Health hazards have been associated with hexane, which primarily affects the central nervous system. Short-term exposure to hexane can cause mild nausea, headache and dizziness. People who are exposed to hexane over a long period of time can suffer from polyneuropathy, which manifests as weakness, numbness in the hands and feet, headache, fatigue and blurred vision. Scientists still aren't sure if hexane is a carcinogen.
Hexane can also irritate the eyes and throat and cause inflammation of the skin. It may also cause loss of appetite. The health effects of hexane are usually caused by inhaling it, but it can also pass through the skin or be ingested orally. Most people who are exposed to hexane are exposed to it at their place of work, although some people are exposed to small amounts of this chemical when they fill their gas tanks.
Normally, hexane is a colorless liquid that can't be dissolved in water. It is also flammable and does have a faint odor.
Hexane is used a solvent and a cleanser. It's also used to extract vegetable and seed oils, especially oils from peanuts, corn and soybeans. It is found in gasoline because it is a by-product of crude oil refinement.