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EC number: 204-411-8
CAS number: 120-61-6
The acute toxicity of DMT has been investigated by various routes of exposure and using various species. The substance is of very low acute toxicity by all routes investigated. Oral LD50 values of >3200->7500 mg/kg bw are reported. Dermal LD50 values of >2000->5000 mg/kg bw are reported. A 2-hour inhalation LC50 of 6 mg/L is reported. Acute intraperitoneal LD50 values 1600-3200 mg/kg bw are reported.
Acute oral toxicity
A number of acute oral toxicity studies are consistent in demonstrating
very low toxicity, with no mortalities and only limited clinical signs
reported at dose levels of up to 7500 mg/kg bw.
Perry (1957) gavaged groups of 5 rats with a single dose of DMT (in corn
oil) at dose levels of 200 -3200 mg/kg bw and observed for 14 days. No
deaths occurred; signs of toxicity were limited to weakness and ataxia.
Bodyweights were unaffected by treatment. The acute oral LD50 of DMT in
the rat was therefore found to be >3200 mg/kg bw under the conditions of
Shaw (1958) gavaged groups of 5 rats and 5 mice were gavaged with a
single dose of DMT (in corn oil) at dose levels of 200 -3200 mg/kg bw
and observed for 14 days. No deaths occurred; signs of toxicity were
limited to weakness. Bodyweights were unaffected by treatment. The acute
oral LD50 of DMT in the rat and mouse was therefore found to be >3200
mg/kg bw under the conditions of this study.
Krasavage et al (1973) administered doses of 3000, 3900, 5020 and
6590 mg/kg dimethyl terephthalate (20% in corn oil) were administered
orally to male Long-Evans rats (3-6 per group) to determine the median
lethal dose. All groups were observed for signs of toxicity for 14 days.
At the end of the test, the survivors were autopsied and examined for
gross and micropathology. The acute oral toxicity of Dimethyl
terephthalate is of a low order. The LD50 was determined to be >6590
mg/kg bw under the conditions of this study.
A further limited study (DuPont, 1955) confirms the low acute oral
toxicity of dimethyl terephthalate. The largest oral dose that was given
to a single rat, 7500 mg/kg bw, failed to kill and produced only
transient discomfort and weight loss. Gross and microscopic examination
of the tissues revealed no organic injury.
In 1961 BASF administered dimethyl terephthalate at doses
of 200, 1600, 3200, 6400 and 10000 mg/kg bw in Tragacanth suspension. There
were no treatment related mortalities recorded and no abnormalites due
to adminiatration of the test substance observed. The LD50was
determined to be >10000 mg/kg.
Acute dermal toxicity
In two studies, moistened solid dimethyl terephthalate was held in
contact with the depilated skin of guinea pigs, for 24 hours. The
exposures resulted in slight skin irritation. The LD50 values were
reported to be >2000 mg/kg bw (Perry, 1957) and >5000 mg/kg bw (Shaw,
Acute inhalation toxicity
In a published acute inhalation toxicity study, a group of 12 rats was
exposed (whole body) to DMT vapour at a concentration of 6 mg/L for 2
hours (Sanina & Kochetkova, 1963). During the exposure to condensation
aerosol and vapours of dimethyl terephthalate a pronounced irritating
effect on the conjunctiva and respiratory tract accompanied by moderate
hemodynamic disorders was observed. The 2 -hour LC50 was estimated to be
greater than 6 mg/L, estimated to be equivalent to a 4 -hour LC50 of >3
Acute intraperitoneal toxicity
In two studies, the acute intraperitoneal LD50 of dimethyl terephthalate
in rats was found to be greater than 3200 mg/kg (Perry, 1957; Shaw,
1958). In mice an i.p. dose of 3200 mg/kg bw was fatal, and the LD50 was
estimated to be 1600 to 3200 mg/kg bw (Perry, 1957; Shaw, 1958).
Krasavage et al (1973) administered i.p. doses of dimethyl
terephthalate (20% in corn oil) up to 6590 mg/kg to male Long-Evans rat
(3 -6 per group). Deaths occurred within 48 hours, and gross pathology
revealed peritoneal irritation. The acute LD50 was found to be 3900
It can be concluded based on results of the studies above, that dimethyl
terephthalate is of a low order of toxicity by the oral, dermal,
inhalation and intraperitoneal routes. Dimethyl terephthalate does not
warrant classification according to Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008.
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