Toluene toxicity refers to the harmful effects caused by toluene on the body.
Metabolism in humans
While a significant amount of toluene, 25%-40%, is exhaled unchanged via the lungs, a greater proportion is metabolised and excreted via other pathways. The primary route of toluene metabolism is by hydroxylation to benzyl alcohol by members of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) superfamily. There are five CYPs which are important in toluene metabolism, CYP1A2, CYP2B6, CYP2E1, CYP2C8, and CYP1A1. however, there is a great deal of ethnic variability, in the Finnish population for example the primary enzyme is CYP2B6. CYP2E1 catalyses the formation of benzyl alcohol and p-cresol, while CYP2B6 produces comparatively little p-cresol.