If you’ve ever used nail polish remover, paint thinners or correction fluids, you may have been exposed to the solvent toluene. Dangerous to human health for a variety of reasons, we wanted to find out the dangers of toluene exposure for your hearing.
What Is Toluene?
Toluene is a solvent with many uses across several industries. If you’ve used strong glues or paint thinners, you remember the strong smell, which stems from toluene. As a highly toxic substance, it can seriously damage your health.
Even though inhalation of toluene is dangerous, some people use it as an intoxicating drug.
Health Risks of Toluene
Toluene can have a devastating impact on the nervous system with dizziness, headaches, and unconsciousness as the possible consequences. Prolonged or repeated exposure can lead to cognitive impairment, incoordination, and loss of vision. The dangers of toluene exposure for your hearing are also well-known.
People who use toluene for substance abuse may suffer from kidney, liver, and immune system issues. Excess exposure to toluene during pregnancy can seriously harm the baby.
The Dangers of Toluene Exposure for Your Hearing
If you are exposed to toluene every day, even at low to medium levels, your hearing may become affected. In general, this effect subsides when no longer exposed. However, after long-term daily exposure, you may suffer from hearing difficulties even when you’re no longer inhaling toluene.
Hearing loss caused by exposure to toluene can be enhanced by acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient in painkillers and some acne treatments.
Researchers don’t know whether toluene can cause permanent damage to the brain or whether the effects subside some time after the exposure has ended. The dangers of toluene exposure for your hearing are, however, undisputed.
Toluene is a highly toxic substance. If you use it regularly or are exposed to it at work, wear a protective mask to reduce the health risks.