Urinary metabolites were tested in 41 shoe-factory workers exposed to a mixture of 10 solvents among which "commercial hexane" was the prevailing component. Cyclohexanol, 2-methyl-2-pentanol, 3-methyl-2-pentanol, and trichloroethanol were determined in connection with exposure to cyclohexane, 2-methylpentane, 3-methylpentane, and trichloroethylene, respectively. 2-Hexanol, 2,5-hexanedione, 2,5-dimethylfuran, and gamma-valerolactone were all determined in connection with n-hexane exposure only. 2,5-Hexanedione was the principal n-hexane metabolite found in the workers' urine. This finding of the experimentally proven neurotoxin 2,5-hexanedione in the urine of shoe-factory workers exposed to "commercial hexane" is consistent with the idea that this compound is responsible for the development of neuropathy in this group of individuals.
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