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Description of key information

Only occupational data with co-exposure of terpenes with many other substances potentially leading to adverse changes in respiratory parameters are available. No acute effects on respiratory parameters coud be identified. beta-Pinene did not elicit positive dermal reaction up to 10% in patients sensitised to many essential oils.

Additional information

Occupational studies reported respiratory parameters of workers co-exposed to monoterpenes but also to wood dust and potentially many other irritant substances not taken into account in those studies. Changes in respiratory parameters showed chronic rather than acute reaction in the airways which would probably be due to wood dust exposure rather than terpenes exposure (Eriksson, 1997).

These results were confirmed by studies in human volunteers exposed for 2h to alpha-pinene and where no significant changes in respiratory parameters could be identified (Falk, 1990). Also, exposure of healthy volunteers to Oriented Strand Boards emissions did not elicit sensory irritations or pulmonary effects. More particularly, 2 h exposures to mixed emissions with terpenes concentrations up to 4.6 mg/m3 (including up to 0.7 mg/m3 beta-pinene) did not induce acute respiratory health effects in humans (Gminski, 2010).

Skin sensitisation data in humans showed that contrary to turpentine oil and alpha-pinene, beta-pinene did not elicit positive dermal reaction up to 10% in petrolatum althought the 2 patients tested were already sensitised to many essential oils (Dharmagunawardena, 2002).