Toluene Methyl Benzene

Toluene is a widely used solvent and is employed as a paint and lacquer thinner and as a cleaning and dying agent. It is also a constituent of motor and aviation fuels. Toluene is a major constituent of the glue used by paint huffers and has thus been implicated as the chemical responsible for the neurotoxic syndrome seen in this group of solvent abusers. Toluene's toxic effects are similar to those of benzene, although more mental status changes are seen.

With acute exposure, clinical signs include early exhilaration followed by fatigue, mild confusion, ataxia, and dizziness. With chronic use, exhilaration, euphoria, disinhibition, and tremor are common. Neurobehavioral effects include declines in performance IQ, decreased memory, poor motor control, decreased visuospatial functioning, and dementia.y Toluene appears to affect the CNS more readily than the PNS. Treatment primarily involves removal from exposure.

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