Solvent agents are required to make adhesives. Toluene as a solvent agents are widely used especially as a substitute for the more toxic solvent, benzene. Concern in environment and health safety, Aica Aibon also comes with non toluene type adhesives. The Non-Toluene Aica Aibon series uses a substitute solvent agent without compromising its quality and allowing for a safer a healthier environment.
What is Toluene?Toluene (also called methyl benzene), formerly known as toluol, is a clear, flammable and water-insoluble liquid with the typical smell of paint thinners. It occurs naturally in petroleum crude oil and in the tolu tree. Petroleum crude oil is by far the largest source of toluene. The largest users of toluene are companies that make benzene. Companies also add toluene to aerosol spray paints, wall paints, lacquers, paint strippers, adhesives, printing ink, spot removers, cosmetics, perfumes, and antifreeze. Toluene is also found in car exhaust and the smoke from cigarettes.
Toluene Effects on Human Health
Toluene can be absorbed into the body through inhalation, digestion, and skin contact. Exposure to toluene has been linked with dizziness, hallucination, heart problems and may damage a foetus.The following symptoms may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to levels over 100,000 ppbv of toluene in air:
- Tiredness, dizziness, headache, loss of coordination or hearing, euphoria, insomnia
- Eye and nose irritation
- Rapid delay of reaction time, unconsciousness, and death at levels of 4,000 ppm (4,000,000 ppbv)
The worst effects of exposure to toluene have occurred in deliberate abusers of toluene.Main Routes of Exposure: Inhalation. Skin contact. Eye contact.
- Inhalation: Can irritate the nose and throat. Can harm the nervous system. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. A severe exposure can cause unconsciousness.
- Skin Contact: SKIN IRRITANT. Causes moderate to severe irritation. Symptoms include pain, redness, and swelling.Can be absorbed through the skin. Can cause effects as described for inhalation.
- Eye Contact: May cause mild irritation.
- Ingestion: Can cause effects as described for inhalation. Aspiration hazard. May be drawn into the lungs if swallowed or vomited, causing severe lung damage. Death can result.
- Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure: Can cause dry, red, cracked skin (dermatitis) following skin contact. Exposure to this chemical and loud noise may cause greater hearing loss than expected from noise exposure alone. Effects on colour vision have been reported, but the evidence is inconclusive. May harm the nervous system. Conclusions cannot be drawn from the limited studies available. At high concentrations: May harm the kidneys.
- Teratogenicity / Embryotoxicity: DEVELOPMENTAL HAZARD. May harm the unborn child based on animal information. Has been associated with: low birth weight or size, learning disabilities, hearing loss.
Toluene Effects on the Environment
Effects of toluene on the environment depend on how much toluene is present and the length and frequency of exposure. Effects also depend on the condition of the environment when exposure occurs.
Toluene enters surface water and groundwater (wells) from spills of solvents and petroleum products as well as from leaking underground storage tanks at gasoline stations and other facilities.
When toluene-containing products are placed in landfills or waste disposal sites, the toluene can enter the soil and water near the waste site. Because it is a liquid that does not bind well to soil, toluene that makes its way into the ground can move through the ground and enter groundwater. Toluene does not usually stay in the environment; it is readily broken down to other chemicals by microorganisms in soil and evaporates from surface water and surface soils. Toluene dissolved in well water does not break down quickly while the water is under the ground because there are few microorganisms in underground water. Once the water is brought to the surface, the toluene will evaporate into the air.
Toluene can be taken up into fish and shellfish, plants, and animals living in water containing toluene, but it does not concentrate or build up to high levels because most animal species can break down the toluene into other compounds that are excreted.
First Aid Measures for Toluene Intoxication
You may be exposed to toluene from many sources, including drinking water, food, air, and consumer products. You may also be exposed to toluene through breathing the chemical in the workplace or during deliberate glue sniffing or solvent abuse. When this occurs the toluene is taken directly into your blood from your lungs.
Factors such as your age, sex, body composition, and health status affect what happens to toluene once it is in your body. After being taken into your body, more than 75% of the toluene is removed within 12 hours. It may leave your body unchanged in the air you breathe out or in your urine after some of it has been changed to other chemicals.First aid measures for toluene exposure
- Inhalation: Take precautions to prevent a fire (e.g. remove sources of ignition). Move to fresh air in case of accidental inhalation of vapours. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen, provided a qualified operator is available. Call a physician immediately.
- Skin Contact: Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective clothing if necessary. Quickly take off contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Quickly and gently blot or brush away excess chemical. Immediately wash gently and thoroughly with lukewarm, gently flowing water and non-abrasive soap for 15-20 minutes. If irritation or pain persists, see a doctor. Thoroughly clean clothing, shoes and leather goods before reuse or dispose of safely.
- Eye Contact: Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective gloves if necessary. Quickly and gently blot or brush chemical off the face. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 5 minutes, while holding the eyelid(s) open. If irritation or pain persists, see a doctor.
- Ingestion: Have victim rinse mouth with water. DO NOT induce vomiting. If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim lean forward to reduce risk of aspiration. Have victim rinse mouth with water again. Immediately call a Poison Centre or doctor.
Aica Aibon Policies on Toluene
Solvent agents are required to make adhesives. Toluene as a solvent agents are commonly used in cleaning agents, adhesives, resins, paints and paint thinners. Even though it is considered highly flammable and toxic (in case of over exposure and abuse), toluene are widely used especially as a substitute for the more toxic solvent, benzene.
Toluene are used in some of the Aica Aibon series as solvent agents. Once the adhesive is applied, solvent evaporates relatively quickly causing an increase in viscosity of the adhesive film. Bonds can be made immediately after adhesive application or after some solvent has evaporated but before the adhesive has dried to the point where it will no longer wet (open time). Waiting for some evaporation prior to bonding (set time) increases the initial strength of the adhesive bond and allows assemblies to be processed more quickly.
The Non-Toluene Aica Aibon series uses a substitute solvent agent without compromising its quality and allowing for a safer a healthier environment.