In humans, hydroquinone has produced skin effects (sensitization, irritation, and changes in pigmentation) and discolouration of the nails and hair. Severe eye irritation due to acute exposure and eye damage developing over a number of years has been reported in workers exposed to hydroquinone in the atmosphere. Acute oral exposure in man has produced adverse effects in the liver, kidney and lungs. Deaths have been reported after ingestion of moderate amounts.

Changes in blood cell production, effects on a number of organs including the gastro-intestinal tract, kidney, liver and heart and pigment changes of the fur were seen in studies in a variety of laboratory animals involving the oral, skin or injection routes. Some evidence of impairment of female reproduction has been seen in limited studies in rats receiving hydroquinone in the diet. Subcutaneous injections of hydroquinone reduced the fertility of male rats and damaged the reproductive organs. Carcinogenicity has been reported in oral studies in rats and mice. Chromosomal damage was induced in mice given hydroquinone by injection or orally. A number of other mutagenicity studies in intact animals gave negative results. Chromosomal effects and point mutations have been observed in mammalian cells in culture.

Date of Publication: 1991

Number of Pages: 11

CAS Number*: 123-31-9

Format: PDF available for immediate download

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