Agent Name

2-Butanone

Alternative Name

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)

CAS Number

78-93-3

Formula

C4-H8-O

Major Category

Solvents

Synonyms

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK); 2-Butanone; 3-Butanone; AI3-07540 (USDA); Acetone, methyl-; Aethylmethylketon [German]; Butanone 2 [French]; Ethyl methyl cetone [French]; Ethyl methyl ketone; Ethylmethylcetone [French]; Ethylmethylketon [Dutch]; Ketone, ethyl methyl; MEK; Meetco; Methyl acetone; Methylethyl ketone; Methylethylketone; Metiletilcetona [Spanish]; Metiletilchetone [Italian]; Metyl ethyl ketone; Metyloetyloketon [Polish]; [ChemIDplus] UN1193

Category

Ketones (<C12)

Description

Colorless liquid with a moderately sharp, fragrant, mint- or acetone-like odor; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used as a solvent for surface coatings, oils, resins, artificial leather, rubbers, and glues; usually found in mixtures with other solvents; It occurs naturally in food at low concentrations. [ACGIH]

Comments

Butanone is in the list of "Some volatile substances which may be abused by inhalation" published on the web site of the U.N. International Drug Control Programme, indicating its potential to cause narcosis in workers. [Reference #1] A skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant; Inhalation of high concentrations can cause CNS depression; [ICSC] Causes contact urticaria; [Kanerva, p. 219]

Reference Link

Volatile Substance Abuse

Exposure Assessment
BEI

MEK in urine = 2 mg/L; sample at end of shift; The determinant is nonspecific since it is also observed after exposure to other chemicals.

Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TLV (ACGIH)

200 ppm

STEL (ACGIH)

300 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

200 ppm

MAK

200 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

3000 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

It has been reported that 3,000 ppm is irritating to the eyes and nose [Patty et al. 1935].

Vapor Pressure

90.6 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

2 ppm

Odor Threshold High

85 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 23,500mg/m3/8H

Explanatory Notes

Detection odor threshold from AIHA (mean = 16 ppm); Flash point = 26 deg F;

Half Life

Blood: 49-96 minutes; urine: 4 hours; [TDR, p. 1700]

Reference Link

ATSDR - ToxFAQs - 2-Butanone

Flammability (NFPA)

3: May ignite at ambient temperature

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

CNS Solvent Syndrome

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: