Distribution

White sprit is widely distributed throughout the body. The aromatic hydrocarbon components of white spirit are generally more soluble in blood than the aliphatic and alicyclic hydrocarbon components (IPCS, 1996).

In seven volunteers exposed to 100 ppm white spirit (99% aliphatics) for six hours daily on five consecutive days, mathematical modelling was used to calculate the tissue concentrations during repeated doses over an extended period. The fat:blood partition coefficient was calculated as 47. The redistribution phase in adipose tissue in white spirit was approximately 20 hours for the first 5 exposures and shorter for subsequent exposures (Pedersen et al., 1987).

Wide distribution occurs from the blood to other tissues, mainly blood, brain and fat. Lof et al. (1999) found a fat:brain:blood tissue concentration coefficient of approximately 250:3:1 in rats after inhalation of de-aromatised white spirit. White spirit kinetics in all tissues were non-linear. The accumulation of both the individual aliphatic hydrocarbons and total de-aromatised white spirit in both brain and blood achieved steady state concentrations within the first week. However, concentrations of both individual hydrocarbons and total white spirit in fat increased throughout the three week period and steady state was not achieved.

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