A solvent is defined as a liquid that has the ability to dissolve, suspend or extract another material without chemical change to either the material or solvent. Organic solvents are found in numerous household and industrial products including glues, household cleaners, degreasers, thinners, paints, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and pesticides. The group includes aliphatic, cyclic, aromatic and halogenated hydrocarbons, ethers, esters, glycols, ketones, aldehydes and amines. Common solvents include isopropanol, toluene and xylene. Other volatile hydrocarbons more commonly used as fuels, such as petrol, kerosene and butane (used as lighter fuel), have similar physicochemical properties, clinical effects and abuse potential.
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