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C-FERST Issue Profile: Acrolein

Acrolein is a clear or yellow liquid with a burned, pungent odor that is commonly used as a pesticide to control algae, weeds, bacteria and mollusks, and is also used to make other chemicals. It is toxic to humans following inhalation, oral or skin exposures.

Acrolein also can be formed from the breakdown of certain pollutants in outdoor air or from burning organic matter like tobacco, or fuels like gasoline and oil. Small amounts of acrolein may be found in some foods, such as fried foods, cooking oils, and roasted coffee.

Short-term inhalation exposure to acrolein can cause upper respiratory tract irritation and congestion. Long-term inhalation exposure can cause general respiratory congestion and eye, nose and throat irritation.

No information is available on the reproductive, developmental or carcinogenic effects of acrolein. Existing animal cancer data also aren’t sufficient to determine if acrolein is cancer-causing to humans.

Learn more about acrolein by exploring the links below.