CAS RN: 8006-64-2

Health Effects

    • A) USES: Turpentine has been often used as a paint thinner and solvent. In the past, it had been used as a diuretic and expectorant.
    • B) TOXICOLOGY: Turpentine is an aliphatic hydrocarbon. Turpentine contains alpha-pinene as its primary constituent as well as beta-pinene, camphene, and limonene. Turpentine oil readily absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract or by inhalation.
    • C) EPIDEMIOLOGY: Exposure has occurred; fatalities have been reported. However, turpentine oil has been largely been replaced with white spirit or a turpentine substitute which are of relatively low toxicity when ingested.
      • 1) INGESTION: Ingestion is the most significant route of exposure. SYMPTOMS: Turpentine can produce burning, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, tachycardia, dyspnea, cyanosis and fever. Severe ingestions can cause glycosuria, hematuria, albuminuria, anuria, excitement, delirium, ataxia, vertigo, stupor, seizures and coma. A significant ingestion can lead to CNS depression that progresses from mild symptoms (ie, headache, dizziness and blurry vision) to lethargy and coma. ONSET: Usually 2 to 3 hours for systemic toxicity to develop. DURATION: GI and CNS symptoms generally resolve within 12 hours in patients with a moderate exposure. SEVERE EVENTS: Primary toxicity is due to the potential risk of aspiration causing a chemical pneumonitis; respiratory insufficiency and failure can develop.
      • 2) INHALATION: Inhalation of vapors may produce respiratory irritation. High vapor concentrations can cause mucous membrane irritation, hyperpnea, vertigo, tachycardia, headache, hallucinations, distorted perceptions, and seizures. PULMONARY EFFECT: Aspiration pneumonitis, pulmonary necrosis, pneumatocele or pulmonary edema can develop after ingestion, parenteral exposure, or the use of turpentine as a vaginal douche.
      • 3) DERMAL: Turpentine is absorbed through the skin. Topical application produces a rubefacient effect, with redness, warmth, blisters and burns. Long term or repeated exposure can result in irritation. Some turpentine preparations can cause contact dermatitis.
      • 4) OCULAR: Ocular exposure to liquid turpentine causes conjunctivitis, lid edema, and blepharospasm. Allergy has been reported.
      • 5) OTHER: Hemorrhagic cystitis has been associated with turpentine use. Turpentine exposure can produce the odor of violets in urine.
  • A) The use of turpentine and water as a vaginal douche has resulted in abortion.
    • A) IARC Carcinogenicity Ratings for CAS8006-64-2 (International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 2016; International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2015; IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 2010; IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 2010a; IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 2008; IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 2007; IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 2006; IARC, 2004):
      • 1) Not Listed
    • A) The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has indicated that there is inadequate evidence for carcinogenicity of d-limonene (a constituent of turpentine oil) in humans. There is, however, evidence for carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Overall, the working group concluded that d-limonene produces renal tubular tumors in male rats by the non-DNA reactive alpha2u-globulin-associated responses that are not relevant to humans (National Toxicology Program (NTP), 2002). IARC has classified d-limonene (a constituent of turpentine) as a Group 3 chemical: not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 2016)
  • A) At the time of this review, no genotoxicity studies were found for turpentine (National Toxicology Program (NTP), 2002).
  • B) d-Limonene, a constituent of turpentine, was not mutagenic in 4 strains of Salmonella typhimurium or in the mouse lymphoma L5178Y/TK+/- assay (National Toxicology Program (NTP), 2002).
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