A Review of Environmental Occurrence, Fate, Exposure, and Toxicity of Benzothiazoles

Benzothiazole and its derivatives (BTs) are high production volume chemicals that have been used for several decades in a large number of industrial and consumer products, including vulcanisation accelerators, corrosion inhibitors, fungicides, herbicides, algicides, and ultraviolet (UV) light stabilizers. Several benzothiazole derivatives are used commercially, and widespread use of these chemicals has led to ubiquitous occurrence in diverse environmental compartments. BTs have been reported to be dermal sensitisers, respiratory tract irritants, endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, and genotoxicants. This study reviews occurrence and fate of a select group of BTs in the environment, as well as human exposure and toxicity. BTs have frequently been found in various environmental matrices at concentrations ranging from sub-ng/L (surface water) to several tens of ?g/g (indoor dust). The use of BTs in a number of consumer products, especially in rubber products, has resulted in widespread human exposure. BTs undergo chemical, biological, and photolytic degradation in the environment, creating several transformation products. Of these, 2-thiocyanomethylthio-benzothiazole (2-SCNMeS-BTH) has been shown to be the most toxic. Epidemiological studies have shown excess risks of cancers, including bladder cancer, lung cancer, and leukemia, among rubber factory workers, particularly those exposed to 2-mercapto-benzothiazole (2-SH-BTH). Human exposure to BTs continues to be a concern.

Authors: Liao C, Kim UJ, Kannan K. ; Full Source: Environmental Science & Technology. 2018 May 1;52(9):5007-5026. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b05493. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

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