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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Acetic acid, methyl ester; Methyl acetic ester; Methyl ethanoate

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1650

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 79-20-9

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: AI9100000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1231 129

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Methyl acetate: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more


Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 200 ppm, 610 mg/m3 TWA

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 200 ppm, 610 mg/m3 TWA

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 200 ppm, 610 mg/m3 TWA
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 200 ppm, 606 mg/m3 TWA; 250 ppm, 757 mg/m3

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL):
200 ppm, 610 mg/m3 TWA; 250 ppm, 760 mg/m3

Health Factors

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 3,100 ppm

Potential Symptoms: Nose, throat irritation; headache; drowsiness; blurred vision, optic nerve atrophy; sore throat, cough, chest tightness, labored breathing; dry, red, rough skin (from contact with liquid); in animals: narcosis; INGES. ACUTE: Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, weakness

Health Effects: Irritation- Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Mild (HE16); Narcosis (HE8); CNS effects (HE7)

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, CNS

Notes:
  1. Vapor/air mixtures of methyl acetate may be explosive. NIOSH's IDLH for methyl acetate equals 10% of the lower explosive level.
  2. Methyl acetate is listed among FDA's "food additives permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption" (21 CFR 172.515).
  3. Methyl acetate is hydrolyzed by esterase activity to methanol and acetic acid. Methanol can be detected in exhaled air within the first minute of methyl acetate inhalation, indicating rapid hydrolysis in the respiratory tract. Methanol intoxication can cause headache, dizziness, coma, and optic nerve damage (visual disturbances, blindness).
Date Last Revised: 01/05/2007

Literature Basis:
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Methyl acetate.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Methyl acetate.
  • Kumagai, S., Oda, H., Matsunaga, I, Kosaka, H. and Akasaka, S. Uptake of 10 polar organic solvents during short-term respiration. Toxicol. Sci. 48(2): 255-263, 1999.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Methyl Acetate. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1512-1514.
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • sampling media: Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
    analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
    maximum volume: 10 Liters   
    maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min (TWA)
    maximum volume: 3 Liters   
    maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min (STEL)
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 1458 [19 KB PDF, 3 pages])
    method classification: Fully Validated

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