- Synonyms: Quinol; 1,4-Dihydroxybenzene; 1,4-Benzenediol
- OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1490
- Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 123-31-9
- NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: MX3500000
- Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and and Emergency Response Guidebook: 2662 153
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Hydroquinone: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more
- OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
- American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 2 mg/m3 TWA; Appendix A3 - Confirmed Animal Carcinogen with Unknown Relevance to Humans
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 2 mg/m3 Ceiling (15 Minutes)
- Carcinogenic Classification:
- International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 3, not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans
- NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 50 mg/m3
- Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes: conjunctivitis; keratitis, blurred vision; CNS excitement; green-colored urine; nausea; dizziness; sense of suffocation, rapid breathing; muscle twitches, delirium; collapse; skin irritation, sensitization, dermatitis: Ingestion Acute: Headache, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, vomiting; shortness of breath; convulsions
- Health Effects: Irritation-Skin---Mild (HE16); Cumulative Corneal damage (HE3); Mutagen (HE2); CNS effects (HE7); Suspect Teratogen (HE5)
- Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, CNS
- Hydroquinone is a metabolite of benzene (via phenol) and is largely excreted in urine as glucuronide and sulfate conjugates.
- Hydroquinone has been used topically in skin-lightening products. It reduces the melanin content of melanosomes as a competitive inhibitor/substrate of tyrosinase. A few cases of depigmentation in workers exposed to black-and-white film developer containing hydroquinone have been reported.
- Brown staining of conjunctiva and corneas (leading to severe corneal damage with continuous occupational exposure of >5 years) occurred in some hydroquinone production workers before exposure limits were established.
- Literature Basis:
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Hydroquinone.
- International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Hydroquinone.
- DeCaprio, A.P.: The toxicology of hydroquinone - relevance to occupational and environmental exposure. Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 29(3): 283-330, 1999.
- English, J.C. and Deisinger, P.J.: Metabolism and disposition of hydroquinone in Fischer 344 rats after oral or dermal administration. Food Chem. Toxicol. 43(3): 483-493, 2005.
- Halder, R.M. and Richards, G.M.: Topical agents used in the management of hyperpigmentation. Skin Therapy Lett. 9(6): 1-3, 2004.
- Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Hydroquinone. Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1293-1295.
- Date Last Revised: 06/26/2006
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA
Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
- Coated XAD-7 (80/40 mg sections; 20/60 mesh) Coating is 10% Phosphoric Acid.
- maximum volume: 20 Liters
- maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
- current analytical method: Liquid Chromatography; HPLC
- analytical solvent: Methanol
- method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2094)
- method classification: Partially Validated
- Limit the amount of bulk submitted to one gram or one mL.
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