Volatile Solvents Testing

Volatile Solvents Testing

This is a blood test that measures your exposure to volatile solvents.

Volatile Solvents Testing can help identify prolonged exposure to the most commonly found volatile solvents that are known to cause serious health problems.

This blood test test for: benzene, xylene, hexane, toulene and more.

Why do Volatile Solvent Testing?

Overexposure or chronic exposure to volatile solvents damages the central nervous system and can cause liver and kidney damage.

Benzene, in particular, has a severe toxic effect on the blood and is a recognized human carcinogen.

Other solvents contribute to breakdown and weakness of skeletal muscles, loss of coordination, vision problems, and problems with the central nervous system.

What are Volatile Solvents?

Volatile solvents are routinely used to manufacture consumer products. A solvent is a liquid or gas used to dissolve a solid, liquid, or gas to create a new solution. Each year, annual production of these solvents numbers in the tens of billions of pounds in the United States.

Air and water pollution are common ways that people are exposed in both our homes and workplaces. We are also exposed by inhalation or ingestion of car exhaust, paints, glues, adhesives, and lacquer thinners.

These volatile solvents are used in large numbers to produce items in our homes such as furniture, building materials, paint, shoes, cleaning and degreasing agents, inks, pharmaceuticals, and as additives to gasoline.

For those living and working in urban areas, the exposure to this class of compounds goes on twenty-four hours a day because they are common in car and truck exhaust and from industries often located in these areas..

Solvents are very damaging to bone marrow and have been associated with many of the bone marrow cancers as well as anemia and thrombocytopenia.

They are also associated with immune disorders, including autoimmunity, chronic neurologic problems, and infertility.

Symptoms of Solvent Exposure:

Volatile solvents can cause a long list of health problems including:

  • Aplastic anemia (low blood cells in bone marrow)
  • Atrophy of skeletal muscles
  • B-cell malignancies
  • Blood dyscrasis (unspecified blood disorder)
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Cancer
  • Chemical bronchitis
  • Chromosomal aberrations
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Corneal erosion
  • Defatting dermatitis
  • Dermatitis
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Erythema (redness due to capillary congestion)
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Hemolysis
  • Hepatomegaly (enlarged liver)
  • Infertility
  • Irritation of eyes and nose
  • Irritation of mucous membranes
  • Keratitis (cornea inflammation)
  • Leukemia
  • Muscular weakness
  • Nausea
  • Paresthesia
  • Parkinsonism
  • Polyneuropathy (neurological disorder)
  • Pulmonary edema (fluid in lungs)
  • Renal damage
  • Skin irritation
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Tingling/cramps in arms or legs
  • Toxic hepatitis

Common Sources of Solvent Exposure

The most common sources of volatile solvents are:

  • Acrylic nail applications
  • Adhesives/glues
  • Air fresheners
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Detergents
  • Gasoline additives and exhaust
  • Gums
  • Ink
  • Jet fuel exhaust
  • Lacquer thinners
  • Oil and grease extractors
  • Paints
  • Perfumes and fragrances
  • Pesticide inert ingredients
  • Petroleum products
  • Polyesters
  • Reinforced plastics
  • Rubbers
  • Synthetic resins

How Often Should I Test?

If high levels are found, testing every few weeks is recommended to make sure that steps being taken to reduce exposure are working.

For moderate levels tests should be retaken every 4 to 6 months to make sure that steps are working and that there are no new exposures.

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