Agent Name

Safrole

CAS Number

94-59-7

Formula

C10-H10-O2

Major Category

Biological Agents

Synonyms

1,2-Methylenedioxy-4-allylbenzene; 1,3-Benzodioxole, 5-(2-propenyl)-; 1,3-Benzodioxole, 5-allyl-; 1-Allyl-3,4-methylenedioxybenzene; 3,4-(Methylenedioxy)allylbenzene; 4-Allyl-1,2-methylenedioxybenzene; 5-(2-Propenyl)-1,3-benzodioxole; 5-Allyl-1,3-benzodioxole; Allylcatechol methylene ether; Allyldioxybenzene methylene ether; Allylpyrocatechol methylene ether; Benzene, 1,2-methylenedioxy-4-allyl-; Benzene, 4-allyl-1,2-(methylenedioxy)-; Rhyuno oil; Safrene; Safrol; Safrole MF; Sassafras; Shikimole; Shikomol; m-Allylpyrocatechin methylene ether; [ChemIDplus]

Category

Plant Toxins

Description

Colorless or slightly yellow liquid with an odor of sassafras; mp ~ 11 deg C; [Merck Index] Colorless or pale yellow liquid or solid; mp = 11.2 deg C; [HSDB] Clear yellow-green liquid; [MSDSonline]

Sources/Uses

Found in various essential oils (highest concentration in sassafras); [Merck Index] Used as a fragrance, preservative in mucilage and library paste, floatation frother, antiseptic, and to denature fats in soap manufacture and to make heliotropin and piperonyl butoxide; Formerly used as a flavoring agent in foods, drugs, and beverages; [HSDB]

Comments

Safrole is the toxic agent in sassafras oil; Safrole is classified as 2B (possible human carcinogen) by IARC; Safrole is metabolized in the body to 1'-hydroxysafrole; Ingestion of 5 ml of sassafras oil can cause severe symptoms (tachycardia, hypotension, and respiratory paralysis) or death; Large doses may damage the liver; Drinking 10 cups of sassafras tea caused sweating in one adult subject; Emergency treatment: "Sassafras oil"; [HSDB] A skin irritant; Targets the liver; [MSDSonline]

Exposure Assessment
Vapor Pressure

0.06 mm Hg

Adverse Effects
Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

IARC Carcinogen

Possible Carcinogen

NTP Carcinogen

Anticipated Human Carcinogen

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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Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: