is a hydrocarbon (contains mostly carbon and hydrogen).
It is an industrial solvent and also occurs in airplane
glue, which some uninformed people sniff in order to get
molecule with six carbon atoms, each bonded to hydrogen, is very
toxic. The damage caused by hexane
includes liver damage and a wasting away of both sensory and
motor nerve fibers, especially in the nerves of the limbs (this
is called peripheral neuropathy).
things happen in nerves as a result of hexane:
cells, found in brain and spinal cord, are killed.
Filaments inside of nerve fibers become clustered and clumpy.
Normally, these filaments are lined up in straight
parallel lines inside nerve fibers, and they help transport
materials down the nerve fiber. Remember, for example, that
a nerve to your toe has the cell body in the spinal cord. Only
the cell body can make all the proteins and many of the other
compounds needed by all parts of the cell. These materials have
to be shipped down the nerve fiber to the terminals. This is
a long and difficult transportation process, involving a meter
or more, and many substances are transported along normal filaments
only at a few millimeters per day. How tall are you? That will
give you a better idea of how long transport takes under normal
that disrupts this transport problem obviously makes a difficult
situation much worse. In the case of hexane, one of its
breakdown products causes
nerve cell filament proteins to cross-link. This cross-linking distorts
the proteins, and causes them to clump. The clumping physically
disrupts the normal flow of materials, much like a dam stops
the flow of water.
do you get exposed to hexane? Usually it is from breathing organic solvents that contain it, like glues. If hexane
gets on the skin, it causes marked irritation (imagine what it
is doing to your delicate lungs). Once in the body, it seeks out
the brain and makes you feel dizzy, silly, and sleepy. But the
damage it is doing to your brain is not funny.
here for more information on hexane. For more information
on the effects of sniffing solvents, such as hexane, Click