Hesperian Health Guides
Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!
Make a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.
Many toxic chemicals harm our nervous systems. Harm to the nerves can cause confusion, memory loss, seizures (fits), and other problems with the brain. Nerve damage can also lead to damage to taste and smell, loss of feeling in the body, and difficulty balancing and walking. Some chemicals can cause paralysis or even death. Solvents commonly used for cleaning grease, such as acetone, benzene, turpentine, and gasoline, are toxic to the nervous system.
Prevention and treatment
The best way to prevent harm to the nervous system from toxics is to reduce their use at work and in the home. If you must use them, make sure there is good ventilation and use gloves and masks.