Background: The aim of this review was to estimate the lethal and exposure doses of a representative symptom (blindness) of methanol exposure in humans by reviewing data from previous articles. Methods: Available articles published from 1970 to 2016 that investigated the dose-response relationship for methanol exposure (i.e., the exposure concentration and the biological markers/clinical symptoms) were evaluated; the MEDLINE and RISS (Korean search engine) databases were searched. The available data from these articles were carefully selected to estimate the range and median of a lethal human dose. The regression equation and correlation coefficient (between the exposure level and urinary methanol concentration as a biological exposure marker) were assumed from the previous data. Results: The lethal human dose of pure methanol was estimated at 15.8-474g/person as a range and as 56.2g/person as the median. The dose-response relationship between methanol vapor in ambient air and urinary methanol concentrations was thought to be correlated. An oral intake of 3.16-11.85g/person of pure methanol could cause blindness. The lethal dose from respiratory intake was reported to be 4000-13,000mg/l. The initial concentration of optic neuritis and blindness were shown to be 228.5 and 1103mg/l, respectively, for a 12-h exposure. Conclusion: The concentration of biological exposure indices and clinical symptoms for methanol exposure might have a dose-response relationship according to previous articles. Even a low dose of pure methanol through oral or respiratory exposure might be lethal or result in blindness as a clinical symptom.
Moon, C. S. (2017, October 2). Estimations of the lethal and exposure doses for representative methanol symptoms in humans. Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40557-017-0197-5