Toluene is also known as methylbenzene, phenylmethane, toluol, methylbenzol, and methacide. It is used as raw material in the production of benzene and other organic solvents; as a solvent, especially for paints, coatings, gums, oils, and resins; and as a gasoline component that elevates octane ratings. For its structure and properties, see Table 1.

Toluene occurs naturally as a component of petroleum oil. It is produced in large amounts both directly (5.1 billion lb [2.3 billion kg] in 1981) and indirectly during gasoline refining and other operations.

Releases of toluene to the environment are mainly to air due to its volatile nature, with smaller amounts to water and soil. Releases to water are due to spills and leaks of gasoline and other petroleum products and from the disposal of waste from paints, inks, and other products containing toluene. Because of the widespread use of petroleum products, releases occur nationwide.


Inhalation Exposure Hippuric Acid Threshold Limit Value National Toxicology Program Constant Of26 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • George W. Ware
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Agriculture, University of ArizonaTusconUSA

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