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Latest Edit: Iva 2012-08-04 (EDT)

Trimethylbenzene is one of many toxic environmental chemicals. Production of trimethylbenzene occurs during petroleum refining and primarily used as a motor fuel additive. The main source is by inhalation of vapors.


  • Automotive emissions, poor emission-control devices on older vehicles, poor maintenance practices, diesel engine exhaust.
  • Household: solvent in coatings, paint thinners, wood preservatives, cleaners, dry cleaners, degreasers, aerosols, pesticides, printing and inks.
  • Component of white spirit, the most widely used solvent in the paint and coating industry.
  • Manufacture of pharmaceuticals, asphalt products, lacquers, varnishes, dyes, perfumes.
  • Industry: scientific labs, janitors/cleaners, dry cleaning industry, automobile body and related repairers, construction laborers, house painters, screen cleaning processes, ski boots finishing, and telephone cable assembly. (People who do considerable amount of home maintenance work or hobby work may be exposed via inhalation or dermal contact with the solvent).

Impact on Health


  • Metabolized in the liver by cytochrome P-450 dependent multifunction oxidase enzymes, conjugated with glucuronic acid, glycine, or sulfates for urinary excretion.
  • Lipophilic and may accumulate in fat and fatty tissues.