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Toxicity of toluene arising from solvent abuse, occupation hazards and environmental pollution has generated a lot of concern in recent times. Young people are getting more involved in the abuse of toluene by deliberate inhalation of toluene-containing substances which may result in high level of exposure to toluene. This abuse may have adverse effect on their health. This study was therefore designed to investigate the effect of oral exposure to toluene on haematological parameters using male albino rats as model. Twenty animals were randomly assigned to 4 groups of 5 rats each. Group A (Control) received 0.5 ml of olive oil (vehicle) while groups B, C and D received 31.8, 63.6 and 127.2 mg/kg respectively of toluene for 21 days by oral gavage. At the end of the treatments, the animals were anaesthetized and blood samples were collected for haematological investigations. No significant (p >0.05) variation occurred in the mean values of PCV, haemoglobin concentration, RBC and platelet counts in comparison with the control. There was a significant (p <0.05) increase in total WBC and lymphocyte counts with a higher increase (p<0.01) in total neutrophil count. No significant (p >0.05) change in the total monocyte and eosinophil counts relative to the control. Oral administration of toluene as used in this study may be toxic to health depending on the dose and duration of exposure.
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