Agent Name

Hydroquinone

Alternative Name

Dihydroxybenzene

CAS Number

123-31-9

Formula

C6-H6-O2

Major Category

Other Classes

Synonyms

1,4-Benzenediol; 1,4-Dihydroxy-benzeen [Dutch]; 1,4-Dihydroxy-benzol [German]; 1,4-Dihydroxybenzen [Czech]; 1,4-Dihydroxybenzene; 1,4-Diidrobenzene [Italian]; 4-Hydroxyphenol; Arctuvin; Benzene, p-dihydroxy-; Benzohydroquinone; Benzoquinol; Black and White Bleaching Cream; Derma-Blanch; Diak 5; Eldopaque; Eldopaque Forte; Eldoquin; Eldoquin Forte; HE 5; Hidroquinone; Hydrochinon [Czech, Polish]; Hydroquinol; Hydroquinole; Hydroquinone; Idrochinone [Italian]; Phiaquin; Pyrogentistic acid; Quinol; Solaquin Forte; Tecquinol; Tenox HQ; Tequinol; p-Benzenediol; p-Dihydroxybenzene; p-Dioxybenzene; p-Hydroquinone; p-Hydroxyphenol; para-Dihydroxybenzene; para-Dioxybenzene; para-Hydroquinone; [ChemIDplus] UN2662

Category

Phenols

Description

Light-tan, light-gray, or colorless crystals; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used as a developer (photographic & lithographic), stabilizer in paints and oils, polymerization inhibitor, and chemical intermediate. [ACGIH] Used as a photo developer, oil and fat antioxidant, chemical intermediate, topical medication, and inhibitor of vinyl acetate and acrylic polymerization; [HSDB]

Comments

Workers exposed to high concentrations developed corneal ulcers. [ACGIH] Animals exposed to lethal doses have convulsions and methemoglobinemia. [HSDB] Can cause leukoderma (depigmentation of skin); [LaDou, p. 328] Allergic contact dermatitis in photographers; [Marks] Allergic contact dermatitis reported in developers of photographs, x-rays, and microfilms; also reported in dental technicians; [Kanerva, p. 1802] Severe eye irritant; [ICSC] Induces genetic damage in germ cells of humans or animals (3A); [MAK]

Reference Link

Occupational dermatoses at a film laboratory. Follow-up after modernization

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TLV (ACGIH)

1 mg/m3

PEL (OSHA)

2 mg/m3

IDLH (NIOSH)

50 mg/m3

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Human data: It has been reported that 5 to 12 grams is the lethal oral dose [Zeidman and Deutel 1945]. [Note: An oral dose of 5 to 12 grams is equivalent to a worker being exposed to 3,333 to 8,000 mg/m3 for 30 minutes, assuming a breathing rate of 50 liters per minute and 100% absorption.]

Vapor Pressure

0.00067 mm Hg

Explanatory Notes

Flash point = 329 deg F;

Reference Link

ICSC: Hydroquinone

Adverse Effects
Skin Sensitizer

Yes

Methemoglobinemia

Methemoglobinemia, Secondary

IARC Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

ACGIH Carcinogen

Confirmed Animal

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: