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CHEMINFO Record Number: 372
CCOHS Chemical Name: 1-Hexanol

Caproyl alcohol
Hexanol (non-specific name)
1-Hexyl alcohol
n-Hexyl alcohol
Alcool n-hexylique
Hexyl alcohol

Chemical Name French: Hexane-1-ol
Chemical Name Spanish: Hexan-1-ol

Trade Name(s):
Epal 6

CAS Registry Number: 111-27-3
UN/NA Number(s): 2282
RTECS Number(s): MQ4025000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 203-852-3
Chemical Family: Saturated primary aliphatic alcohol / primary alkanol / primary alkyl alcohol / hexanol / hexyl alcohol
Molecular Formula: C6-H14-O
Structural Formula: CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH2-OH


Appearance and Odour:
Colourless liquid with a fatty, fruity odour.(14)

Odour Threshold:
0.01-5.20 ppm (16); 0.09 ppm (100% recognition) (15)

Warning Properties:
Information not available for evaluation.

1-Hexanol is available in various grades of purity such as technical (90-99%) and purified (99.8%). It may contain small amounts of other alcohols, such as 1-octanol, 1-decanol and 2-ethyl-1-butanol as impurities.

Uses and Occurrences:
1-Hexanol is used in the production of plasticizers for PVC and other resins (e.g. phthalate, trimellitate, adipate and azelate); in the manufacture of antiseptics, fragrances, perfumes and pharmaceuticals; as a solvent (e.g. for fats, waxes and dyes); to improve the flow and surface properties of paints; as a synthetic flavouring agent; as a defoamer in oil production; and as an intermediate for textile and leather finishing agents. It is also used as a food additive (e.g. in non-alcoholic beverages, ice cream, candy, and gelatin).(1,17,18,19,23)
1-Hexanol is a component of several essential oils and aromas, such as apple, strawberry, violet, geranium, lavender and bitter orange.(1)


Colourless liquid with a fatty, fruity odour. COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. Vapour may be irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. May be a mild central nervous system depressant. High vapour or mist concentrations may cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, incoordination and confusion. SKIN AND EYE IRRITANT. Causes moderate skin irritation and severe eye irritation. Aspiration hazard. Swallowing or vomiting of the liquid may cause aspiration (breathing) into the lungs.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

1-Hexanol does form a vapour at normal temperatures. Inhalation of the vapour or mists generated from solutions may irritate the nose and throat. Brief exposure (10 minutes) to 240 ppm is expected to cause intolerable nose and throat irritation in humans, based on animal information. Higher concentrations of vapours or mists may cause headache, nausea, and dizziness. These are symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) depression.
Irritation and CNS effects have been associated with exposure to other alcohols (1-butanol and mixed pentanol isomers).

Skin Contact:
1-Hexanol is a moderate irritant, based on animal information. However, the limited human information located has only shown mild irritation.
Application of 1% 1-hexanol in petrolatum for 48 hours, under cover, produced no irritation in volunteers.(1, citing an unpublished report) 1-Hexanol was not a skin irritant following application of 0.2 mL of undiluted 1-hexanol to 27-28 volunteers for up to 4 hours.(2)
1-Hexanol can be absorbed through the skin to a slight extent. Harmful effects are not expected to occur by this route of exposure.

Eye Contact:
1-Hexanol is a severe irritant, based on animal and limited human information. There have been four reported cases of corneal burns in employees attributed to hexanol (isomer not specified). Recovery was complete within 48 hours.(3) There are no further details available.
The vapour is irritating, based on animal information and comparison to other alcohols. Brief exposure to 240 ppm is expected to produce intolerable eye irritation in humans, based on animal information.

1-Hexanol is not considered toxic if ingested based on animal toxicity values. If a large amount is ingested it can cause effects resembling "alcohol" intoxication, such as headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea and vomiting. In severe cases unconsciousness may occur. No specific information was located for 1-hexanol, but these effects have been observed following ingestion of other alcohols.
During ingestion or vomiting, 1-hexanol can be aspirated (breathed) into the lungs. Severe lung damage, with potentially fatal accumulation of fluid (edema) could result. Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

Repeated or prolonged exposure to liquid can cause dermatitis (dry, cracked, thickened, reddened skin).

Skin Sensitization:
In a test with 21 volunteers, a 1% solution of 1-hexanol in petrolatum did not produce any sensitization reactions.(1, citing an unpublished report) Negative results are reported in 2 unpublished animal studies.


