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Record Information
Creation Date2009-03-06 18:58:00 UTC
Update Date2014-12-24 20:21:00 UTC
Accession NumberT3D0058
Common Namem-Xylene
ClassSmall Molecule
DescriptionM-xylene is an aromatic hydrocarbon, based on benzene with two methyl substituents. It is an isomer of xylene. Xylene occurs naturally in petroleum and coal tar, and is major component of gasoline and fuel oil. Xylene is used mainly as a solvent and in the printing, rubber, and leather industries. The major chemical use of metaxylene is in the manufacture of isophthalic acid, which is used as a copolymer to alter the properties of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) making PET more suitable for the manufacture of soft drinks bottles (14, 3, 11). It can cause irritation eyes, skin, nose, throat; dizziness, excitement, drowsiness, incoordination, staggering gait; corneal vacuolization; anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain; dermatitis. The targets of this compound are eyes, skin, respiratory system, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, blood, liver, kidneys.
Compound Type
  • Aromatic Hydrocarbon
  • Food Toxin
  • Industrial/Workplace Toxin
  • Lachrymator
  • Metabolite
  • Natural Compound
  • Organic Compound
  • Pollutant
  • Solvent
Chemical Structure
Chemical FormulaC8H10
Average Molecular Mass106.165 g/mol
Monoisotopic Mass106.078 g/mol
CAS Registry Number108-38-3
IUPAC Name1,3-xylene
Traditional NameM-xylene
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/C8H10/c1-7-4-3-5-8(2)6-7/h3-6H,1-2H3
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of organic compounds known as m-xylenes. These are aromatic compounds that contain a m-xylene moiety, which is a monocyclic benzene carrying exactly two methyl groups at the 1- and 3-positions.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassBenzenoids
ClassBenzene and substituted derivatives
Sub ClassXylenes
Direct Parentm-Xylenes
Alternative Parents
  • M-xylene
  • Aromatic hydrocarbon
  • Unsaturated hydrocarbon
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Aromatic homomonocyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAromatic homomonocyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Biological Properties
StatusDetected and Not Quantified
Cellular Locations
  • Membrane
Biofluid LocationsNot Available
Tissue LocationsNot Available
PathwaysNot Available
ApplicationsNot Available
Biological RolesNot Available
Chemical RolesNot Available
Physical Properties
AppearanceColorless liquid.
Experimental Properties
Melting Point-47.8 °C
Boiling Point138.5 °C
Solubility0.106 mg/mL at 25 °C [YALKOWSKY,SH & DANNENFELSER,RM (1992)]; 0.161 mg/mL at 25°C [SANEMASA,I et al. (1982)]
LogPNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.2 g/LALOGPS
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area0 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity36.14 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability13.09 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings1ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash KeyDeposition DateView
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - EI-B (Non-derivatized)splash10-052f-9400000000-2f01cb2d1d9a3cb2c00a2017-09-12View Spectrum
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - EI-B (Non-derivatized)splash10-052f-9400000000-df0f65246037f2bfb5072017-09-12View Spectrum
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - CI-B (Non-derivatized)splash10-0a4i-0900000000-2370bbe07a9d5e20584f2017-09-12View Spectrum
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - EI-B (Non-derivatized)splash10-052f-9400000000-2f01cb2d1d9a3cb2c00a2018-05-18View Spectrum
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - EI-B (Non-derivatized)splash10-052f-9400000000-df0f65246037f2bfb5072018-05-18View Spectrum
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - CI-B (Non-derivatized)splash10-0a4i-0900000000-2370bbe07a9d5e20584f2018-05-18View Spectrum
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized) - 70eV, Positivesplash10-0a4i-5900000000-8bb4470d1d34c4bdbba92016-09-22View Spectrum
