All the chemicals are poisons. The dose makes the poison. Toluene is an aromatic solvent and is poisonous.

Toluene is a colourless, voletatile, flammable liquid with an odour, resembling that of Benzene. It is obtained from crude oil or can be synthesized from benzene and is used as a solvent and as a raw material in chemical industries.

Toluene is used as an industrial solvent for paints, pharmaceuticals and rubber. It is found in petrol, paints, varnishes, paint thinners, printing inks, glues, rubber, adhesives and shoe polish.

Inhalation of toluene put in plastic bags may cause sudden death and this is the most serious risk. In many countries the poor inhale this to forget their hunger. The solvents make them addicts.

Long time exposure to toluene and other solvents cause the damage of central nervous system, heart, kidney, liver, blood and lung.

Almost 50% chronic solvent abusers are women in their best childbearing age. When I asked them for the reason the prompt answer was we felt happy and liked the smell.

I had a colleague, a laboratory medicine M. D. whose husband was a gynecologist. In his small cabin where there was no window he used to prepare the stains from his patients. He used regularly a small amount of toluene for more than 25 years. Suddenly he became sick, later he was diagnosed to have an incurable form of leukaemia and within three months he passed away. It was because of the exposure to toluene vapours for a long time.

When you buy a fresh newspaper or magazine, the solvent smell is due to presences of toluene. Therefore, the newspaper may be kept outside till the vapours are gone. Newspapers or magazines which are immediately packed in plastic foils after printing are dangerous because they contain more vapours. These are very dangerous to our health and environment.