TABLE 2.4 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry 1993 Priority List of Rank Ordered Top 10 Hazardous Substances

Hazardous Agents


Exposure Pathways

Systems Affected


Storage batteries; manufacture of paint, enamel, ink, glass, rubber, ceramics, chemicals

Ingestion, inhalation

Hematologic, renal, neuromuscular, GI, CNS


Manufacture of pigments, glass, pharmaceuticals, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides; tanning

Ingestion inhalation

Neuromuscular, skin, GI

Metallic mercury

Electronics, paints, metal and textile production, chemical manufacturing, pharmaceutical production

Inhalation, percutaneous and GI absorption

Pulmonary, CNS, renal


Manufacture of organic chemicals, detergents, pesticides, solvents, paint removers

Inhalation, percutaneous absorption

CNS, hematopoietic

Vinyl chloride

Production of polyvinyl chloride and other plastics; chlorinated compounds; used as refrigerant

Inhalation, ingestion

Hepatic, neurologic, pulmonary


Electroplating, solder


Pulmonary, renal

Polychlorinated biphenyls

Formerly used in electrical equipment

Inhalation, ingestion

Skin, eyes, hepatic


Emissions from refuse burning and autos, used as laboratory reagent, found on charcoal-grilled meats and in cigarette smoke

Inhalation, ingestion, and percutaneous absorption

Pulmonary, skin, eyes (BaP is a probable human carcinogen)

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