What is Taurine?

Taurine (chemical formula: C2H7NO3S), is a white crystalline powder. It is naturally produced amino acid in the body that is also found in many foods, including fish and meat. It mixes well with water.

What is Taurine used for?

Thought to stimulate metabolism and improve mental performance, taurine can be taken as a dietary supplement—appealing to athletes and active individuals. Similarly, taurine, in combination with caffeine, are added to many energy drinks to increase mental alertness.       

Studies on energy drinks can not conclusively report that any improvement in mental performance is attributable to taurine and not to caffeine. 
Studies on energy drinks can not conclusively report that any improvement in mental performance is attributable to taurine and not to caffeine. 

Taurine Hazards

The routes of exposure for taurine include inhalation, ingestion, skin and eye contact. 

Inhalation of taurine may cause respiratory irritation and the body’s response to this can cause even more lung damage. People with existing conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, circulatory or nervous system damage or kidney damage, may also incur further damage if high concentrations are inhaled. 

Ingestion of taurine is not thought to be harmful, but it may still be damaging to the health of those with pre-existing kidney and liver damage. 

Skin contact may cause skin inflammation as well as worsen pre-existing dermatitis in some people. Other negative effects may occur following entry into the bloodstream through open cuts or wounds. 

Taurine can cause eye irritation and damage in some people.

Taurine Safety

If inhaled, remove the patient from the contaminated area and lay the patient down, ensuring they are kept warm and rested. If the patient is not breathing and you are trained to do so, perform CPR, preferably with a bag-valve mask device. Seek medical attention immediately.

If swallowed, immediately drink a glass of water. First aid is generally not required, but if in doubt, seek medical attention

If skin exposure occurs, immediately remove all contaminated clothing, footwear and accessories. Flush the affected skin and hair with running water and soap. Seek medical attention in the event of irritation.

If the chemical is exposed to the eyes, flush the eyes out immediately with fresh running water, remembering to wash under the eyelids. Contact lenses should only be removed by skilled personnel. Seek medical attention immediately.

Taurine Safety Handling

Emergency eyewash fountains should be accessible in the immediate area of the potential exposure to the chemical. There should always be adequate ventilation to remove or dilute any air contaminants (install local exhaust if necessary). 

The PPE recommended when handling taurine includes safety glasses with side shields, chemical goggles, full face shields, dust respirators, PVC/rubber gloves, PVC aprons, overalls, full body protective suits and safety footwear. Skin cleansing and barrier creams are also recommended in instances of skin exposure.  

Always refer to your SDS for more detailed information on the safe handling of taurine. Click here for a trial of our SDS Management Software or contact us at sales@chemwatch.net for more information about our chemicals management solutions.