Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

Ethylbenzene
Identification Number: CASRN | 100-41-4

  Substance Attributes


  • Known Human Carcinogen

    This is a serious nasty substance. Exposure to this substance leads to cancer in Humans. Exercise extreme caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and very seriously consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Carcinogenic Properties

    Accumulating evidence points to cancer potential. Exercise caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Endocrine Disrupter

    Interferes with your hormones. Hormones are powerful messengers that can bind to DNA. You don't want to mess with them.

  • Mutagenic Properties

    Cause mutations to Genetic material like DNA, RNA or mitochondrial DNA

  • Reproductive Effects

    Interferes with fertility

  • Birth/Developmental

    Known to effect development of fetus.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.

  • Volatile - Evaporates easily

    This substance easily enters the air we breath. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Chemical Found in Air near CSG Operations | Pit Chemicals | Chemicals detected in flowback and produced water - collectively referred to as - hydraulic fracturing wastewater | Cigarette Toxin | Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Food Toxin | Synthetic Toxin | Inert Pesticide Ingredient USA - Non Food Use Only | CSG Fracking BTEX Chemicals | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Benzenoids | Benzene and Substituted Derivatives | | Benzene and Substituted Derivatives
  • SYNONYMS: Aethylbenzol | alpha-methyltoluene | Ethylbenzol | Phenylethane
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Fracturing fluid, unknown | Ethylbenzene is an organic compound with the formula C6H5CH2CH3. This aromatic hydrocarbon is important in the petrochemical industry as an intermediate in the production of styrene, which in turn is used for making polystyrene, a commonly used plastic material. Although often present in small amounts in crude oil, ethylbenzene is produced in bulk quantities by combining benzene and ethylene in an acid-catalyzed chemical reaction. It is one ingredient of cigarette. The acute toxicity of ethylbenzene is low, with an LD50 of about 4 grams per kilogram of body weight. The longer term toxicity and carcinogenicity is ambiguous. Eye and throat sensitivity can occur when high level exposure to ethylbenzene in the air occurs. At higher level exposure, ethylbenzene can cause dizziness.
  • COMMENTS: This Chemical is in the category of VOC and is found in Air near CSG Operations

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia:

    Highly flammable liquid and vapour. Harmful if inhaled | General Health Hazard | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C8H10
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | CPDB | T3DB | PubChem | IARC | OEHHA | Article-Colborn-2010 | FracFocus | EPA in USA | US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | Article-Colborn-Air | EPA USA - Pesticide Inerts | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Cough, sore throat, dizziness, drowsiness, and headache follow inhalation or ingestion exposure to ethylbenzene. Ingestion exposure can also lead to burning sensation in the throat and chest. Skin or eyes contact to ethylbenzene can lead to redness and pain of the exposed surface. (L316)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Chronic exposure to etylbenzene can lead to an increase in the mean number of lymphocytes and a decrease in hemoglobin levels. Acute duration and intermediate duration studies suggest that the auditory system is a sensitive target of ethylbenzene toxicity. Exposure ethylbenzene can lead to functional and organic disturbances (nervous system disturbances, toxic hepatitis and upper respiratory tract complaints). Metabolites of ethylbenzene have been shown to produce oxidative damage to DNA. (L311, T52) | Ethylbenzene is metabolized mainly through hydroxylation and then through conjugation reactions from which numerous metabolites have been isolated. Hydroxylation of ethylbenzene to 1-phenylethanol is catalyzed by cytochrome P-450 isoforms CYP2E1 and CYP2B6. 1-Phenylethanol is conjugated to glucuronide, which then is either excreted or converted to subsequent metabolites. Oxidation of 1-phenylethanol yields acetophenone, which is both excreted in the urine as a minor metabolite and further transformed. Continued oxidation of the side chain leads to the sequential formation of 2-hydroxyacetophenone, 1-phenyl-1,2-ethanediol, mandelic acid, and phenylglyoxylic acid. Minor pathways (e.g., ring hydroxylation) include glucuronide and sulfate conjugation with hydroxylated derivatives to form glucuronides and sulfates that are excreted in the urine. In humans exposed via inhalation, the major metabolites of ethylbenzene in the urine are mandelic acid (70%) and phenylglyoxylic acid (25%). Following dermal exposure of humans, however, excretion of mandelic acid was shown to be only 4.6% of the absorbed dose, which may indicate differences in the metabolic fate between inhalation and dermal exposure routes. (L311)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Changes in the integrity of the cell membrane after partitioning of ethylbenzene into the lipid bilayer may subsequently affect the function of membrane, particularly as a barrier and in energy transduction, and in the formation of a matrix for proteins and enzymes. Ethybenzene inhibits the activity of the astrocytic membrane ATPases, which helps regulate adequate intercellular levels of ions, nutrients, metabolic intermediates and precursors in the central nervous system. Thus, this may disturb the ability of the cells to maintain homeostasis. (L311, A186) | Ethybenzene inhibits the activity of the astrocytic membrane ATPases, which helps regulate adequate intercellular levels of ions, nutrients, metabolic intermediates, and precursors in the central nervous system. Thus, this may disturb the ability of the cells to maintain homeostasis. (A186)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Membrane"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Ethylbenzene is used in the petrochemical industry as an intermediate in the production of styrene, which in turn is used for making polystyrene, a commonly used plastic material. Exposure may occur from breathing contaminated air, drinking or eating food prepared with ethylbenzene-contaminated water, and through skin contact with products containing ethylbenzene, such as gasoline. (L311)

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  Exposure Routes

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