zene fumes failed to produce cancer in a short animal test. The disease did develop in mice and rats that received oral dosage, and paradichlorobenzene caused cell mutations (a possible indication of cancer-causing potential) in fungi but not in bacteria. Human risk is unknown.
Pregnancy. A normal infant was born to a woman who ate one or two paradichlorobenzene toilet fresheners a week during her pregnancy. A pregnant woman who sniffed naphthalene, however, produced a child with skin color typical of naphthalene poisoning and an enlarged liver and spleen. The organs became normal after treatment.
Additional scientific information may be found in:
Athanasiou, M., et al. "Hemolytic Anemia in a Female Newborn Infant Whose Mother
Inhaled Naphthalene Before Delivery." Journal of Pediatrics 130 (1997): 680-81. Santucci, K., and B. Shah. "Association of Naphthalene with Acute Hemolytic Anemia."
Academic Emergency Medicine 7 (2000): 42-47. Siegel, E., and S. Wason. "Mothball Toxicity." Pediatric Clinics of North America 33 (1986): 369-74.
Weintraub, E., D. Gandhi, and C. Robinson. "Medical Complications Due to Mothball Abuse." Southern Medical Journal 93 (2000): 427-29.
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