In man, alpha-pinene has been shown to cause skin irritation and skin sensitization, particularly when allowed to oxidise. The vapour induces eye, nose and throat irritation. alpha-Pinene has been given orally in combination with several other terpenes to treat gallstones, without overt adverse effect.

alpha-Pinene was of low acute oral and dermal toxicity in the rat and rabbit respectively. Lethal oral doses produced local irritation, central nervous system depression and respiratory failure in rats, while repeated administration at lower levels caused liver enzyme induction. Liver and kidney damage was found in sheep given several high oral doses. In rodents treated by inhalation, effects on the central nervous system and respiratory tract were induced after single exposures, whilst evidence of liver enzyme induction was found following repeated inhalation exposures. Oral administration to pregnant rats of a product containing alpha-pinene, plus several other terpenes, was foetotoxic only at a maternally toxic dose level. alpha-Pinene had a weak tumour-promoting effect on mouse skin when repeatedly applied after a single dose of a known carcinogen, but it was not mutagenic in Ames bacterial tests.

Date of Publication: 2004

Number of Pages: 11

CAS Number*: 7785-26-4




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