Draft Toxicological Profile for Chlorobenzene Published
A new draft toxicological profile for chlorobenzene is available for review and public comment from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. According to ATSDR, chlorobenzene is used as a solvent for some pesticide formulations, as a degreaser, and as a chemical intermediate to make other chemicals. Individuals who work where chlorobenzene is made or used could be exposed by breathing air with chlorobenzene vapors or by spilling or splashing the chemical on their skin. ATSDR warns that high levels of chlorobenzene can damage the liver and kidneys and affect the brain. The agency notes that workers exposed to high levels of chlorobenzene in the air reported health effects such as headaches, nausea, sleepiness, numbness, and vomiting. However, the workers may also have been exposed to other chemicals that could have contributed to or caused these effects.  OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for chlorobenzene is 75 ppm, or 350 mg/m3, as an eight-hour time-weighted average. The Cal/OSHA PEL and the ACGIH Threshold Limit Value are lower; both organizations’ recommended limits for chlorobenzene are 10 ppm. NIOSH has not established a Recommended Exposure Limit for chlorobenzene, but in 1988 the agency provided comments to OSHA questioning whether the PEL was adequate to protect workers from recognized health hazards. Comments on the draft profile are due by March 5. More information is available in the Federal Register.