Turpentine

CAS RN: 8006-64-2

Toxicity Summary

IDENTIFICATION AND USE: Turpentine is a colorless liquid with a characteristic penetrating odor sharpening with age. Typical composition from USA Southern Pine: alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, camphene, and other terpenes. It is used as chemical feedstock for the manufacture of floor, furniture, shoe, and automotive polishes, camphor, cleaning materials; inks, putty , mastics, cutting and grinding fluids; paint thinners; resins, and degreasing solutions. Turpentine was formerly the most widely used paint thinner. There continues to be significant demand among professional painters for the use of turpentine as a solvent, thinner, cleaner, and storage medium for paints, varnishes, and painting equipment. It also has utility as a solvent for various resins, polishes, and waxes. Turpentine is employed in liniments, perfumery, and in the synthesis of camphor and menthol. It is also used in expectorant formulations, and as constituent of stimulating ointments. Turpentine was formerly used as an ingredient in many ointments, liniments, and lotions for treating minor aches and pains as well as colds, and is considered to be a veterinary medication. It is registered for pesticide use in the U.S. but approved pesticide uses may change periodically and so federal, state and local authorities must be consulted for currently approved uses. HUMAN EXPOSURE AND TOXICITY: Vapor is irritating to eyes, nose, and throat. If inhaled, will cause nausea, vomiting, headache, difficult breathing, or loss of consciousness. Liquid irritates skin. If ingested, can irritate the entire digestive system, and may injure kidneys. If liquid is taken into lungs, causes severe pneumonitis. Men exposed to concentrations of 720-1100 ppm complain of chest pain, and vision disturbances. Turpentine is a skin irritant and skin contact may cause eczema. Workers in the chemical, rubber and welding industries exposed to turpentine have developed contact dermatoses. In humans, chronic inhalation of turpentine has caused extensive glomerulonephritis. Chronic dermal contact may cause allergic erythema, headaches, coughing, and sleeplessness. At lower concentrations, pronounced anemia occurs occasionally. Two case reports are presented in which thrombocytopenic purpura was possibly induced by turpentine. ANIMAL STUDIES: The cornea was rendered opaque in rabbits by injection of turpentine into corneal stroma; within 2 days after injection the amount of hexosamine in the cornea was found to be considerably diminished. Immediate mucous membrane irritation, particularly was noted in the eyes of cats exposed to 540-720 ppm for a few hours. Subconjunctival injection of turpentine in one case caused phthisis bulbi. Injection into anterior chamber of animals causes fibrinopurulent inflammation with corneal opacification from endothelial injury and infiltration of leukocytes. In rabbits, intradermal injection of turpentine in peanut oil produced erythematosis and granulocytes in connective tissue, which did not clear up in 48 hr. After 9 days, anastomosis, round-cell infiltration, and evidence of connective tissue remodeling were noted. Signs of acute turpentine intoxication /in rats/ included ataxia, tremor, convulsions, tachypnea, decreased tidal volume and death due to sudden apnea. No pulmonary lesions could be seen at necropsy. Tissue analysis found the highest concentration of turpentine components in the spleen and brain. Turpentine oil has been reported to promote tumor development on rabbit but not mouse skin. Turpentine is used in an experimental animal model to induce systemic inflammatory immune response. Endocrine and immunotoxic effects have been described. In developmental studies in rats growth of the fetus was delayed, but no effects on neonate body size were reported. Neuronal as well as glial cytoarchitecture of control and solvent exposed rats were similar throughout the study. All groups showed cerebral molecular layers containing few cellular nuclei. Pyramid-shaped neurons were arranged as laminar arrays at the middle cortex layer and revealed large ascendent dendritic projections toward the plial/glial region. Granular and pleomorphic neurons were present at lower layers of cerebral cortex. No histological alterations were seen in the cerebral cortex of the newborn rats. ECOTOXICITY STUDIES: In avian species, erythroblastosis has been observed. Penaeid shrimp given im abdominal injections were highly sensitive to turpentine. Induced cellular inflammatory response was fibrous scar tissue in all tissues, early gill and hepatopancreas tissue destruction, and extensive heart and abdominal tissue destruction.
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