Biomonitoring Summary


CAS No. 625-86-5

General Information

2,5-Dimethylfuran is a volatile chemical found in tobacco smoke (Baggett et al., 1974) and in roasted coffee aroma (Wang et al., 1983). Exposure among the general population may occur through inhaling cigarette smoke and coffee aroma. 2,5-Dimethylfuran in blood and exhaled air has been used to determine smoking status (Ashley et al., 1996; Gordon et al., 2002; Perbellini et al., 2003). In addition, levels of 2,5-dimethylfuran found in blood provide a rough estimate of the number of cigarettes smoked per day (Ashley et al., 1995, 1996). After a person smokes cigarettes, 2,5-dimethylfuran is absorbed from the respiratory tract and then rapidly eliminated from the blood (Egle and Gochberg, 1979; Gordon et al., 2002). 2,5 Dimethylfuran is also a human urinary metabolite of n-hexane. Workers exposed to n-hexane will eliminate 2,5-dimethylfuran, along with other metabolites, in their urine (ATSDR, 1999; Iwata et al., 1983; Mutti et al., 1984; Perbellini et al., 1981).

Human health effects from 2,5-dimethylfuran at low environmental doses or at biomonitored levels from low environmental exposures are unknown. Neither IARC or NTP has evaluated 2,5-dimethylfuran’s human carcinogenicity. 2,5-Dimethylfuran is not mutagenic by in vitro testing (Zeiger et al., 1992).

Biomonitoring Information

Levels of 2,5-dimethylfuran in blood reflect recent exposure and are generally undetectable among nonsmoking adults and in the general population (CDC, 2012). Ashley et al. (1995) and Perbellini et al. (2003) reported median blood 2,5-dimethylfuran levels of 0.13 ?g/L in smokers which were similar values to the 95th percentile in participants of NHANES 2003-2004 and reflected the U.S. population mix of nonsmokers and smokers. Levels of 2,5-dimethylfuran in blood increase generally with the number of cigarettes smoked per day (Ashley et al., 1995, 1996).

Finding a measurable amount of 2,5-dimethylfuran in blood does not imply that the level of 2,5-dimethylfuran causes an adverse health effect. Biomonitoring studies of 2,5-dimethylfuran in blood can provide physicians and public health officials with reference values so that they can determine whether people have been exposed to higher levels of 2,5-dimethylfuran than are found in the general population. Biomonitoring data can also help scientists plan and conduct research on exposure and health effects.


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