Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Mohamed S. Abdel-Rahman

Second Advisor

Richard B. Trattner


Male Sprague Dawley rats (250g) were exposed to benzyl chloride vapor at a concentration of 220 ppm for 6 hours. During inhalation, the blood benzyl chloride concentration increased to reach a steady state level of 9-10 ug/ml between 4 and 6 hours of exposure. A small concentration of benzyl chloride (0.86 ug/ml) was present in the blood four hours after the termination of exposure. The absorption half life was 0.53 hours (0.39-0.81) and the elimination half life was l.12 hour (0.93-l.40).

The absorbed benzyl chloride was largely retained in the blood and some of it (0.22 ug/g) was sequestered into adipose tissue. Benzyl chloride was not detected in the brain, liver, lungs, pancreas and testis. A new HPLC method was used to separate benzylmercapturic acid in the rat blood. In the first hour of exposure, an amount equal to the parent compound was metabolized into benzylmercapturic acid. By 4 hours post exposure, the concentration of benzylmercapturic acid was 25% of the parent compound detected in blood. Liver and kidney glutathione levels in the treated rats were depleted to 13.5 and 46% of the control values, respectively. Liver appears to be the major source of the thiol group in benzylmercapturic acid, while kidney is the secondary source. Benzyl chloride is heptatoxic and causes microvesicular fatty change, inflammation and glycogen depletion in the liver, in the absence of lipid peroxidation in vivo.



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