ToxFAQs™ for Chlorobenzene
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What is chlorobenzene?
Chlorobenzene is an industrial chemical that is not. found naturally in the environment. It
is a colorless, flammable liquid with an aromatic, almond-like odor.
Chlorobenzene is used as a solvent and to produce other chemicals.
How can I be exposed to chlorobenzene?
You can be exposed to very low levels of chlorobenzene in the air, water, and some foods.
Workers in industries that make or use chlorobenzene may be exposed to chlorobenzene in the air by
breathing it in or through their skin.
Air near factories that make or use chlorobenzene or near hazardous waste sites that contain
chlorobenzene may have higher levels of chlorobenzene in the air.
How can chlorobenzene affect my health?
The levels of chlorobenzene
found in the environment are
lower than levels known to
cause harmful effects.
A few volunteers complained of drowsiness, headache,
throbbing pain in the eyes, and sore throat when breathing
chlorobenzene for 7 hours. Headaches, dizziness, and
sleepiness were also reported in workers breathing
chlorobenzene. These workers were probably exposed to
high levels of chlorobenzene.
Most of the information we know about how chlorobenzene can affect your health comes from
studies in laboratory animals. Animals that inhaled or ingested large amounts of chlorobenzene
had damage to the liver and kidney. Animals exposed to very high levels of chlorobenzene through
inhalation showed nervous system effects, which included decreased activity and loss of muscle
Chlorobenzene may also affect the immune system. It can cause eye irritation if it gets in your eyes.
Can chlorobenzene cause cancer?
Studies of female rats and male and female mice given chlorobenzene orally did not find evidence
that chlorobenzene caused cancer. In male rats, there was some evidence of liver cancer.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considered chlorobenzene to be not classifiable as
to human carcinogenicity.
Can I get a medical test to check for chlorobenzene?
Tests are available to measure levels of chlorobenzene in breath, urine, and body tissues. These tests are
not usually available in the doctor’s office. However, a sample taken in the doctor’s office can be sent to a
special laboratory. Because chlorobenzene leaves the body quickly, these tests have to be taken within a
few days after exposure. These tests cannot predict whether you will have health problems. If you think
you were exposed to chlorobenzene, call your doctor, nurse, clinic, or poison control center.
How can I protect myself and my family from chlorobenzene?
Workers involved in the production or use of chlorobenzene should take protective measures to limit
inhalation and dermal exposure to chlorobenzene.
No specific protection from chlorobenzene is recommended because most people will not be exposed to
chlorobenzene at levels likely to cause health problems.
For more information
Call CDC-INFO at 1-800-232-4636, or submit your question online at:
Go to ATSDR’s Toxicological Profile for Chlorobenzene: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp.asp?id=489&tid=87
Go to ATSDR’s Toxic Substances Portal: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/index.asp
Find & contact your ATSDR Regional Representative at: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/DRO/dro_org.html
Where can I get more information?
If you have questions or concerns, please contact your community or state health or environmental quality department or:
For more information, contact:
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Office of Innovation and Analytics, Toxicology Section
4770 Buford Highway
Chamblee, GA 30341-3717
Phone: 1-800-CDC-INFO 888-232-6348 (TTY)
Email: Contact CDC-INFO
ATSDR can also tell you the location of occupational and environmental health clinics. These clinics specialize in recognizing, evaluating, and treating illnesses resulting from exposure to hazardous substances.