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Ethyl Acetate

General Description

Synonyms: Acetic ester; Acetic ether; Ethyl ester of acetic acid; Ethyl ethanoate

OSHA IMIS code: 1040

CAS number: 141-78-6

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • charcoal tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh) 
  • maximum volume: 6 L 
  • maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min 
  • current analytical method: gas chromatography; GC/FID 
  • analytical solvent: carbon disulfide 
  • alternate solvent: (99:1) carbon disulfide:dimethylformamide 
  • alternate solvent: (95:5) methylene chloride:methanol 
  • method reference: NIOSH 1457 (fully validated)
  • note: Samples must be refrigerated for shipment to laboratory.

Exposure Limits and Health Effects (Updated September 6, 2012)

Standard Set By Exposure Limit Health Effect Codes -- Health Effects and Target Organs

OSHA PEL - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1

400 ppm (1,400 mg/m3) TWA HE8 -- mild narcosis at high concentrations
HE16 -- mild eye, nose, and upper respiratory irritation
HE20 -- strong odor
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A
400 ppm (1,400 mg/m3) TWA HE8 -- mild narcosis at high concentrations
HE16 -- mild eye, nose, and upper respiratory irritation
HE20 -- strong odor
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards
400 ppm (1,400 mg/m3) TWA HE8 -- mild narcosis at high concentrations
HE16 -- mild eye, nose, and upper respiratory irritation
HE20 -- strong odor
NIOSH REL 400 ppm (1,400 mg/m3) TWA HE8 -- narcosis at high concentrations
HE16 -- eye and respiratory irritation
ACGIH TLV® (1979) 400 ppm (1,440 mg/m3) TWA HE16 -- eye, nose, and upper respiratory irritation
HE20 -- strong odor
CAL/OSHA PELs 400 ppm (1,400 mg/m3) TWA HE16 -- eye, nose, and upper respiratory irritation
HE20 -- strong odor

Carcinogenic classification:

  • NTP: Not listed
  • IARC: Not listed
  • EPA: Not listed

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

NIOSH IDLH concentration: 2,000 ppm (LEL)

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. Ethyl acetate is highly flammable and vapor/air mixtures are explosive. Ethyl acetate decomposes when exposed to UV light, acids, and bases, and reacts with strong oxidants, bases, and acids. Ethyl acetate attacks aluminum and plastics (NIOSH/IPCS 1997).
  2. Ethyl acetate is hydrolyzed to ethanol and acetic acid. Much higher levels of ethanol than ethyl acetate were found in tissues of a worker who died of anoxia from a toxic exposure to ethyl acetate (Coopman et al. 2005).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Ethyl Acetate. 2016.
  • Coopman, V.A., Cordonnier, J.A., and De Meyere C.A.: Fatal workplace accident involving ethyl acetate - a distribution study. Forensic Sci. Int. 154(2-3): 92-95, 2005.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guideline for Ethyl Acetate. 1978.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety CardsEthyl Acetate. October 1997.

Chemical Sampling Information

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