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Journal of Medical Toxicology

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 115–126 | Cite as

Epidemiology, toxicokinetics, and health effects of methyltert-butyl ether (MTBE)

  • Scott Phillips
  • Robert B. Palmer
  • Aaron Brody
Toxicology Reviews

Abstract

This paper reviews the published information assessing the kinetics and potential for adverse health effects related to exposure to the fuel oxygenate, methyltert-butyl ether (MTBE). Data were obtained from previously published reports, using human data where possible. If human data were not available, animal studies were cited. The kinetic profile of MTBE in humans is similar for ingestion and inhalation. The concentrations of MTBE to which the general public is expected to be exposed are orders of magnitude below concentrations that have caused adverse health effects in animals. Controlled human studies have not replicated early epidemiology studies that suggested, but did not confirm, a possible association between MTBE exposure and nonspecific health complaints.

Keywords

MTBE toxicokinetics epidemiology t-butanol metabolism oxygenate reformulated gasoline oxyfuel 

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Copyright information

© American College of Medical Toxicology 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Phillips
    • 1
  • Robert B. Palmer
    • 2
  • Aaron Brody
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Pharmacology & ToxicologyUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug CenterDenver
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, Toxicology SectionUniversity of Colorado School of Medicine, Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug CenterDenver
  3. 3.Hadassah-Hebrew University HospitalJerusalemIsrael

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