Ethyl butyl ketone is used as a solvent and as an ingredient in fragrances.
Substance name: Ethyl butyl ketone
CASR number: 106-35-4
Molecular formula: C7H14O
Synonyms: butyl ethyl ketone; 3-heptanone; n-Butyl Ethyl Ketone; heptan-3-one; Ethyl n-Butyl Ketone
Ethyl butyl ketone is a colourless, flammable liquid with a mild fruity odour.
Melting Point: -38°C
Boiling Point: 147°C
Specific Gravity: 0.819
Ethyl butyl ketone is slightly soluble in water and soluble in most organic solvents.
The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) holds data for all sources of ethyl butyl ketone emissions in Australia.
Ethyl butyl ketone can effect you if breathed in and by passing through the skin. The effects of high concentrations may be headaches, dizziness, light-headedness, and unconsciousness. Ethyl butyl ketone vapours irritates the eyes, nose, and throat. Prolonged contact with the skin will cause irritation, dryness and cracking.
Entering the body
Methyl ethyl butyl ketone will enter the body if we breathe in contaminated air, or consume food or water that has been contaminated. It can also pass through the skin.
Workers in the industries that use or produce ethyl butyl ketone are at risk of exposure. Consumers can be exposed to ethyl butyl ketone by exposure to air from production and processing facilities. Consumers may also be exposed to ethyl butyl ketone when using consumer products containing ethyl butyl ketone.
Workplace exposure standards
Safe Work Australia sets the workplace exposure standard for ethyl butyl ketone through the workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants:
- Maximum eight hour time weighted average (TWA): 50 parts per million (234 mg/m3)
These standards are only appropriate for use in workplaces and are not limited to any specific industry or operation. Make sure you understand how to interpret the standards before you use them.
Drinking water guidelines
There is no guideline for ethyl butyl ketone in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
Ethyl butyl ketone evaporates when exposed to air. Insufficient data is available to predict the rate that ethyl butyl ketone is broken down in the environment. Insufficient data is available to predict the acute (short-term) toxicity or chronic (long-term) toxicity to aquatic life, plants or land animals.
Entering the environment
Industrial emissions of ethyl butyl ketone can produce elevated, but still low level concentrations in the atmosphere around the source.
Where it ends up
Ethyl butyl ketone evaporates to a gas if released as a liquid. It evaporates from both water and soil when exposed to air.
No national guidelines.
The primary sources of ethyl butyl ketone are the industries that manufacture it or use it in production. Some of the industries that use it in production are chemical industry, and the manufacturers cosmetics and fragrances.
Diffuse sources, and industry sources included in diffuse emissions data
Other possible emitters of ethyl butyl ketone are facilities which use it as a solvent.
No national sources.
There are no known sources of mobile emissions of ethyl butyl ketone.
Sources used in preparing this information
- Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) (1992), Australian Water Quality Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Waters.
- ChemFinder WebServer Project (1995), Ethyl Butyl Ketone (accessed, May, 1999)
- Cornell University, Planning Design and Construction, MSDS, Ethyl Butyl Ketone (accessed, May, 1999)
- Environmental Chemicals Data and Information Network (ECDIN) (date of update not given) (accessed, March, 1999)
- Environmental Defense Fund (1998), Ethyl Butyl Ketone: The Chemical Scorecard: (accessed, May, 1999)
- Meagher, D (1991), The Macmillan Dictionary of The Australian Environment, Macmillan Education Australia Pty Ltd.
- National Environment Protection Council (1998), National Environment Protection Measure for the National Pollutant Inventory. (accessed, March, 1999)
- New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (1995), Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet, Ethyl Butyl Ketone, PO Box 368, Trenton, NJ.
- Richardson, M (1992), Dictionary of Substances and their Effects, Royal Society of Chemistry, Clays Ltd, England.
- Sittig, M (1991), Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, 3rd edition, Noyes Publications, USA.
- Technical Advisory Panel (1999), Final Report to the National Environment Protection Council.
- The Good Scents Company, TGSC Perfumery Raw Materials of Ethyl Butyl Ketone (accessed, May, 1999)
- US Department of Health and Human Services (1990), NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Publication No. 90-117.
- Worksafe Australia (1996), Hazardous Substance Ethyl Butyl Ketone (accessed, May, 1999)
- Safe Work Australia, Workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants, accessed October 2018.
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (2011) - Updated October 2017, accessed May 2018