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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Toxicological information

Direct observations: clinical cases, poisoning incidents and other

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Administrative data

direct observations: clinical cases, poisoning incidents and other
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Non-GLP, non-guideline human experimental study, published in peer reviewed literature, limitations in design but otherwise adequate for assessment

Data source

Reference Type:
In vivo percutaneous absorption of benzene in man: Forearm and palm
Modjtahedi, B.S. and Maibach, H.I.
Bibliographic source:
Food Chem. Toxicol., 46, 1171-1174

Materials and methods

Study type:
study with volunteers
Endpoint addressed:
dermal absorption
Test guideline
no guideline followed
Principles of method if other than guideline:
The percutaneous absorption of [14C]-benzene was determined by measuring excretion of radioactivity.

GLP compliance:
not specified

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
EC Number:
EC Name:
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
Details on test material:
Radiolabelled - 14C
Benzene (purity, 100%) was supplied by ARC, St. Louis, Missouri.


Type of population:
- Number of subjects exposed: 8 (4 per route)
- Sex: Male
- Age: Adult
Ethical approval:
confirmed, but no further information available
Route of exposure:
Details on exposure:
Adult male volunteers were exposed dermally, the dose was applied while the exposed limb was inside a fume hood with the partition down. Volunteers wore a respirator during application to the forearm and until the dose had evaporated, no respiratory protection was used during palmar exposure.
Palmar exposure: Pooled urine samples were collected at 4, 8, 12 and 24h and then daily up to 7 days after dosing.
Forearm exposure: Pooled urine samples were collected at 4, 8, 12 and 24h and then daily up to 7 days after dosing; Stool samples were also collected.
Samples were analysed for radioactivity, values were corrected for incomplete collection.

Results and discussion

Results of examinations:
Percutaneous absorption from a 100uL applied dose was approx. 0.1%

Any other information on results incl. tables

Total recovery

48 and 42% of the recovered radioactivity was excreted within 24h following palm and forearm exposure respectively. Radioactivity in stool samples was below the limit of detection.
0.13±0.04% of the palmar dose was absorbed, the corresponding value for forearm exposure was 0.07±0.04%; there was no statistically significant difference between the results for palm and forearm.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Percutaneous absorption of benzene through human fore-arm and palm skin is low. Total absorption was approximately 0.1 % (0.07% for forearm and 0.13% for palm).
Executive summary:

Absorption of benzene through human skin in vivo was investigated in 2 groups of 4 male volunteers following one topical application to the forearm or palm. A dose of 100uL of benzene/14C benzene was applied under controlled conditions. Urine and stool samples were collected for a total of 6 or 7 days and analysed for radioactivity. Absorption values were found to be nominal with forearm exposure showing an average total absorption of 0.07±0.04% and palmar exposure an average total absorption of 0.13±0.04% of the applied dose.