Hexanen Hexane

Nicola Bates SUMMARY

• Hexane is absorbed orally and by inhalation; there is limited information on dermal absorption

• Relatively low acute toxicity; causes mild irritation and CNS depression

• Chronic exposure may result in peripheral polyneuropathy, characteristically a distal, symmetrical sensiomotor polyneuropathy

• Neurotoxicity is due to the main metabolite (2,5-hexanedione, a y-diketone compound) and not n-hexane itself

• Insidious onset of clinical effects; there is deterioration after removal from exposure before gradual improvement

• Depending on the severity of exposure, neurotoxicity usually has a good outcome, but recovery may be slow

• Co-exposure to other solvents (e.g., methyl ethyl ketone) potentiates the toxicity of n-hexane

• Urinary concentrations of 2,5-hexanedione may be used for biomonitoring

• There is limited information on the carcinogenicity, genotoxicity and reproductive toxicity of n-hexane

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