The inhalation of a wide range of organic solvents has become popular among young adults. Toluene is one of the most commonly used solvents in industry; it is easily available and convenient to use. Many toxicologic effects on biological systems secondary to deliberate inhalation of toluene have been reported, but investigations on adverse effects associated with bone morbidity is limited. The purpose of this study is to determine bone mineralization and investigate the adverse effects of toluene on bone. The bone mineral density and content of the femoral neck of mice exposed to toluene at 300 ppm for 8 wk were measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry and found significantly reduced compared to the control group. Chronic exposure to toluene was found to affect bone metabolism, and toluene-induced changes could contribute to bone resorption and inhibition of bone formation. Toluene seems to be the responsible component for the demineralizating effects of commonly abused substances, and medical doctors must promote their education about the health hazards in those who abuse solvents especially in areas where inhalant abuse is endemic.
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