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized) - 70eV, PositiveNot Available2021-10-12View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-1408ea7794c1dd42097e2016-08-03View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-a18170561f3e5d8b9f5b2016-08-03View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-0aor-9500000000-7f307619895b310971202016-08-03View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-51ad3e28bd0c6572b4412016-08-03View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-51ad3e28bd0c6572b4412016-08-03View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-4900000000-1f1973b947c3c42a28b62016-08-03View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-0a4i-2900000000-b1f1a68d446da42d7ad62021-09-24View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-004l-9100000000-fc29268619d061ae36112021-09-24View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-014i-9000000000-da7286fba0f1ecc72e962021-09-24View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-861947f0491f909a25882021-09-24View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-861947f0491f909a25882021-09-24View Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-1900000000-d421ee990836412c09012021-09-24View Spectrum
MSMass Spectrum (Electron Ionization)splash10-052f-9300000000-1d9e623f1ed39f29c5b62014-09-20View Spectrum
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 400 MHz, CDCl3, experimental)Not Available2014-09-20View Spectrum
1D NMR13C NMR Spectrum (1D, 25.16 MHz, CDCl3, experimental)Not Available2014-09-23View Spectrum
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, CDCl3, experimental)Not Available2016-10-22View Spectrum
1D NMR13C NMR Spectrum (1D, CDCl3, experimental)Not Available2016-10-22View Spectrum
Toxicity Profile
Route of ExposureOral (11) ; inhalation (11) ; dermal (11)
Mechanism of Toxicitym-Xylene is a cholinesterase or acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor. A cholinesterase inhibitor (or 'anticholinesterase') suppresses the action of acetylcholinesterase. Because of its essential function, chemicals that interfere with the action of acetylcholinesterase are potent neurotoxins, causing excessive salivation and eye-watering in low doses, followed by muscle spasms and ultimately death. Nerve gases and many substances used in insecticides have been shown to act by binding a serine in the active site of acetylcholine esterase, inhibiting the enzyme completely. Acetylcholine esterase breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is released at nerve and muscle junctions, in order to allow the muscle or organ to relax. The result of acetylcholine esterase inhibition is that acetylcholine builds up and continues to act so that any nerve impulses are continually transmitted and muscle contractions do not stop. Among the most common acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are phosphorus-based compounds, which are designed to bind to the active site of the enzyme. The structural requirements are a phosphorus atom bearing two lipophilic groups, a leaving group (such as a halide or thiocyanate), and a terminal oxygen.
MetabolismXylenes are well absorbed by the inhalation and oral routes. Approximately 60% of inspired xylene is retained and approximately 90% of ingested xylene is absorbed. Absorption also occurs by the dermal route, but to a much lesser extent than by the inhalation and oral routes. Following absorption, xylene is rapidly distributed throughout the body by way of the systemic circulation. In the blood, it is primarily bound to serum proteins and accumulates primarily in adipose tissue. Xylene is primarily metabolized by oxidation of a methyl group and conjugation with glycine to yield the methylhippuric acid, whicih is the primary metabolite excreted in urine. Aromatic hydroxylation of xylene to xylenol occurs to only a limited extent in humans. Less than 2% of an absorbed dose is excreted in the urine as xylenol. Other minor metabolites found in urine include methylbenzyl alcohol and glucuronic acid conjugates of the oxidized xylene. In humans, hepatic microsomal CYP2E1 is the primary enzyme involved with the metabolism of xylene to methylbenzylalcohol, the dominant pathway leading to the formation of methylhippuric acid isomers. Unmetabolized xylene can be exhalated or also excreted in urine. (11)
Toxicity ValuesLD50: 1590 mg/kg (Oral, Rat) (4) LC50: 6350 ppm over 4 hours (Inhalation, Rat) (5) LD50: 1548 mg/kg (Intraperitoneal, Mouse) (6) LD50: 1700 mg/kg (Subcutaneous, Rat) (6) LD50: 6661 mg/kg/day (Oral, Rat) (11) LD50: 3228 mg/kg/day (Dermal, Rabbit) (11)
