Environmental and health risks of hydroquinone
Hazard assessment of hydroquinone has been evaluated from bibliographical and original data on the physicochemical properties, the environmental behavior, and the biological effects of this aromatic compound. Hydroquinone, which is produced in large amounts and widely used, must be considered as an environmental contaminant. However, it is not persistent. The ecotoxicity of this molecule, which must be linked to its physicochemical properties, varies from species to species. Its acute and chronic toxicity toward higher terrestrial organisms is moderate. Hydroquinone is estimated to be nonmutagenic by the Ames test but induces chromosome aberrations or karyotypic effects in eucaryotic cells. Carcinogenic and teratogenic potentials have been at present inadequately studied. The study underlines the complementarity of QSAR models and experimental approaches when an attempt is made to obtain ecotoxicological profiles of pollutants.