A volatile organic compound (VOC) [with formula C10H8] that is naturally
present in fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal, and is produced when wood or
tobaccoare burned. Naphthalene is used in the production of many products,
including dyes, pharmaceuticals, and insect repellents, such as moth balls.
Releases of naphthalene to the environment are widespread.
In humans, exposure to large amounts of naphthalene may damage or destroy red
blood cells, causing hemolytic anemia [a condition where the red blood cells
break up, resulting in fewer red blood cells].