Toluene (6N5CH3) - a colourless liquid with a disagreeable odor that is found in coal tar. Molecular weight 92,134, temperature melting 94,99°, temperature boiling 110,625°, at temperature 22 degrees in 1 l of water soluble 0,492 g toluene. Used as a solvent paints, thinners for varnishes, in the manufacture of explosives, dyes. Enters the body through the skin. In the body toluene is oxidized with formation of benzoic, the hippuric acid or glukuronidov. High concentrations of vapours of toluene may be narcotic. Toluene effect on the nervous system stronger than benzene, but considerably weaker than benzene affects the blood.
Acute exposure to toluene possible in emergency situations. The main symptoms: headache, dizziness, nausea, frequent small pulse, a drop in blood pressure. In severe cases convulsions, loss of consciousness, collapse. The known deaths in the paralysis of the higher nervous departments when exposed to high concentrations of toluene.
The clinical picture of chronic poisoning (the effect of concentration 5-10 times higher than MPC) is characterized by headache, dizziness, General weakness, fatigue, increased nervous irritability, nausea, discomfort and pain in the heart region; often there are nosebleeds. In the peripheral blood there is change of white and red blood (a reduction in the number of red blood cells, change their size and shape, lymphocytes, left shift leukocytic formula, you may decrease or increase in the total number of white blood cells). Women may be disrupted menstrual-ovarian cycle. Sometimes there is a dryness, cracks, dermatitis. MAC toluene 50 mg/m3.
Prevention of poisoning toluene, first aid and treatment - see Gasoline, Benzene. Cm. also Aromatic hydrocarbons.