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Acrolein is an unsaturated aldehyde which is highly toxic by the inhalation and oral routes and is a strong irritant. The reactivity and toxicity of acrolein is seen at the principal sites of exposure, the gastrointestinal and pulmonary tracts. There is no evidence that below aversive levels, acrolein enters the general circulation. Acrolein is metabolized by liver and lung; metabolism is the principal route of elimination. There is inadequate evidence for acrolein's mutagenicity or chemical interaction with mammaliam germ cells. Animal evidence for carcinogenicity is limited. There is no epidemiological data. Acrolein can produce both embryotoxic and fetotoxic effects, and it is teratogenic under certain conditions.
Chiu, A., E. Clegg, I. Davidson, C. Dippel, AND L. Kaufman. Health Assessment Document for Acrolein. External Review Draft. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/8-86/014A (NTIS PB87139960), 1986.