Toluene Formulated Product
Research shows that about 99% of total humans are exposed to benzene by inhalation from car exhaust and cigarette smoke (Anderson & Loomis, 2003). Benzene carcinogen potential shows that is has no safe levels and is known for its high risk of causing leukemia (Environmental Protection Agency, 2009). Putting these factors into consideration, 1.2% of benzene can be used in the formulation of the product (Anderson & Loomis, 2003).
Considering that toluene is more tolerant than benzene and the effects of toluene exposure are not as fatal as of benzene, it is safe to say that the formulated product is safe to use.
The formulated product is safe to use only under low exposures due to the presence and concentration of toluene as the only hazardous ingredient.
Prevention from toluene intoxication
Proper ventilation is the most important aspect to avoid toluene intoxication. Workers exposed to toluene should not work for more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. It is necessary to use the least quantity of toluene product that will effectively get the job done. One can substitute cleaning and degreasing applications with water-based materials that do not contain toluene.
Inhaling low levels of toluene can cause tiredness, confusion, weakness, memory loss, drunken-type actions, nausea and loss of appetite, hearing and vision loss. High levels of toluene inhalation can cause light-headedness, sleepiness and nausea. Long periods of exposure to high levels of toluene can affect the CNS (Central Nervous System), cause liver and kidney damage and even death.
Storage of the formulated product
Toluene should be kept off heat or ignition sources, direct sun energy and children. Proper handling is administered to avoid accidents like eye contact. If this happens, flush eyes with cold running water for 15minutes. Label toluene containers especially those containing undiluted toluene and store in proper storage places. Clean spills using sand or clay or leave little spills to dry.
Discarding of the product
Wear protective clothing like chemical goggles, face-shield and neoprene gloves when handling and disposing toluene. RSR (Regional Safety Representative) may be contacted for more specific information concerning personal protection and equipment disposal. Do not burn or burry toluene containers (Environmental Protection Agency, 2009).
Toluene has low carcinogen potential as compared to benzene; therefore, in my opinion, toluene is a satisfactory substitute for benzene.
Anderson, C. E., & Loomis, G. A. (2003). Recognition and prevention of inhalant abuse. American family physician, 68(5), 869-874.
Environmental Protection Agency. (2009, September). Toxicological review of toulene. Washington D.C., U S A: EPA.
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