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Neurobehavioral effects of acute exposure to aromatic hydrocarbons

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Author: McKee, R.H. · Lammers, J.H.C.M. · Muijser, H. · Owen, D.E. · Kulig, B.M.
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:International Journal of Toxicology, 3, 29, 277-290
Identifier: 364409
Keywords: Biology · Biomedical Research · Aromatic hydrocarbon · Central nervous system depression · Neurotoxicology · Occupational exposure limits · Trimethyl benzene


This article reports the results of neurobehavioral tests on representative aromatic constituents, specifically C<sub>9</sub> to C<sub>11</sub> species. The testing evaluated effects in several domains including clinical effects, motor activity, functional observations, and visual discrimination performance. Exposures ranging from 600 to 5000 mg/m<sup>3</sup>, depending on the molecular weights of the specific aromatic constituents, produced minor, reversible effects on the central nervous system (CNS), particularly in the domains of gait and visual discrimination. There was little evidence of effects at lower exposure levels. There was some evidence of respiratory effects at 5000 mg/m<sup>3</sup> in 1 study, and there were also minor changes in body weight and temperature. The CNS effects became less pronounced with repeated exposures, corresponding to lower concentrations in the brain of 1 representative substance, 1,2,4-trimethyl benzene (TMB). At high exposure levels, the alkyl benzenes apparently induced their own metabolism, increasing elimination rates. © 2010 The Author(s).