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Ethyl acetate

May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

CAS number: 141–78–6

NIOSH REL: 400 ppm (1,400 mg/m3) TWA

Current OSHA PEL: 400 ppm (1,400 mg/m3) TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 400 ppm (1,440 mg/m3) TWA

Description of Substance: Colorless liquid with an ether-like, fruity odor.

LEL:. . 2.0% (10% LEL, 2,000 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 10,000 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: Spector [1956] cited a mouse 3-hour LC50 of 12,330 ppm [Spealman et al. 1945]. UCC [1968] reported that none of 6 rats died after a 4-hour exposure at 8,000 ppm, but 6 of 6 rats died after a 4-hour exposure at 16,000 ppm. AIHA [1964] reported a concentration in the range of 8,600 to 20,000 ppm has been considered dangerous to man for short exposures [Henderson and Haggard 1943]. Based on the data cited above, an IDLH of 10,000 ppm is chosen.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal concentration data:






Adjusted 0.5-hr




G. pig






Blina 1933

Clayton and Clayton 1981

Izmerov et al. 1982

Patty 1963

Spealman et al. 1945

UCC 1968






LC100: 16,000







1 hr

6 hr

2 hr

8 hr

3 hr

4 hr

26 ppm (1.25)

36,800 ppm (2.3)

19,672 ppm (1.6)

4,000 ppm (2.5)

22,194 ppm (1.8)

32,000 ppm (2.0)

2.6 ppm

3,680 ppm

1,967 ppm

400 ppm

2,219 ppm

3,200 ppm

Other animal data: RD50(mouse), 614 ppm [Alarie 1981].

Human data: Workers regularly exposed to concentrations from 375 to 1,500 ppm for several months showed no unusual signs or symptoms [Patty 1963]. Concentrations in the range of 8,000 to 20,000 ppm have been considered dangerous for short exposures [Henderson and Haggard 1943].

Revised IDLH: 2,000 ppm [LEL]

Basis for revised IDLH: Based on health considerations and acute inhalation toxicity data in workers [Henderson and Haggard 1943; Patty 1963], a value between 2,000 and 8,000 ppm would have been appropriate for ethyl acetate. However, the revised IDLH for ethyl acetate is 2,000 ppm based strictly on safety considerations (i.e., being 10% of the lower explosive limit of 2.0%).


1. AIHA [1964]. Ethyl acetate. In: Hygienic guide series. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 25:201-203.

2. Alarie Y [1981]. Dose-response analysis in animal studies: prediction of human responses. Environ Health Perspect 42:9-13.

3. Blina LV [1933]. Ricerche sperimentali sull'azione tossica degli esteri dell'acide acetico. Acetato d'amile. Med Lav 24:166-179 (in Italian).

4. Clayton GD, Clayton FE, eds. [1981]. Patty's industrial hygiene and toxicology. 3rd rev. ed. Vol. 2A. Toxicology. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 2270-2276.

5. Henderson Y, Haggard HW [1943]. Noxious gases. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, p. 222.

6. Izmerov NF, Sanotsky IV, Sidorov KK [1982]. Toxicometric parameters of industrial toxic chemicals under single exposure. Moscow, Russia: Centre of International Projects, GKNT, p. 65.

7. Patty FA, ed. [1963]. Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 1967.

8. Spealman CR, Main RJ, Haag HB, Larson PS [1945]. Monomeric methyl methacrylate. Am J Ind Med 14(4):292-296.

9. Spector WS, ed. [1956]. Handbook of toxicology. Vol. I. Acute toxicities. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Company, pp. 336-337.

10. UCC [1968]. Toxicology studies: ethyl acetate. New York, NY: Union Carbide Corporation.