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NIOH and NIOSH Basis for an Occupational Health Standard: Chlorobenzene

As part of an agreement with the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) in Solna, Sweden, CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) develops documents to provide the scientific basis for establishing recommended occupational exposure limits. One such document, NIOH and NIOSH Basis for an Occupational Health Standard: Chlorobenzene (1), was recently released. *

Chlorobenzene is principally used as a chemical intermediate in the production of chemicals such as nitrochlorobenzenes and diphenyl oxide. It also is used as a solvent in degreasing processes (e.g., in metal cleaning operations), the dry cleaning industry, paints, adhesives, waxes, and polishes; it has also been used as a heat-transfer medium and in the manufacture of resins, dyes, perfumes, and pesticides. In 1984, 116,000 tons of chlorobenzene were produced in the United States. Consumption is increasing at an estimated average annual rate of 1%-2%.

This document summarizes and evaluates data relevant for establishing permissible levels of occupational exposure to chlorobenzene. Both central nervous system (prenarcotic) effects and hepatotoxic effects of chlorobenzene should be considered in setting occupational exposure limits. Limited evidence indicates that chlorobenzene is genotoxic and may induce hematopoietic toxicity at moderate doses. Information is not available to determine the potential carcinogenicity of chlorobenzene in humans.


  1. NIOSH. NIOH and NIOSH basis for an occupational health standard: chlorobenzene. Cincinnati: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, CDC, NIOSH, 1993; DHHS publication no. (NIOSH)93-102.

    • Single copies of this document are available without charge from the Publications Office, NIOSH, CDC, Mailstop C-13, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998; telephone (800) 356-4674; fax (513) 533-8573.

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