No human information was located. An animal study indicates that 1-hexanol is not a skin tumour promoter.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has not evaluated the carcinogenicity of this chemical.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has no listing for this chemical.

The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has not listed this chemical in its report on carcinogens.

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
The information available does not indicate that 1-hexanol is a developmental toxin. No human information was located. No conclusions can be drawn from studies using rats exposed by inhalation and ingestion where the observed effects were within the range of historical controls.

Reproductive Toxicity:
No specific human information was located. No conclusions can be drawn from a limited animal study, which showed changes in testes weight in male rats exposed to high oral doses. Fertility was not assessed.

The limited evidence available does not indicate that 1-hexanol is mutagenic. No human or animal information was located. A negative result was obtained in an unconfirmed test using bacteria.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
The toxicity of 1-hexanol can probably be increased by exposure to chemicals such as other alcohols, chlorinated solvents (e.g. carbon tetrachloride) and aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g. xylene) which can inhibit its breakdown in the body.

Potential for Accumulation:
There is no evidence that 1-hexanol accumulates in the body. In rabbits, the majority of absorbed 1-hexanol is oxidized to hexanoic acid, which can be further metabolized to carbon dioxide, which is excreted in the expired air. In a second, minor pathway, 1-hexanol is conjugated with glucuronic acid.(1,4)


If symptoms are experienced, remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. Immediately obtain medical attention.

Skin Contact:
As quickly as possible, remove contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Immediately flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 15-20 minutes. Immediately obtain medical attention. Completely decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use or discard. //

Eye Contact:
Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 15-20 minutes, while holding the eyelid(s) open. If a contact lens is present, DO NOT delay irrigation or attempt to remove the lens until flushing is done. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the unaffected eye or onto the face. Immediately obtain medical attention.

NEVER give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, is unconscious or convulsing. Have victim rinse mouth thoroughly with water. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim lean forward to reduce risk of aspiration. Have victim rinse mouth with water again. Immediately obtain medical attention.

First Aid Comments:
Provide general supportive measures (comfort, warmth, rest).
Consult a doctor and/or the nearest Poison Control Centre for all exposures except minor instances of inhalation or skin contact.
All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the material and its conditions of use in the workplace.


Flash Point:
63 deg C (145 deg F) (closed cup) (20,21)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
No measured values are available. Calculated value: 1.2% (20)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
No measured values are available. Calculated value: 7.7% (20)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
304 deg C (580 deg F) (20); also reported as 290 deg C (554 deg F) (22)

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Not sensitive. Stable material.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
1-Hexanol will not accumulate static charge since it has a high electrical conductivity. It will probably not be ignited by a static charge since the flash point is relatively high.

Electrical Conductivity:
2 x 10(7) pS/m (22)

Minimum Ignition Energy:
Not available

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, aldehydes and other irritant gases, which may include unburned alcohol and toxic constituents.

Fire Hazard Summary:
Combustible liquid. Can form explosive mixtures with air at, or above, 63 deg C. During a fire, irritating/toxic smoke and fumes may be generated. Closed containers may rupture violently and suddenly release large amounts of product when exposed to fire or excessive heat for a sufficient period of time.

Extinguishing Media:
Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, appropriate foam, water spray or fog. "Multipurpose " alcohol-resistant foams are recommended for use on flammable polar liquids, such as 1-hexanol.(20) Fire fighting foam manufacturers should be consulted for recommendations regarding types of foams and application rates.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid toxic decomposition products.
If possible, isolate materials not yet involved in the fire, and move containers from the fire area if this can be done without risk, and protect personnel. Closed containers may rupture violently when exposed to the heat of a fire. Therefore, fire-exposed containers, tanks or equipment should be cooled by application of hose streams. Application should begin as soon as possible (within the first several minutes) and should concentrate on any unwetted portions of the container. Apply water from the side and from a safe distance until well after the fire is out. Stay away from ends of tanks, involved in the fire, but be aware that flying material from ruptured tanks may travel in any direction. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discolouration of tank due to fire. Cooling should continue until well after the fire is out. If this is not possible, use unmanned monitor nozzles and immediately evacuate the area.
If a leak or spill has not ignited, use water spray in large quantities to disperse the vapours and to protect personnel attempting to stop the leak. Water spray can be used to flush spills away from ignition sources and to dilute spills to non-flammable mixtures. Dike fire control water for appropriate disposal. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material.
For an advanced or massive fire in a large area, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is not possible withdraw from fire area and allow the fire to burn. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discolouration of tank.
Tanks or drums should not be approached directly after they have been involved in a fire, until they have been completely cooled down.

