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Eye and respiratory tract irritation

Exposure of 12 male and 12 female test persons to hexylene glycol (HG) vapour in a concentration of 50 ppm (approximates the saturation concentration at 25°C) for 15 minutes caused eye irritation in most of the persons but no irritation of the nose or throat. The maximum tolerable concentration was considered to be 50 ppm (Silverman et al., 1946).

Skin sensitization

A study conducted in 823 eczema patients reported that HG used in patch testing (48 hour occlusive) at aqueous concentrations of 30 or 50% caused oedema and erythema of the skin in 2.8% of the patients tested (Kinnunen & Hannuksela, 1989). The authors considered this indicative of irritation due to application of HG. The authors studied also eczema patients with positive patch test reactions to 30 or 50% HG and found a positive ROAT (Repeated Open Application Test) in 1 of 7 patients. It was hypothesized tthat the reaction in this patient may be due to cross-sensitivity. Alomar et al, 1985 used HG (10% aqueous) as a standard patch test in a group of 230 patients exposed to cutting oils who had been diagnosed with occupational dermatitis. 9 patients gave a positive response to challenge with HG (3.9% of the total number tested).