Toluene is a clear, colorless liquid with a distinctive odor. The major use of toluene is as a mixture added to gasoline to improve octane ratings. The substance is also used in the production of benzene, nylon and plastics, and as a solvent in paints, paint thinners, coatings, synthetic fragrances, adhesives, inks and cleaning agents.
According to the ATSDR, toluene can be released into the air, water and soil at places where it is produced or used. It can enter surface waters and groundwater from solvent and petroleum products spills, as well as leak from underground storage tanks at gas stations and other facilities. When products that contain the substance are placed in landfills or waste disposal sites, it can enter the soil and water near the waste site. The occurrence of these allows the substance to rapidly evaporate into the air.
When exposed to toluene, whether from air, water, food or beverages that contain it, it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Depending on various factors, toluene may have an effect on the nervous system, and cause temporary symptoms such as headaches or dizziness. However, with repeated exposure, effects such as incoordination, cognitive impairment, vision loss and hearing loss may occur. Factors such as age, sex, body composition and health status affect what happens once the substance is in the body.
ION Science, the largest manufacturer of photoionization detection (PID) sensor technology, offers a range of products capable of detecting toluene, including the Tiger, Tiger LT, Tiger Select, Cub, Cub TAC, Falco, Falco TAC, Gascheck G, and GasClam 2.
While toluene has an ionization potential of 8.82, we recommend using our 10 eV lamp within our products for effective detection.