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Worksite Health

Toxic Fumes



I have been inhaling vapors from Isopropanol at my workplace. I have been working with and inhaling isopropanol for almost three years, but the other day I think I got an unusually large lungful of vapors, and now, two and three days later, I feel a mild discomfort in my kidney area, on both sides, particularly when I inhale. I also can`t take a deep full breath without discomfort. I also very definitely feel a discomfort at times which seems to be in my kidneys, and caused specifically from my pulse. ie, when I feel my heartbeat in my head. I also feel an uncomfortable pulse in both sides, apparently from my kidneys. Can Isopropyl vapors cause symptoms like these? Thanks.


It is difficult to say what the effects might be without know how much you were exposed to. The material I found on isopropyl alcohol does not imply strong toxicity in the usual workplace setting.

A safety data sheet put out by Dow Chemical states this about repeated exposures: “In animals, effects have been reported on the following organs: Liver. Observations in animals include: Lethargy. Kidney effects and/or tumors have been observed in male rats. These effects are believed to be species specific and unlikely to occur in human.”

I don’t know if this is helpful or not but you should probably be seen by a general practice physician or an occupational health specialist if you continue to have symptoms.

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Response by:

J Mac Crawford, PhD, RN J Mac Crawford, PhD, RN
Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
College of Public Health
The Ohio State University