A family containing 135 individual, colorless compounds known as congeners with varying harmful health and environmental effects. They are produced as unwanted compounds during the manufacture of several chemicals and consumer products such as wood treatment chemicals, some metals, and paper products; also produced from the burning of municipal and industrial waste in incinerators, from exhaust of leaded gasoline, heat, or production of electricity. They are hazardous to the respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, liver, musculoskeletal system, skin and nervous system; and are toxic by inhalation, ingestion, and contact. Symptoms of exposure include frequent coughing, severe respiratory infections, chronic bronchitis, abdominal pain, muscle pain, acne rashes, skin color changes, unexpected weight loss, nonmalignant or malignant liver disease.
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