OSH Answers Fact Sheets
Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >
What are other names or identifying information for acetone?
CAS Registry No.: 67-64-1
Other Names: 2-Propanone, Dimethyl ketone, Propanone
Main Uses: Solvent, chemical intermediate
Appearance: Clear colourless volatile liquid
Canadian TDG: UN1090
What is the WHMIS 1988 classification?
B2 - Flammable Liquid; D2B - Toxic (Eye irritant)
What are the most important things to know about acetone in an emergency?
Emergency Overview: Clear colourless volatile liquid. Sweet odour. HIGHLY FLAMMABLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. Distant ignition and flashback are possible. May cause drowsiness and dizziness. IRRITANT. Causes moderate or severe eye irritation.
What are the potential health effects of acetone?
Main Routes of Exposure: Inhalation. Skin contact. Eye contact.
- Inhalation: Can irritate the nose and throat. At high concentrations: can harm the nervous system. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. A severe exposure can cause unconsciousness.
- Skin Contact: May cause mild irritation. Can be absorbed through the skin, but harmful effects are not expected.
- Eye Contact: EYE IRRITANT. Causes moderate to severe irritation. Symptoms include sore, red eyes, and tearing. The vapour also irritates the eyes.
- Ingestion: Not harmful. If large amounts are ingested: Can cause effects as described for inhalation.
- Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure: Can cause dry, red, cracked skin (dermatitis) following skin contact. May harm the nervous system. Conclusions cannot be drawn from the limited studies available.
- Carcinogenicity: Not known to cause cancer.
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Not specifically evaluated.
American Conference for Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH): A4 - Not classifiable as a human carcinogen.
- Teratogenicity / Embryotoxicity: Not known to harm the unborn child.
- Reproductive Toxicity: Not known to be a reproductive hazard.
- Mutagenicity: Not known to be a mutagen.
What are first aid measures for acetone?
Inhalation: Take precautions to prevent a fire (e.g. remove sources of ignition). Move victim to fresh air. Call a Poison Centre or doctor if the victim feels unwell.
Skin Contact: Take off contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 5 minutes. If irritation or pain persists, see a doctor. Thoroughly clean clothing, shoes and leather goods before reuse or dispose of safely.
Eye Contact: Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 15-20 minutes, while holding the eyelid(s) open. If a contact lens is present, DO NOT delay flushing or attempt to remove the lens. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the unaffected eye or onto the face. If irritation or pain persists, see a doctor.
Ingestion: Have victim rinse mouth with water. Call a Poison Centre or doctor if the victim feels unwell.
First Aid Comments: All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the chemical and its conditions of use in the workplace.
What are fire hazards and extinguishing media for acetone?
Flammable Properties: HIGHLY FLAMMABLE LIQUID. Can ignite at room temperature. Releases vapour that can form explosive mixture with air. Can be ignited by static discharge. Even dilute solutions in water may be flammable.
Suitable Extinguishing Media: Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, appropriate foam, water spray or fog. Foam manufacturers should be consulted for recommendations regarding types of foams and application rates. Use water to keep non-leaking, fire-exposed containers cool.
Specific Hazards Arising from the Chemical: Vapour may travel a considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back to a leak or open container. Closed containers may rupture violently when heated releasing contents.In a fire, the following hazardous materials may be generated: very toxic carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide; very toxic, flammable formaldehyde; corrosive acetic acid; and other chemicals.
What are the stability and reactivity hazards of acetone?
- Chemical Stability: Normally stable.
- Conditions to Avoid: Open flames, sparks, static discharge, heat and other ignition sources. Prolonged exposure to sunlight.
- Incompatible Materials: Reacts violently with: oxidizing agents (e.g. peroxides), organic acids (e.g. acetic acid), strong reducing agents (e.g. hydrides). Not corrosive to: aluminum alloys, carbon steel.
- Hazardous Decomposition Products: None known.
- Possibility of Hazardous Reactions: None known.
What are accidental release measures for acetone?
Personal Precautions: Evacuate the area immediately. Isolate the hazard area. Keep out unnecessary and unprotected personnel. Eliminate all ignition sources. Use grounded, explosion-proof equipment. Increase ventilation to area or move leaking container to a well-ventilated and secure area.
Methods for Containment and Clean-up: Contain and soak up spill with absorbent that does not react with spilled product. Contaminated absorbent poses the same hazard as the spilled product. Place used absorbent into suitable, covered, labelled containers for disposal. Flush spill area.
Large spills or leaks: Dike spilled product to prevent runoff. Contact emergency services and manufacturer/supplier for advice.
Other Information: Report spills to local health, safety and environmental authorities, as required.
What handling and storage practices should be used when working with acetone?
Handling: Eliminate heat and ignition sources such as sparks, open flames, hot surfaces and static discharge. Post "No Smoking" signs. Electrically bond and ground equipment. Ground clips must contact bare metal. Do not weld, cut or perform hot work on empty container until all traces of product have been removed.
Storage: Store in an area that is: cool, well-ventilated, out of direct sunlight and away from heat and ignition sources. Electrically bond and ground containers. Ground clips must contact bare metal. Install pressure and vacuum-relief venting in all drums. Equip storage tank vents with a flame arrestor.
What is the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®) recommended exposure limit for acetone?
ACGIH® TLV® - TWA: 250 ppm. A4 BEI®
ACGIH® TLV® - STEL [C]: 500 ppm
Exposure Guideline Comments: TLV® = Threshold Limit Value.TWA = Time-Weighted Average. A4 = Not classifiable as a human carcinogen. BEI® = Biological Exposure Index. STEL = Short-term Exposure Limit. C = Ceiling limit.
What are the engineering controls for acetone?
Engineering Controls: Use a local exhaust ventilation and enclosure, if necessary, to control amount in the air. For large scale use of this product: use non-sparking ventilation systems, approved explosion-proof equipment and intrinsically safe electrical systems in areas where this product is used and stored. Exhaust directly to the outside, taking any necessary precautions for environmental protection.
What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is needed when working with acetone?
Eye/Face Protection: Wear chemical safety goggles and face shield when contact is possible.
Skin Protection: Avoid repeated or prolonged skin contact. Wear chemical protective clothing e.g. gloves, aprons, boots. Suitable materials include: butyl rubber, Barrier® - PE/PA/PE, Silver Shield® - PE/EVAL/PE, Trellchem® HPS, Trellchem® VPS, Tychem® BR/LV, Tychem® Responder® CSM.
Up to 2500 ppm:
(APF = 10) Any chemical cartridge respirator with organic vapor cartridge(s)*; or Any supplied-air respirator*.
(APF = 25) Any powered, air-purifying respirator with organic vapor cartridge(s)*.
(APF = 50) Any air-purifying, full-facepiece respirator (gas mask) with a chin-style, front- or back-mounted organic vapor canister; or Any self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece.
*Reported to cause eye irritation or damage; may require eye protection.
APF = Assigned Protection Factor
Recommendations apply only to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirators. Refer to the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards for more information.
Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.