Toluene embryopathy

J Pediatr. 1985 Jun;106(6):922-7. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(85)80238-9.


Three children with microcephaly, central nervous system dysfunction, minor craniofacial and limb anomalies, and variable growth deficiency were born to women who inhaled large quantities of pure toluene throughout pregnancy. The features in our patients were reminiscent of the patterns of malformation previously described following in utero exposure to alcohol, certain anticonvulsants, and hyperphenylalaninemia. It is possible that there is a variable and nonspecific teratogenic phenotype characterized by alterations in growth, development, and morphogenesis. Careful evaluation and monitoring of infants exposed to toluene in utero are needed to determine the significance of our findings.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / etiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environmental Pollution / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / drug effects*
  • Microcephaly / chemically induced*
  • Pregnancy
  • Syndrome
  • Toluene / adverse effects*


  • Toluene