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Aromatic Hydrocarbons (Benzene, Toluene, Xylene) and Ketones

Aromatic Hydrocarbons (Benzene, Toluene, Xylene) and Ketones

TREATMENT
Chemical Treatment Guide 2: BLUE

DESCRIPTION
Aromatic hydrocarbons may be found as colorless liquids or in a solid form with an ether-like or
pleasant odor. These compounds may be highly flammable. Ketones are organic compounds
derived from secondary alcohols by oxidation. They generally have low viscosity, low to
moderate boiling points, moderate vapor pressures, and high evaporation rates. Most ketones are
chemically stable liquids. Routes of exposure include absorption through the skin and eyes,
inhalation, and ingestion.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Mild exposure: cough, hoarseness, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, tremors, transient
euphoria, vision and hearing disturbances, nausea/ vomiting, salivation, and stomach pain.

Moderate to severe exposure: cardiovascular collapse, tachydysrhythmias (especially ventricular
fibrillation), chest pain, pulmonary edema, dyspnea, tachypnea, respiratory failure, paralysis,
altered mental status, seizures, excessive salivation, and delayed carcinogenic effects.
Halogenated hydrocarbons (chloride, bromide, iodide, fluoride) may present with ventricular
tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, and supraventricular tachycardias. Aromated hydrocarbons
may present with altered mental status.

End-stage symptoms may resemble organophosphate poisoning. However, patients will have
normal or dilated pupils (patients will not have pinpoint pupils). These patients should not be
given atropine or 2-PAM.

EXAMPLES
• Components of gasoline
• Methyl benzene
• Methyl benzol
• Phenyl methane

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