Lethal Dose50 and 500 mg/kg for an adult human. (7)
Carcinogenicity (IARC Classification)3, not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans. (10)
Uses/SourcesXylene is used as a solvent and in the printing, rubber, and leather industries. It is also used as a cleaning agent, a thinner for paint, and in paints and varnishes. It is found in small amounts in airplane fuel and gasoline. Exposure to xylene may occur from breathing it in contaminated air, drinking or eating xylene-contaminated water or food, and through dermal and eye contact with xylene containing products. (11, 11)
Minimum Risk LevelAcute Inhalation: 2 ppm (9) Intermediate Inhalation: 0.6 ppm (9) Chronic Inhalation: 0.05 ppm (9) Acute Oral: 1 mg/kg/day (9) Intermediate Oral: 0.4 mg/kg/day (9) Chronic Oral: 0.2 mg/kg/day (9)
Health EffectsAcute exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors can cause a cholinergic crisis characterized by severe nausea/vomiting, salivation, sweating, bradycardia, hypotension, collapse, and convulsions. Increasing muscle weakness is a possibility and may result in death if respiratory muscles are involved. Accumulation of ACh at motor nerves causes overstimulation of nicotinic expression at the neuromuscular junction. When this occurs symptoms such as muscle weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, fasciculation, and paralysis can be seen. When there is an accumulation of ACh at autonomic ganglia this causes overstimulation of nicotinic expression in the sympathetic system. Symptoms associated with this are hypertension, and hypoglycemia. Overstimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system, due to accumulation of ACh, results in anxiety, headache, convulsions, ataxia, depression of respiration and circulation, tremor, general weakness, and potentially coma. When there is expression of muscarinic overstimulation due to excess acetylcholine at muscarinic acetylcholine receptors symptoms of visual disturbances, tightness in chest, wheezing due to bronchoconstriction, increased bronchial secretions, increased salivation, lacrimation, sweating, peristalsis, and urination can occur. Certain reproductive effects in fertility, growth, and development for males and females have been linked specifically to organophosphate pesticide exposure. Most of the research on reproductive effects has been conducted on farmers working with pesticides and insecticdes in rural areas. In females menstrual cycle disturbances, longer pregnancies, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and some developmental effects in offspring have been linked to organophosphate pesticide exposure. Prenatal exposure has been linked to impaired fetal growth and development. Neurotoxic effects have also been linked to poisoning with OP pesticides causing four neurotoxic effects in humans: cholinergic syndrome, intermediate syndrome, organophosphate-induced delayed polyneuropathy (OPIDP), and chronic organophosphate-induced neuropsychiatric disorder (COPIND). These syndromes result after acute and chronic exposure to OP pesticides.
SymptomsDizziness, drowsiness, headache, and nausea can follow ihnalation and ingestion exposure. Burning sensations and abdominal pain can also result from ingestion. Dry skin, redness, and pain can result from dermal and eye exposure depending on the route of exposure. Conjunctivitis, dermatitis, irritation to respiratory tract, dyspnea, anorexia, vomiting, fatigue, vertigo, incoordination, irritation, gangrene and anemia can also follow xylene poisoning. (1)
TreatmentIf the compound has been ingested, rapid gastric lavage should be performed using 5% sodium bicarbonate. For skin contact, the skin should be washed with soap and water. If the compound has entered the eyes, they should be washed with large quantities of isotonic saline or water. In serious cases, atropine and/or pralidoxime should be administered. Anti-cholinergic drugs work to counteract the effects of excess acetylcholine and reactivate AChE. Atropine can be used as an antidote in conjunction with pralidoxime or other pyridinium oximes (such as trimedoxime or obidoxime), though the use of '-oximes' has been found to be of no benefit, or possibly harmful, in at least two meta-analyses. Atropine is a muscarinic antagonist, and thus blocks the action of acetylcholine peripherally.
Normal Concentrations
Not Available
Abnormal Concentrations
Not Available
DrugBank IDNot Available
PubChem Compound ID7929
ChemSpider ID7641
UniProt IDNot Available
ChEBI ID28488
CTD IDNot Available
Stitch IDXylene, meta-
PDB IDNot Available
ACToR ID1479
Wikipedia LinkM-Xylene
Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
MSDSNot Available
General References
  1. Miller ER 3rd, Pastor-Barriuso R, Dalal D, Riemersma RA, Appel LJ, Guallar E: Meta-analysis: high-dosage vitamin E supplementation may increase all-cause mortality. Ann Intern Med. 2005 Jan 4;142(1):37-46. Epub 2004 Nov 10. [15537682 ]
  2. Wang DL, Chen CL, Zhao C, Gao J, Kong DY, You H, Brugger J: [The solution of nonlinear function of ion mobility based on FAIMS spectrum peak position]. Guang Pu Xue Yu Guang Pu Fen Xi. 2012 Aug;32(8):2050-5. [23156750 ]
  3. Casarett LJ, Klaassen CD, and Watkins JB (2003). Casarett and Doull's essentials of toxicology. New York: McGraw-Hill/Medical Pub. Div.
  4. Hayes WJ Jr. and Laws ER Jr. (eds) (1991). Handbook of Pesticide Toxicology. Volume 3. Classes of Pesticides. New York, NY: Academic Press, Inc.
  5. Clayton GD and Clayton FE (eds) (1993-1994). Patty's Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. Volumes 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F: Toxicology. 4th ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  6. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (2002). RTECS: Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances.
  7. Gosselin RE, Smith RP, and Hodge HC (1984). Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products. 5th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins.
  8. ITII (1982). Toxic and Hazarous Industrial Chemicals Safety Manual. Tokyo, Japan: The International Technical Information Institute.
  9. ATSDR - Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2001). Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs) for Hazardous Substances. U.S. Public Health Service in collaboration with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). [Link]
  10. International Agency for Research on Cancer (2014). IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. [Link]
  11. ATSDR - Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2007). Toxicological profile for xylene. U.S. Public Health Service in collaboration with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). [Link]
  12. International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) INCHEM (1992). Poison Information Monograph for Xylene. [Link]
  13. Wikipedia. m-Xylene. Last Updated 13 January 2014. [Link]
  14. Wikipedia. P-Xylene. Last Updated 19 July 2009. [Link]
Gene Regulation
Up-Regulated GenesNot Available
Down-Regulated GenesNot Available


General Function:
Serine hydrolase activity
Specific Function:
Terminates signal transduction at the neuromuscular junction by rapid hydrolysis of the acetylcholine released into the synaptic cleft. Role in neuronal apoptosis.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
67795.525 Da
Binding/Activity Constants
TypeValueAssay TypeAssay Source
IC504.9 uMNot AvailableBindingDB 50008556
  1. Cardozo MG, Iimura Y, Sugimoto H, Yamanishi Y, Hopfinger AJ: QSAR analyses of the substituted indanone and benzylpiperidine rings of a series of indanone-benzylpiperidine inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase. J Med Chem. 1992 Feb 7;35(3):584-9. [1738151 ]
General Function:
Steroid hydroxylase activity
Specific Function:
Metabolizes several precarcinogens, drugs, and solvents to reactive metabolites. Inactivates a number of drugs and xenobiotics and also bioactivates many xenobiotic substrates to their hepatotoxic or carcinogenic forms.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
56848.42 Da
  1. Foy JW, Silverman DM, Schatz RA: Low-level m-Xylene inhalation alters pulmonary and hepatic cytochrome P-450 activity in the rat. J Toxicol Environ Health. 1996 Feb 9;47(2):135-44. [8598570 ]
General Function:
Oxygen binding
Specific Function:
Cytochromes P450 are a group of heme-thiolate monooxygenases. In liver microsomes, this enzyme is involved in an NADPH-dependent electron transport pathway. It oxidizes a variety of structurally unrelated compounds, including steroids, fatty acids, and xenobiotics.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
58990.64 Da
  1. Foy JW, Silverman DM, Schatz RA: Low-level m-Xylene inhalation alters pulmonary and hepatic cytochrome P-450 activity in the rat. J Toxicol Environ Health. 1996 Feb 9;47(2):135-44. [8598570 ]
General Function:
Temperature-gated cation channel activity
Specific Function:
Receptor-activated non-selective cation channel involved in detection of pain and possibly also in cold perception and inner ear function (PubMed:25389312, PubMed:25855297). Has a central role in the pain response to endogenous inflammatory mediators and to a diverse array of volatile irritants, such as mustard oil, cinnamaldehyde, garlic and acrolein, an irritant from tears gas and vehicule exhaust fumes (PubMed:25389312, PubMed:20547126). Is also activated by menthol (in vitro)(PubMed:25389312). Acts also as a ionotropic cannabinoid receptor by being activated by delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana (PubMed:25389312). May be a component for the mechanosensitive transduction channel of hair cells in inner ear, thereby participating in the perception of sounds. Probably operated by a phosphatidylinositol second messenger system (By similarity).
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
127499.88 Da
  1. Nilius B, Prenen J, Owsianik G: Irritating channels: the case of TRPA1. J Physiol. 2011 Apr 1;589(Pt 7):1543-9. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.200717. Epub 2010 Nov 15. [21078588 ]
General Function:
Zinc ion binding
Specific Function:
Nuclear hormone receptor. The steroid hormones and their receptors are involved in the regulation of eukaryotic gene expression and affect cellular proliferation and differentiation in target tissues. Ligand-dependent nuclear transactivation involves either direct homodimer binding to a palindromic estrogen response element (ERE) sequence or association with other DNA-binding transcription factors, such as AP-1/c-Jun, c-Fos, ATF-2, Sp1 and Sp3, to mediate ERE-independent signaling. Ligand binding induces a conformational change allowing subsequent or combinatorial association with multiprotein coactivator complexes through LXXLL motifs of their respective components. Mutual transrepression occurs between the estrogen receptor (ER) and NF-kappa-B in a cell-type specific manner. Decreases NF-kappa-B DNA-binding activity and inhibits NF-kappa-B-mediated transcription from the IL6 promoter and displace RELA/p65 and associated coregulators from the promoter. Recruited to the NF-kappa-B response element of the CCL2 and IL8 promoters and can displace CREBBP. Present with NF-kappa-B components RELA/p65 and NFKB1/p50 on ERE sequences. Can also act synergistically with NF-kappa-B to activate transcription involving respective recruitment adjacent response elements; the function involves CREBBP. Can activate the transcriptional activity of TFF1. Also mediates membrane-initiated estrogen signaling involving various kinase cascades. Isoform 3 is involved in activation of NOS3 and endothelial nitric oxide production. Isoforms lacking one or several functional domains are thought to modulate transcriptional activity by competitive ligand or DNA binding and/or heterodimerization with the full length receptor. Essential for MTA1-mediated transcriptional regulation of BRCA1 and BCAS3. Isoform 3 can bind to ERE and inhibit isoform 1.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
66215.45 Da
Binding/Activity Constants
TypeValueAssay TypeAssay Source
AC500.00 uMACEA_T47D_80hr_PositiveACEA Biosciences
  1. Sipes NS, Martin MT, Kothiya P, Reif DM, Judson RS, Richard AM, Houck KA, Dix DJ, Kavlock RJ, Knudsen TB: Profiling 976 ToxCast chemicals across 331 enzymatic and receptor signaling assays. Chem Res Toxicol. 2013 Jun 17;26(6):878-95. doi: 10.1021/tx400021f. Epub 2013 May 16. [23611293 ]