Can be labelled as Xylol, metaxylene, orthoxylene, paraxylene, referred to as isomers. Xylene occurs naturally in petroleum and coal tar. It is found in paint thinners, paints, varnishes, shellac, cigarette smoke, cleaners, degreasers, insecticides, pesticides and insect repellants.
Laboratory animal testing did not result in cancer, did cause harm to the fetus of pregnant animals and killed animals in high doses.
Acute symptoms in humans can be headache, lack of coordination, dizziness, confusion, irritation to skin, nose and throat, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, delayed reflexes and vertigo. Chronic symptoms can be lung, liver and kidney damage, memory loss, stomach/abdominal pain, and at high levels- death. Inhalation by pregnant women can cause damage to the fetus and can contaminate breast milk. Xylene is cumulative in the body; so over many years of exposure can cause damage to the central nervous system.
Laboratory animals did not exhibit xylene as a carcinogen however it is inconclusive if xylene is a human carcinogen. It is a Class 3 hazardous chemical- high human health risk.