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What is the chemical formula for turpentine?

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Quick Answer

Turpentine's chemical formula is C10H16. It is a hydrocarbon distilled from pinewood. Turpentine, also called wood turpentine or gum spirits, is a colorless liquid with a strong odor.

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Turpentine is primarily produced in the United States and widely used as a paint solvent. It is toxic if inhaled or swallowed, and in serious cases may result in kidney damage or coma. Turpentine is a common culprit behind childhood poisoning incidents. It is also flammable and causes skin irritation.

Turpentine has been used in traditional medicine as an ointment for arthritic and muscular pain. A derivative, terpin hydrate, is used to alleviate common cold symptoms.

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