Furan is a colorless liquid that turns brown upon standing in air. It has a pleasant odor and is used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals
, agricultural chemicals, and other chemicals, and as a solvent for resins. It is extremely flammable.
Furan can be absorbed through the skin. Furan vapors may be inhaled and can be narcotic. Death or injury may result after very short exposure to very small quantities, either by ingestion, skin absorption or inhalation.
Exposure to furan may cause the following acute (short-term) health effects: irritation and burning of the skin
, irritation of the nose and throat
, irritation of the lungs
causing coughing and/or shortness of breath
, low blood pressure
, lightheadedness and fainting. Higher exposure can cause pulmonary edema
(a fluid build-up in the lungs).
Exposure to furan may cause the following chronic (long-term) health effects: cancer
, decreased fertility
, skin allergies
, and liver
and kidney damage
In May 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will embark on a thorough scientific assessment of the health significance of very low levels of furan in certain foods. FDA is holding a Food Advisory Committee meeting on June 8, 2004 to seek the committee's expert input on the data necessary to fully assess the risk posed by furan.
After the advisory committee meeting, and after evaluating all the available data, FDA will decide on the appropriate next steps, which may include an expanded food survey, studies to address how furan forms in foods, potential strategies to reduce furan levels, and toxicology studies to address mechanisms of toxicity and dose response.
See your doctor if you have experienced serious health problems because of exposure to furan. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
- Toxic & Hazardous Substances
- Allergies: Overview
- Balance Problems: Overview
- Breathing: Overview
- Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders
- Eye Disorders
- Fatigue: Overview
- Female Infertility
- Kidney Failure
- Liver Problems
- Low Blood Pressure (hypotension): Overview
- Lung & Airway Disorders
- Male Infertility: Overview
- Pulmonary Edema: Overview
- Skin Disorders: Overview