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Trimethylbenzene (mixed isomers)

General Description

Synonyms:  Trimethyl benzene; 1,2,3-Trimethylbenzene; 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene; 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene; Hemimellitene; Pseudocumene; Mesitylene; Methylxylene

OSHA IMIS code: 2505 [IMIS History: Trimethylbenzene ONLY prior to 11/20/06]

CAS number(s): 25551-13-7; 95-63-6 (1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene); 108-67-8 (1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene); 526-73-8 (1,2,3-Trimethylbenzene)

Exposure Limits and Health Effects (Updated September 6, 2012)

Standard Set By Exposure Limit Health Effect Codes -- Health Effects and Target Organs
OSHA PEL - General Industry Not established
 
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A
25 ppm (120 mg/m3) TWA
HE7 -- central nervous system changes, including nervousness, tension, anxiety
HE9 -- asthmatic bronchitis
HE12 -- blood changes
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z - Shipyards
25 ppm (120 mg/m3) TWA
HE7 -- central nervous system changes, including nervousness, tension, anxiety
HE9 -- asthmatic bronchitis
HE12 -- blood changes
NIOSH REL 1,2,3-Trimethylbenzene [526-73-8], 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene [95-63-6], and 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene [108-67-8]: 25 ppm (125 mg/m3) TWA HE7 -- central nervous system changes, including nervousness, tension, anxiety
HE11 -- respiratory failure
HE15 -- skin irritation
ACGIH TLV® (1970) 25 ppm (125 mg/m3) TWA HE7 -- central nervous system depression
HE9 -- asthmatic bronchitis
HE12 -- blood dyscrasias
HE15 -- eye, nose, and respiratory irritation
CAL/OSHA PELs 25 ppm (125 mg/m3) TWA
HE7 -- central nervous system depression
HE9 -- asthmatic bronchitis
HE12 -- blood dyscrasias
HE15 -- eye, nose, and respiratory irritation

Carcinogenic classification:

  • NTP: Not listed
  • IARC: Not listed
  • EPA: Not listed

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. Explosive vapor/air mixtures may be formed above 44°C (NIOSH/IPCS 2002).
  2. Due to interindividual variation in urinary excretion of single isomers of dimethylhippuric acid (DMHA), it has been suggested that using the sum of DMHA isomer excretion may more closely reflect exposure to trimethylbenzene than monitoring any single isomer in the urine (Järnberg et al. 1997).
  3. Significant body burden accumulation is expected following repeated occupational exposures to trimethylbenzene (Jones et al. 2006).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Trimethyl Benzene Isomers. 2016.
  • Järnberg, J., Ståhlbom, B., Johanson, G. and Löf, A.: Urinary excretion of dimethylhippuric acids in humans after exposure to trimethylbenzenes. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 69(6): 491-497, 1997.
  • Jones, K., Meldrum, M., Baird, E., Cottrell, S., Kaur, P., Plant, N., Dyne, D., Cocker, J.: Biological monitoring for trimethylbenzene exposure - a human volunteer study and a practical example in the workplace. The Annals of Occupational Hygiene. 50 (6): 593-598, 2006.
  • NIOSH: Recommendations for Occupational Safety and Health - Compendium of Policy Documents and Statements. January 1992.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety CardsTrimethyl Benzene (Mixed Isomers). June 3, 2002.

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