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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Butanic acid; n-Butanoic Acid; Ethylacetic Acid; 1-Propanecarboxylic acid; Propylformic Acid

OSHA IMIS Code Number: B709

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 107-92-6

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: ES5425000

Chemical Description and Physical Properties:

colorless oily liquid, with characteristic odor
molecular weight: 88.12
vapor pressure: 57 Pa at 20°C
molecular formula: C4H8O2
boiling point: 164°C
melting point: -7.9°C
flash point: 72°C closed cup

Health Factors

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, throat; skin redness, pain, burns, blisters (from contact with liquid); cough, shortness of breath, labored breathing; eye redness, pain, burns, loss of vision (from liquid); INGES. ACUTE: Burning sensation, abdominal pain; shock or collapse.

Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Marked (HE14)

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system

Notes:

  1. OSHA does not have a PEL for butyric acid.
  2. Explosive vapor/air mixtures of butyric acid may be formed at temperatures above 72°C.
  3. Butyric acid is listed by the FDA as a synthetic flavoring substance that is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for its intended use (21 CFR 182.60).
  4. NIOSH reported butyric acid to be among the prominent volatile organic compounds (VOC) found in a commercial paste form of butter flavoring when heated to 50°C. VOC from butter flavorings have been causally implicated in occupational lung disease, including bronchiolitis obliterans (see also Diacetyl). However, no information was found regarding the health effects of chronic low-level inhalational exposure to butyric acid.
  5. Butyric acid is a potent uncompetitive inhibitor of human diacetyl reductase (IC50, 64 µM), a ubiquitous enzyme that has the capability of detoxifying diacetyl.

Literature Basis:

  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Butyric acid.
  • Boylstein, R., Piacitelli, C., Grote, A., Kanwal, R., Kullman, G. and Kreiss, K.: Diacetyl emissions and airborne dust from butter flavorings used in microwave popcorn production. J. Occup. Environ. Hyg. 3(10): 530-535, 2006.
  • Nakagawa, J., et al.: Molecular characterization of mammalian dicarbonyl/L-xylulose reductase and its localization in kidney. J. Biol. Chem. 277(20): 17883-17891, 2002.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Butyric Acid. In, Sittig’s Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 429-431.

Date Last Revised: 05/02/2007

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: Silica Gel Tube (520/260 mg sections; 20/40 mesh)
    analytical solvent: (1:99) Formic Acid:Water
    maximum volume: 18 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.1 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center In-House File
    method classification: Not Validated

Articles: Gilland, James C.; Johnson, Gary T.; McGee, William A. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal Vol 42, 8, 630-2

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