Hexane is what is known as a low-boiling point (68.9 °C) hydrocarbon and at room temperature is a colourless, volatile liquid with a faint odour usually not detectable by smell below about 130 ppm. Hexane vapour is highly flammable.
Hexane, if inhaled or absorbed through the skin, as well as being an irritant, has been shown to have neurotoxic effects leading to peripheral numbness, muscle weakness, headache, nausea and dizziness.
Hexane, being highly flammable and heavier than air, may travel along the ground (or float on top of water in a drain) and if ignited, 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, on a commercial scale, to extract the oil from seeds such as canola and soyabean.