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May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

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:

Species Reference LC50 LCLo Time Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF) Derived value
Mouse Sperling & Collins 1964 29,000 mg/m3 —– 2 hr 8,212 ppm (1.6) 821 ppm
Rat Sperling et al. 1967 12,000 mg/m3 —– 6 hr 4,885 ppm (2.3) 489 ppm

Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50(mg/kg) LDLo(mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derived value
Rat Skramlik 1959 oral 5,760 —– 7,136 ppm 714 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].


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.