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Solvents are substances that dissolve a solute, resulting in a solution. A solvent is usually a liquid, but can also be a solid or a gas. They may be organic (such as hydrocarbons) or inorganic (such as acids) chemical compounds used in industrial cleaning processes to dissolve, disperse, or carry solids, gases, or other liquids. There are hundreds of industrial solvents and many can pass rapidly through skin into bloodstream to cause cancer or injury to body organs (usually kidney and liver) or central nervous system. Many of them persist in nature (are not biodegradable) and pollute air, water, and soil, resulting in damage to animate and inanimate environment.


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