Protection of Fire Fighters:
1-Hexanol is slightly hazardous to health. Firefighters may enter the area if positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (NIOSH approved or equivalent) and full Bunker Gear is worn.


NFPA - Health: 3 - Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury.
NFPA - Flammability: 2 - Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperatures before ignition can occur.
NFPA - Instability: 0 - Normally stable, even under fire conditions, and not reactive with water.


Molecular Weight: 102.17

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 4.17 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.24 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: -44.6 deg C (-48.3 deg F) (24,32)
Boiling Point: 157-157.5 deg C (314.6-315.5 deg F) (24,32)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.819 at 20 deg C; 0.815 at 25 deg C (water = 1) (32)
Solubility in Water: Slightly soluble (590 mg/100 g at 25 deg C (25,47))
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in all proportions in diethyl ether and benzene; soluble in ethanol, acetone, chloroform and petroleum ether.(17,24)
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Log P(oct) = 2.03 (26,27)
pH Value: Not available. Alcohols are both weak acids and weak bases.
Viscosity-Dynamic: 5.40 mPa.s (5.40 centipoises) at 20 deg C (21); 4.59 mPa.s (4.49 centipoises) at 25 deg C (32)
Viscosity-Kinematic: 6.59 mm2/s (6.59 centistokes) at 20 deg C; 5.63 mm2/s (5.63 centistokes) at 25 deg C (calculated)
Saybolt Universal Viscosity: 44.3-47.4 Saybolt Universal Seconds at 37.8 deg C (100 deg F) (calculated)
Surface Tension: 26.21 mN/m (26.21 dynes/cm) at 20 deg C (24,30); 25.81 mN/m (25.81 dynes/cm) at 25 deg C (24,30)
Vapour Density: 3.52 (air = 1) (21)
Vapour Pressure: 0.124 kPa (0.928 mm Hg) at 25 deg C (28)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 1200 ppm (0.12%) at 25 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: 0.05 (butyl acetate = 1) (32)
Henry's Law Constant: 1.56 Pa.m3/mol (cited as log H = -3.20 (dimensionless)) at 25 deg C (experimental) (37)

Other Physical Properties:
DIELECTRIC CONSTANT: 13.3 at 20 deg C (24)


Normally stable.

Hazardous Polymerization:
Does not occur.

Incompatibility - Materials to Avoid:

NOTE: Chemical reactions that could result in a hazardous situation (e.g. generation of flammable or toxic chemicals, fire or detonation) are listed here. Many of these reactions can be done safely if specific control measures (e.g. cooling of the reaction) are in place. Although not intended to be complete, an overview of important reactions involving common chemicals is provided to assist in the development of safe work practices.

STRONG OXIDIZING AGENTS (e.g. calcium hypochlorite, chlorine oxides, chromium trioxide, hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid or nitrates) - may react violently or explosively. Increased risk of fire and explosion.(22,31)
ALUMINUM (finely divided) - reacts at elevated temperatures, forming extremely flammable hydrogen gas.(31)
ALKALI METALS (e.g. sodium or potassium) or ALKALINE EARTH METALS (e.g. magnesium or calcium) - reaction may be violent resulting in explosions. Extremely flammable hydrogen gas is given off.(31)
HALOGENS (e.g. bromine or chlorine) - reaction may be vigorous or violent, resulting in explosions.(20,31)
PERCHLORIC ACID or METAL PERCHLORATES (e.g. barium perchlorate) - may form shock-sensitive or explosive compounds.(20,31)
ACIDS, ACID ANHYDRIDES, or ACID CHLORIDES - reaction may be vigorous or violent, with the evolution of heat.
LITHIUM ALUMINUM HYDRIDE - reaction may be vigorous.(20)
ISOCYANATES (e.g. toluene diisocyanate, hexamethylene diisocyanate or methyl isocyanate) - may react vigorously, violently or explosively with the generation of heat.(20)
Mixtures or reactions of alcohols with the following materials may cause explosions: acetaldehyde, dialkylmagnesiums, N- haloimides (e.g. N-bromosuccinimide or N-chlorosuccinimide), ethylene oxide, nitrogen tetraoxide, nitryl hypochlorite, permonosulfuric acid and tri-isobutyl aluminum.(20,31)

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported.

Conditions to Avoid:
Open flames, heat, temperatures above 63 deg C and other ignition sources.

Corrosivity to Metals:
Hexanol (isomer not specified) is not corrosive to the common metals, such as cast iron, steel, stainless steels, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, nickel and its alloys, tantalum, titanium and zirconium at least up to 93 deg C.(33)

Corrosivity to Non-Metals:
Hexanol (isomer not specified) attacks some plastics, such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) (34); and elastomers, such as polyurethane, butyl rubber (isobutylene isoprene) and polyacrylate (46). 1-Hexanol does not attack plastics, such as Teflon and other fluorocarbons, like ethylene chlorotrifuoroethylene (Halar) and polyvinylidene fluoride (Kynar), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polypropylene, nylon, polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), crosslinked polyethylene (XPE) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA).(45) Hexanol (isomer not specified) does not attack elastomers, such as nitrile Buna-N (NBR), Viton A and other fluorocarbons, like Chemraz, Kalrez and Teflon, ethylene propylene, styrene butadiene (SBR), isoprene, natural rubber, fluorosilicone, flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE).(46)


LC50 (rat): greater than 10500 mg/m3 (4-hour exposure); cited as greater than 21 mg/L (1-hour exposure; assumed aerosol exposure) (40, unconfirmed)

LD50 (oral, rat): 4590 mg/kg (5)
LD50 (oral, rat): 3131-3344 mg/kg (conducted according to OECD guidelines) (40, unconfirmed)
LD50 (oral, female rat): 720 mg/kg (6)*
LD50 (oral, male rat): 1800 mg/kg (6)*
*Note: the rats used in this study appear to have been very young (60-100 grams).
LD50 (oral, mouse): 1950 mg/kg (7, unconfirmed)

LD50 (dermal, rabbit): 2540 mg/kg (5)

Eye Irritation:

1-Hexanol is a severe eye irritant.

Application of 0.1 mL of undiluted 1-hexanol produced severe irritation in rabbits (scored 64.8/110).(8) Application of 0.1 mL undiluted 1-hexanol caused moderate to severe irritation in rabbits (maximum average scores: conjunctivitis: 2.9/4; chemosis 2.0/4; iritis 1.0/2; corneal opacity 1.7/4).(41) Application of in excess of a 5% solution caused corrosive injury in rabbits (scored over 5 where 5 is severe injury; graded 9/10).(5) Application of 0.1 mL of 30 or 100% hexanol (isomer not specified) produced severe irritation in rabbits (scored 51 and 65/110, respectively). Application of 6 or 10% solutions produced moderate irritation in rabbits (scored 39 or 46/110, respectively) and a 3% solution produced minimal irritation in rabbits (scored 2/110).(9)

Skin Irritation:

1-Hexanol is a moderate skin irritant.

Application of 0.5 mL of undiluted 1-hexanol to the intact skin of rabbits for 4 hours caused moderate irritation (average scores at 24/48/72 hours: redness 2.13/4; edema 0.6/4).(41) 1-Hexanol was applied to the skin of rabbits as 0.5 mL of 5, 10, 25, 50 or 100% in polyethylene glycol 400 for 4 hours, under a patch. Undiluted 1-hexanol caused a redness score of greater than or equal to 2/4. The other concentrations caused redness scores of less than 2/4.(42) Application of 0.01 mL of 100% 1-hexanol, under cover, produced mild irritation in rabbits (graded 3/10).(5) Application of undiluted 1-hexanol to intact or broken skin for 24 hours, under cover, produced moderate irritation in rabbits.(1, citing an unpublished report)

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

Maximum survival time of rats inhaling saturated vapour (approximately 1200 ppm at room temperature) was 8 hours.(5) Mice exposed to 240 ppm (cited as 1000 mg/m3) for 10 minutes experienced a 50% reduction in respiratory rate (RD50).(43) Exposure to this concentration is expected to produce intolerable eye, nose and throat irritation (sensory irritation) in humans.

Aspiration of 0.2 mL 1-hexanol caused respiratory arrest and instant death in 10/10 rats. The lungs showed bleeding and accumulation of fluid (edema).(10)

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

Rats were given hexanol (isomer not reported) as 0, 0.25, 0.5 or 1.0% in the diet or for 13 weeks. Approximate doses were 0, 125-150, 250-300 or 500-600 mg/kg/day. There were no effects on body weight or blood composition. Significant effects on organ weights (increased or decreased not reported) were seen in the heart for males exposed to 250-300 mg/kg/day and in the spleen in females exposed to 125-250 and 500-600 mg/kg/day and in males exposed to 500-600 mg/kg/day.(44) In a related study, dogs were fed 0, 0.5 or 1.0% hexanol (isomer not reported) in the diet for 13 weeks. Approximate doses were 0, 120 or 245 mg/kg/day for a 20 kg dog. A 3rd group was given 1000 mg/kg/day via gelatin capsules. At 1000 mg/kg/day, signs of toxicity (salivation, loss of muscle coordination, slight tremors) were noted in some dogs on some days for 2-4 hours after dosing, and 4/5 animals died during the study. There were no effects on body weight, blood composition or chemistry, or on organ weights. Dose-related signs of digestive tract irritation were noted at 245 and 1000 mg/kg/day.(44)

Skin Sensitization:
In 2 unpublished reports, negative results were obtained in Guinea Pig Maximization Tests.(40, unconfirmed)

The evidence located does not suggest that 1-hexanol is carcinogenic. One study indicates that 1-hexanol is not a skin tumour promoter. A low dose of a potent carcinogen was applied to mouse skin followed by repeated application of 1-hexanol for 60 weeks. No tumours were observed.(11)

Teratogenicity, Embryotoxicity and/or Fetotoxicity:
The limited evidence located does not suggest that 1-hexanol is a developmental toxin. No conclusions can be drawn from studies in rats using inhalation and oral exposures in which the effects observed were within the range of historical controls.
Rats were exposed by inhalation on days 1-19 of pregnancy to 840 ppm (3500 mg/m3; maximum attainable concentration). A slight, statistically significant increase in embryotoxicity (resorptions) was noted, but was within the range observed in historical controls. No malformations (teratogenicity) of the offspring were observed. There were no indications of maternal toxicity.(12) Rats were dosed orally with 0, 200 or 1000 mg/kg in corn oil on days 6-15 of pregnancy. Maternal toxicity (clinical signs and reduced weight gain) was observed at the high dose. No embryotoxic or teratogenic effects were observed. Fetal body weight was slightly decreased at the high dose, but was considered within the range of historical controls. A minor skeletal variant (misaligned sternabrae) was observed at the low dose. It is not clear that this effect was statistically significant and there was no dose-response relationship.(13)

Reproductive Toxicity:
No conclusions can be drawn based on the information located.
No conclusions can be drawn from a limited study using hexanol (isomer not reported). Male rats were given hexanol (isomer not reported) as 0, 0.25, 0.50 or 1% in the diet for 13 weeks. Approximate doses were 0, 150, 300 or 600 mg/kg/day. A significant change (increase or decrease not reported) was observed in testes weight at all doses.(44) In a related study, dogs given 1000 mg/kg/day for up to 13 weeks, had high mortality (4/5) and significant atrophy of the testes or ovaries.(44) These effects were probably secondary to severe toxicity.

The limited evidence available does not indicate that 1-hexanol is mutagenic. No studies in live animals were located. A negative result was obtained in an unconfirmed test using bacteria.
In an unpublished study, negative results (gene mutation) were obtained in bacteria, with and without metabolic activation.(40, unconfirmed)


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(40) Hexan-1-ol. IUCLID dataset. European Commission, European Chemicals Bureau, Feb. 2000. Available at: <>
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(42) Jacobs, G., et al. Proposal of limit concentrations for skin irritation within the context of a new EEC directive on the classification and labeling of preparations. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. Vol. 7 (1987). p. 370-387
(43) Muller, J., et al. Recherche de relations entre toxicite de molecules d'interet industriel et proprietes physico-chimiques: test d'irritation des voies aeriennes superieurers applique a quatre familles chimiques. Food Chemistry and Toxicology. Vol. 22, no. 8 (1984). p. 661-664
(44) Initial submission: letter submitting two enclosed 13-week subacute feeding studies on hexanol and hexadecanol with attachments. Date produced Feb. 1992. Vista Chemical Company. EPA/OTS 88-920000912. NTIS/OTS0535678.
(45) Pruett, K.M. n-Hexanol (hexyl alcohol). In: Chemical resistance guide for plastics: a guide to chemical resistance of engineering thermoplastics, fluoroplastics, fibers and thermoset resins. Compass Publications, 2000. p. 230-241
(46) Pruett, K.M. Hexanol. In: Chemical resistance guide for elastomers II: a guide to chemical resistance of rubber and elastomeric compounds. Compass Publications, 1994. p. C-182 to C-187
(47) Syracuse Research Corporation. The Physical Properties Database (PHYSPROP). Interactive PhysProp Database Demo. Date unknown. Available at: <>

Information on chemicals reviewed in the CHEMINFO database is drawn from a number of publicly available sources. A list of general references used to compile CHEMINFO records is available in the database Help.

Review/Preparation Date: 2006-04-08

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