headache, giddiness, and a 
transient euphoria followed by depression. Hallucinations may occur, especially 
following chronic exposure. Neurological damage occurs from concentrated 
inhalation of these fumes.
Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, confusion, 
headache, tearing, nervousness, muscular fatigue, insomnia, dermatitis, an 
intolerance of light. 
Go to Center for Disease Control and look in their 'Data and Statistics' section
for the HazDat database to find your favorite toxic brew.