Agent Name

Menthol

CAS Number

89-78-1

Formula

C10-H20-O

Major Category

Biological Agents

Synonyms

(1R,2S,5R)-Menthol; 5-Methyl-2-(1-methylethyl)cyclohexanol, (1alpha,2beta,5alpha)-; Headache crystals; Hexahydrothymol; Menthacamphor; Menthol (VAN); Menthol natural; Menthol natural, brazilian; Menthomenthol; Peppermint camphor; Tra-kill tracheal mite killer; p-Menthan-3-ol; [ChemIDplus]

Category

Plant Oils and Extracts

Description

White solid with a cooling odor; [Hawley] Colorless solid with a peppermint odor; [HSDB] Colorless solid with a sweet odor; [MSDSonline]

Sources/Uses

Found in peppermint oil and other mint oils; [Merck Index] Used as flavoring/fragrance agent in toothpastes, mouthwashes, pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, aerosol room fresheners, cosmetics, liqueurs, confectionary, and perfumes; Also used as a topical antipruritic and in cough drops and inhalers; [HSDB] Used in Canada to control mites and in Europe in paints and lacquers, adhesives, metal care products, cleaning products, shoe and leather polishes, disinfectants, solvents, repellents, and animal care products; [eChemPortal: SIDSUNEP] Peppermint oil contains menthol, menthone, and more than 30 other chemicals. It is widely used as a flavoring agent and herbal remedy. [Haddad, p. 1439]

Comments

A mucous membrane irritant; [Hawley] Emergency treatment: "Peppermint oil"; [HSDB] A skin, eye, mucous membrane, and upper respiratory tract irritant; [CAMEO] A mild to moderate skin and eye irritant; [eChemPortal: SIDSUNEP] Peppermint oil causes CNS depression and hypothermia in rat feeding studies; Menthol causes ataxia, seizures, and respiratory depression in lethal dose studies of rats; It causes kidney damage and cystic lesions of the cerebellum in chronic studies; [Haddad, p. 1439] Included in list of "established contact allergens in humans"; [ToxPlanet: EC: Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety: Fragrance allergens in cosmetic products (2011)] An irritant; May cause serious eye injury; [MSDSonline] See "l-Menthol" and "d-Menthol."

Reference Link

Contact sensitivity to menthol and peppermint in patients with intra-oral symptoms.

Exposure Assessment
WEEL

1 ppm, STEL = 3 ppm (OARS WEEL)

Vapor Pressure

0.06 mm Hg

Adverse Effects
Skin Sensitizer

Yes

Neurotoxin

CNS Solvent Syndrome

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: