Use of Partition Models in Setting Health Guidelines for Volatile Organic Compounds
Partition models based on the octanol-air partition coefficients and associated quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) have been developed to describe the triggering of odor detection, nasal irritation, and narcosis by common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This study made use of the QSARs developed by Hau and Connell (1998), Indoor Air 8, 23-33) and Hau et al. (1999a, Toxicol. Sci. 47, 93-98; 1999b, Environ. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 7, 159-167) to predict the odor thresholds, nasal pungency thresholds, and anesthetic potency in humans for four groups of VOCs, namely, alkanes, alcohols, ketones, and acetates. The predicted outcomes with their estimated variability were used to evaluate the relevant guidelines on the airborne concentrations of these test groups. Threshold limit values (TLVs) for the test compounds were found to be generally capable of offering adequate protection against nasal pungency and narcosis, except for the higher alcohols (C6-C8) and sec-amyl acetate. The QSARs can also be used to set tentative guidelines for those compounds not having a TLV; values of 5 and 75 ppm were proposed for heptan-1-ol and dibutyl ketone respectively as examples.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology
HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY