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Are consumers exposed to xylenes?

Xylenes are not sold as such as a consumer product, but we can find them in articles such as paints, varnishes, thinners and some adhesives used in the home. They are used as a solvent in printing (e.g. in rotogravure, for the production of illustrated brochures), rubber and leather industries. Along with other solvents xylenes are also used as a cleaning agent. Small amount of xylenes (between 5 and 10%) can be found in airplane fuel and gasoline .

The overall exposure of an individual to xylenes is unique to that individual, since it is dependent on his/her life-style and daily activities, as well as the levels of xylenes exposure associated with each of these. In rural areas, exposure due to gasoline are far lower than those found in the cities, and when a room is freshly painted with paint containing solvents, the exposure in the room is greater than in pristine air, which is why freshly painted rooms should always be carefully aired.

However, it should be remembered that all products in which xylenes are present are regulated by authorities in collaboration with the industry with the aim of applying stringent standards and protecting consumers from any risk.