Agent Name

Methyl acetate

CAS Number

79-20-9

Formula

C3-H6-O2

Major Category

Solvents

Synonyms

Acetate de methyle [French]; Acetic acid, methyl ester; Devoton; Ethyl ester of monoacetic acid; Methyl acetate; Methyl acetate (natural); Methyl acetic ester; Methyl ethanoate; Methylacetaat [Dutch]; Methylacetat [German]; Methyle (acetate de) [French]; Methylester kiseliny octove [Czech]; Metile (acetato di) [Italian]; Octan metylu [Polish]; Tereton; [ChemIDplus] UN1231

Category

Esters (<C12)

Description

Colorless liquid with a fragrant, fruity odor; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used as a flavoring agent and as a solvent in paint removers and lacquers; [ACGIH]

Comments

In the body, methyl acetate is hydrolyzed into methanol and acetic acid. It causes narcosis in animals exposed to high concentrations. "TLV Basis" is headache, dizziness, nausea, and damage to the ganglion cells in the retina; Main concern is conversion to methanol, which can cause permanent blindness; Eye damage has been reported after chronic exposure to methanol at 1200-8000 ppm; [ACGIH] Ethyl acetate 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] An eye and respiratory tract irritant; Inhalation of high concentrations can cause CNS depression and effects on the optic nerve leading to impaired vision; [ICSC] See "Methanol."

Reference Link

Volatile Substance Abuse

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TLV (ACGIH)

200 ppm

STEL (ACGIH)

250 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

200 ppm

MAK

100 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

3100 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Human data: It has been reported that concentrations of 10,000 ppm for a short time caused irritation which persisted after exposure stopped [Clayton and Clayton 1981].

Vapor Pressure

216 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

0.17 ppm

Odor Threshold High

1733 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LCLo (rat) = 32,000 ppm/4H

Explanatory Notes

IDLH = 10% LEL; Detection odor threshold from AIHA (mean = 180 ppm); Flash point = -10 deg C

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

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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: