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Pyridine is an industrial solvent used in numerous industries and released into the environment primarily from these industrial activities (#ATSDR ToxFAQs).

Chemical Description

Pyridine is a flammable colorless liquid with an unpleasant, fishy aroma at room temperature and is often produced from coal-tar or other chemicals but can be found independently in the environment (#ATSDR ToxFAQs, #IARC, #Haz-Map).

Liquid pyridine evaporates easily and is also miscible with water (#ATSDR Public Health Statement).


Pyridine is used as a solvent or intermediary in numerous industries including producing piperidine, rubber products, polycarbonate resins, medicines, vitamins, food flavorings, Pesticides, paints, dyes, rubber products, adhesives, and waterproofing for fabrics (#IARC and #ATSDR Toxicological Profile).

Structure retrieved from University of Kentucy.

Health Effects

The health affects of pyridine exposure are not known precisely. No studies were found linking pyridine to developmental, reproductivity, renal system, or carcinogentic effects (#ATSDR Toxicological Profile). Two cases were found where patients taking pyridine to treat epilepsy had kidney and liver damage, but the correlation making pyridine the sole cause has not been made (#ATSDR ToxFAQs).

Acute ingestion or inhalation leads to nervous system effects including headaches, giddiness, a desire to sleep, quickening of the pulse, rapid breathing, and nausea (#IARC and #ATSDR ToxFAQs).

Contact with pyridine can also cause skin burns (#Haz-Map).


See ATSDR Toxicological Profile - Pyridine: Regulations and Advisories for a full list of regulations.


International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). "Summaries and Evaluations - Pyridine". 2000.

Haz-Map. "Pyridine". July, 2007. Accessed 9-27-07.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). "ToxFAQs? for Pyridine". September 1995. Accesed 9-27-07.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). "Toxicological Profile for Pyridine". September 1992. Accessed 9-27-07.

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