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General Description

  • Synonyms: Dimethyl ketone; Ketone propane; 2-Propanone
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0040
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 67-64-1
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects (RTECS) Identification Number: AL3150000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 1090 127
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Acetone: Physical description, chemical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit Limit Values HE Codes Health Factors and Target Organs
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1
1,000 ppm
(2,400 mg/m3) TWA
HE16 Slight eye, nose, and respiratory irritation
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A
1,000 ppm
(2,400 mg/m3) TWA
HE16 Slight eye, nose, and respiratory irritation
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards
1,000 ppm
(2,400 mg/m3) TWA
HE16 Slight eye, nose, and respiratory irritation
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) 250 ppm
(590 mg/m3) TWA
HE16 Eye, skin, and respiratory irritation
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2014) 250 ppm
(594 mg/m3) TWA
500 ppm
(1,187 mg/m3) STEL A4
HE7 Headache, dizziness, light-headedness, weakness, incoordination, sleepiness
Target organs: brain, central nervous system
HE8 Narcosis
HE12 Hematologic effects
HE16 Eye, skin, and respiratory irritation
CAL/OSHA PELs 500 ppm
(1,200 mg/m3) TWA 3,000 ppm Ceiling
750 ppm
(1,780 mg/m3) STEL
HE16 Eye and respiratory irritation
  • National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Not listed
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Not listed
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carcinogenic classification: Data is inadequate for an assessment of human carcinogenic potential
  • EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): 26 ppm (acute); 13 ppm (intermediate); 13 ppm (chronic)
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) concentration: 2,500 ppm (10% LEL)
  • Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards
  1. Vapor/air mixtures of acetone may be explosive (NIOSH/IPCS 1994).
  2. EPA's oral reference dose (daily oral exposure likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime) for acetone is 0.9 mg/kg/day based on kidney effects (EPA 2003; Dietz et al. 1991). Data were considered insufficient to recommend a reference concentration (EPA 2003).
  3. Occupational exposures of acetone may be high enough to produce ketosis in some workers (ATSDR 1994).
  4. Odor and irritation thresholds may be substantially higher in acetone-exposed employees compared to those not exposed, due to sensory adaptation (Wysocki et al. 1997).

Date Last Revised: 9/6/2012

Literature Basis

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Acetone. 2001.
  • ATSDR: Toxicological Profile for Acetone. May 1994.
  • California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board Initial and Final Statement of Reasons. July 6, 2006.
  • Dietz, DD, Leininger, JR, Rauckman, EJ, et al.: Toxicity studies of acetone administered in the drinking water of rodents. Fund. Appl. Toxicol. 17:347-360, 1991.
  • EPA: Integrated Risk Information System - Acetone (CASRN 67-64-1). 2003.
  • NIOSH: Criteria for a Recommended Standard - Occupational Exposure to Ketones. June 1978.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guideline for Acetone. 1988.
  • NIOSH/IPCS: International Chemical Safety Cards - Acetone. April 22, 1994.
  • Wysocki, C.J., Dalton, P., Brody, M.J. and Lawley, H.J.: Acetone odor and irritation thresholds obtained from acetone-exposed factory workers and from control (occupationally unexposed) subjects. Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 58(10): 704-711, 1997.

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Carbosieve S-III Tube (130/65mg sections,60/80 mesh)
  • analytical solvent: (99:1) Carbon Disulfide:Dimethylformamide
  • maximum volume: 3 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/NPD
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 69)
  • method classification: Fully Validated

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