Phenylethyl alcohol (PEA) has caused little or no skin irritation in man, but eye irritation has resulted at low concentrations. It has also produced local anaesthesia, and there is one report of skin allergy. PEA was of low to moderate acute toxicity by the oral, dermal and inhalation routes in laboratory animals. Liver and kidney damage and pronounced effects on nervous system function have followed single oral doses in rodents. Repeated skin application to rats caused behavioural changes, effects on blood composition and increases in weight of the liver, kidney, brain and gonads, but none of these organs showed microscopic evidence of damage. Foetal malformations and deaths were found in two rat studies after oral or skin application of low doses, but in two other oral studies only a slight delay in foetal bone hardening was apparent even at high doses. PEA was not mutagenic in Ames bacterial tests, and did not cause sister chromatid exchanges (an effect on chromosomal DNA) in human white blood cells or modify DNA in bacteria or cultured mammalian cells. Other short-term screening assays in plants and yeast gave positive results, but these may have reflected a cytotoxic effect.

Date of Publication: 1988

Number of Pages: 9

CAS Number*: 60-12-8

Format: PDF available for immediate download

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