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Toxicokinetics and Biomarkers/Environmental

Sources of Exposure
Normal Human Levels Levels
General Populations Toxicokinetics Biomarkers
 The general population may be exposed
to 1,4-dioxane in contaminated air, water,
 1,4-Dioxane is readily absorbed through
the lungs and gastrointestinal system and
 1,4-Dioxane and HEAA in plasma and
urine can be used as biomarkers of recent
food, and consumer products.
 Inhalation exposure to 1,4-dioxane in tap
poorly absorbed through the skin.
 At lower doses, 1,4-dioxane is rapidly
exposure in workers.
water may also occur during activities metabolized to β-hydroxyethoxy acetic
Environmental Levels
such as showering, bathing, and
laundering. Exposure during these
acid (HEAA).
 At higher doses, the metabolic process
Air C4H8O2
activities may be higher than exposure via may become saturated resulting in  Levels in ambient air ranged from 0.028–
ingestion of tap water. 1,4-dioxane being excreted in exhaled air 0.11 ppb; mean concentration in indoor CAS# 123-91-1
air was 1.03 ppb. These values are from April 2012
 Dermal exposure may occur through and urine.
bathing or showering in contaminated tap the mid 1980s, more recent data are not
 1,4-Dioxane is rapidly eliminated from available.
water or through the use of cosmetics, the body and does not accumulate.
detergents, shampoos, and bubble baths Sediment and Soil
containing 1,4-dioxane. Although FDA  1,4-Dioxane is primarily excreted as the U.S. Department of Health and
metabolite HEAA in urine.
 No data are available on actual
monitors 1,4-dioxane in raw materials measurements of 1,4-dioxane in soil. Human Services
used in the manufacture of cosmetic Public Health Service
products, not all raw material producers Normal Human Levels Agency for Toxic Substances
are effectively controlling the levels.  Levels in municipal water were and Disease Registry
 A 2007–2008 study from a U.S. approximately 1 ppb in the 1970s; more
population (≥12 years old) found no recent data are not available.
Occupational Populations detectable concentration of 1,4-dioxane
in 2,053 blood samples analyzed. Contact Information:
 Facilities that produce or use solvents Reference Division of Toxicology
containing 1,4-dioxane.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease and Human Health Sciences
 1,4-Dioxane is also used as a laboratory Registry (ATSDR). 2012. Toxicological Environmental Toxicology Branch
reagent in chromatography and in plastic, Profile for 1,4-Dioxane. Atlanta, GA: U.S.
rubber, insecticides, and herbicides. Department of Health and Human 1600 Clifton Road NE, F-57
Services, Public Health Services. Atlanta, GA 30333
Routes of Exposure and
Chemical and Physical 1,4-Dioxane in the
Information Relevance to Public Health (Health Effects)

1,4-Dioxane is a Liquid Route of Exposure Health effects are determined Health Effects
 1,4-Dioxane is a clear liquid that dissolves  Inhalation – Predominant route of by the dose (how much), the  The primary targets of 1,4-dioxane
in water. exposure for the general population and duration (how long), and the toxicity are the liver, kidneys, and nasal
 It is primarily used as a solvent for workers. Inhalation exposure also occurs route of exposure. cavity (following inhalation exposure).
chemical processing (e.g., adhesives, from 1,4-dioxane released from tap water  Acute exposures to airborne
cleaning and detergent preparations, during bathing and laundering. 1,4-dioxane can also result in eye and
cosmetics, deodorant fumigants,  Oral – Predominant route of exposure Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs) nose irritation in humans.
emulsions and polishing compositions, for the general population ingesting Inhalation
 1,4-Dioxane is likely to be carcinogenic
fat, lacquers, pulping of wood, varnishes, contaminated drinking water and from  An MRL of 2 ppm has been derived for to humans. Liver tumors have been
waxes). food. acute-duration inhalation exposure observed in rats and mice following
 It is unintentionally formed as a  Dermal – Use of contaminated consumer (≤14 days). chronic drinking water exposure. Nasal
contaminant during the manufacture of products such as cosmetics or shampoos.  An MRL of 0.2 ppm has been derived for tumors were also observed in rats
alkyl ether sulfates and other ethoxylated intermediate-duration inhalation following chronic inhalation or
surfactants, which are used in consumer exposure (15–364 days). drinking water exposure.
products such as cosmetics, detergents, 1,4-Dioxane in the
and shampoos. Currently, manufactures Environment  An MRL of 0.03 ppm has been derived
for chronic-duration inhalation exposure Children’s Health
reduce 1,4-dioxane from ethoxylated  1,4-Dioxane can be released into the (≥1 year).
surfactants to trace levels before these environment during its production, the  It is not known if children are more
chemicals are made into consumer processing of other chemicals, its use, susceptible to 1,4-dioxane poisoning
products. and with its unintentional formation Oral than adults.
during the manufacture of ethoxylated  An MRL of 5 mg/kg/day has been
surfactants. derived for acute-duration oral exposure
 1,4-Dioxane is expected to volatilize (≤14 days).
from the surfaces of water and soil at a  An MRL of 0.5 mg/kg/day has been
moderate rate. In air, it is subject to derived for intermediate-duration oral
photooxidation with an estimated half- exposure (15–364 days).
life of 1–3 days.  An MRL of 0.1 mg/kg/day has been
 1,4-Dioxane biodegrades very slowly in derived for chronic-duration oral
water and soils and is considered exposure (≥1 year).
recalcitrant. It adsorbs weakly to soil and
will move quickly into groundwater.
 Bioconcentration, bioaccumulation, and
biomagnification are not considered
important environmental fate processes
for 1,4-dioxane.