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Scand J Work Environ Health 1982;8(1):77-79    pdf | Issue date: Mar 1982

Acute solvent-ethanol interactions with special reference to xylene.

by Riihimäki V, Laine A, Savolainen K, Sippel H

Acute ethanol ingestion inhibits the metabolism of the common industrial solvents trichloroethylene and dimethylformamide. The solvents in turn may interact with ethanol metabolism as shown by an accumulation of acetaldehyde and occasional symptoms of alcohol intolerance. It was recently found that mutual metabolic interaction occurs even in the context of ethanol ingestion (0.8 g/kg in single dose) combined with subsequent inhalation exposure to m-xylene (6.0 & 11.5 mmol/m3 (140 & 280 ppm), over 4 h). Ethanol impaired the metabolic clearance of m-xylene, raised the blood xylene concentration, and decreased the urinary excretion of methylhippuric acid. Thus, ingestion of ethanol is a noticeable source of error in the biological monitoring of xylene uptake. Some people appear to be susceptible to combined ethanol-xylene exposure and may develop nausea and dermal flush.