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May 1994

Documentation for Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentrations (IDLHs)


CAS number: 8006-64-2

NIOSH REL: 100 ppm (560 mg/m3) TWA

Current OSHA PEL: 100 ppm (560 mg/m3) TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 100 ppm (556 mg/m3) TWA

Description of substance: Colorless liquid with a characteristic odor.

LEL: . . 0.8% (10% LEL, 800 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 1,500 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the known human lethal concentration of 1,878 ppm [Albaugh 1915 in Jacobs as cited by AIHA 1971], the mouse LC50 of 1,620 ppm, and the reported effects to human subjects after several hours of exposure to 750 to 1,000 ppm [Lehmann and Flury 1943 as cited by ACGIH 1971]. AIHA [1967] reported that 1,878 ppm for 1 to 4 hours is definitely toxic to man [Jacobs 1949]. The effects of turpentine on the eyes and central nervous system at concentrations above 1,500 ppm might impede escape in the event of respirator failure.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal concentration data:


SpeciesReferenceLC50 LCLoTimeAdjusted 0.5-hr


Derived value


Sperling & Collins 1964

Sperling et al. 1967

29,000 mg/m3

12,000 mg/m3



2 hr

6 hr

8,212 ppm (1.6)

4,885 ppm (2.3)

821 ppm

489 ppm

Lethal dose data:






Adjusted LDDerived value
RatSkramlik 1959oral5,760-----7,136 ppm714 ppm

Human data: Exposure of volunteers for several hours at 750 to 1,000 ppm resulted in irritation of the eyes, headache, dizziness, nausea, and acceleration of the pulse [Lehmann and Flury 1943]. The lethal concentration has been reported to be 1,878 ppm [Albaugh 1915].


Revised IDLH: 800 ppm

Basis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for turpentine is 800 ppm based on acute toxicity data in humans [Lehmann and Flury 1943] and animals [Skramlik 1959; Sperling and Collins 1964]. Also, this value is 10% of the lower explosive limit of 0.8%.


1. ACGIH [1971]. Turpentine. In: Documentation of the threshold limit values for substances in workroom air. 3rd ed. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, p. 274.

2. AIHA [1967]. Turpentine. In: Hygienic guide series. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 28:297-300.

3. Albaugh [1915]. Ohio Public Health J 6:512.

4. Jacobs MB [1949]. The analytical chemistry of industrial poisons, hazards and solvents. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 553.

5. Lehmann KB, Flury F, eds. [1943]. Toxicology and hygiene of industrial solvents. Translated by E. King and H.F. Smyth, Jr. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins Company, pp. 295-297.

6. Skramlik EV [1959]. Über die fiftigkeit und verträglichkeit von ätherischen ölen. Pharmazie 14:435-445 (in German).

7. Sperling F, Collins C [1964]. Inhalation and intravenous toxicity of turpentine in mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 6:360 [Abstract].

8. Sperling F, Marcus WL, Collins C [1967]. Acute effects of turpentine vapor on rats and mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 10:8-20.

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