Agent Name

Xylene isomers

Alternative Name

Dimethylbenzene

CAS Number

1330-20-7; 95-47-6; 108-38-3; 106-42-3

Formula

C8-H10

Major Category

Solvents

Synonyms

Benzene, dimethyl-; Dimethylbenzene; Ksylen [Polish]; Methyl toluene; Methyltoluene; Violet 3; Xiloli [Italian]; Xylenen [Dutch]; Xylenes; Xylol; Xylole [German]; [ChemIDplus]; includes m-xylene (108-38-3), o-xylene (95-47-6), p-xylene (106-42-3); UN1307

Category

Aromatic Solvents

Description

Colorless liquid with an aromatic odor; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used as a solvent in paints, coatings, and rubber cement; used as a chemical intermediate; [ACGIH] Used in photography (color retouching); [www.ci.tucson.az.us/arthazards/medium.html]

Comments

Temporary memory loss, confusion, and laboratory evidence of liver injury have been reported in workers overexposed to xylene. [ACGIH] There is limited evidence that xylene can increase spontaneous abortions in exposed workers and birth defects in experimental animals. [ATSDR Case Studies #29] Xylene is in the list of "Some volatile substances which may be abused by inhalation" published on the web site of the U.N. International Drug Control Programme, indicating its potential to cause narcosis in workers. [Flanagan et al. Volatile Substance Abuse] A skin and eye irritant; Inhalation of high concentrations may cause CNS effects; [ICSC]

Reference Link

ATSDR Medical Management - Xylene

Exposure Assessment
BEI

Methylhippuric acids in urine = 1.5 g/g creatinine; end of shift; This BEI is for technical or commercial grades of xylenes;

Skin Designation (ACGIH)

No

TLV (ACGIH)

100 ppm

STEL (ACGIH)

150 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

100 ppm

MAK

100 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

900 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

It has been reported that 1,000 ppm for 5 minutes or less will probably allow self­rescue with no irreversible injury [ANSI 1971]. Volunteers found 200 ppm to be definitely irritating to the eyes, nose, and throat [Nelson et al. 1943]. Reaction time was not affected in 23 volunteers exposed to 100 or 200 ppm for 3 to 7 hours [Ogata et al. 1970]. No noticeable changes in reaction time or short­term memory tests were seen in 15 volunteers exposed to 100 or 300 ppm for 70 minutes [Gamberale et al. 1978].

Vapor Pressure

6.5 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

0.08 ppm

Odor Threshold High

40 ppm

RD50

1467 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 5,000 ppm/4H

Explanatory Notes

Detection odor threshold from AIHA (mean = 20 ppm); VP = approximately 6-6.5 mm Hg at 20 deg C; [CHEMINFO] The exposure limits apply to all isomers.

Half Life

Whole body: 20-30 hours (longer if significant fat deposition); [TDR, p. 1236]

Reference Link

ATSDR - ToxFAQs - Xylene

Flammability (NFPA)

3: May ignite at ambient temperature

Adverse Effects
Reproductive Toxin

Yes

Neurotoxin

CNS Solvent Syndrome

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

IARC Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

ACGIH Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

Search PubMed

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure:

Activities

Activities with risk of exposure: