Hexane is what is known as a low-boiling point (68.9 °C) hydrocarbon. At room temperature, it is a colourless, volatile liquid with a faint odour usually not detectabtable by smell below 130 ppm. Hexane vapour is highly flammable.
As well as being an irritant, hexane has been shown to have neurotoxic effects leading to peripheral numbness, muscle weakness, headache, nausea and dizziness if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
Being highly flammable and heavier than air, hexane may travel along the ground (or float on top of water in a drain). If ignited, it can flash back to the source of the spill. Also, due to its low electrical conductivity, it can easily generate electrostatic charges.
Hexane is an industrial solvent and is commonly used to extract the oil from seeds such as canola and soyabean on a commercial scale.