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

CAS number: 67-64-1

NIOSH REL: 250 ppm (590 mg/m3) TWA

Current OSHA PEL: 1,000 ppm (2,400 mg/m3) TWA

1989 OSHA PEL: 750 ppm (1,800 mg/m3) TWA, 1,000 ppm (2,400 mg/m3) STEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 750 ppm (1,780 mg/m3) TWA, 1,000 ppm (2,380 mg/m3) STEL

Description of substance: Colorless liquid with a fragrant, mint-like odor.

LEL: 2.5% (10% LEL, 2,500 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 20,000 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: There is no evidence in the available toxicological data that acetone presents an IDLH hazard below the lower explosive limit (LEL) of 25,000 ppm. Because Patty [1963] reported that a 1.5-hour exposure to 20,256 ppm is narcotic for mice, 20,000 ppm has been chosen as the IDLH.

Existing short-term exposure: National Research Council [NRC 1984] guideline

Emergency Exposure Guidance Levels (EEGLs):
1-hour EEGL: 8,500 ppm
24-hour EEGL: 1,000 ppm


Lethal concentration data:

LC50 LCLo 0.5-hr Derived
Species Reference (ppm) (ppm) Time LC (CF) Value
Mouse Flury and Wirth, 1933 —– 45,455 1 hr 56,818 ppm (1.25) 5,682 ppm
Rat Pozzani et al. 1959 20,702 —– 8 hr 51,755 ppm (2.5) 5,176 ppm


Lethal dose data:

LD50 LDLo Derived
Species Reference Route (Mg/kg) (mg/kg) Adjusted LD Value
Rat Freeman and Hayes 1985 oral 5,800 —– 16,777 ppm 1,678 ppm
Mouse Molodykh et al. 1980 oral 3,000 —– 8,678 ppm 868 ppm
Rabbit WHO 1980 oral 5,340 —– 15,446 ppm 1,545 ppm

Other animal data: RD50 (mouse), 77,516 ppm [Alarie 1981].

Human data: Volunteers experienced slight irritation at 300 ppm but 500 ppm was tolerated [Nelson et al. 1943]. Eye irritation, headache, lightheadedness, nasal irritation, and throat irritation were noted in workers exposed to concentrations considerably in excess of 1,000 ppm and perhaps as high as 6,500 ppm [Raleigh and McGee 1972]. No indications of toxicity were reported following exposures to 2,100 ppm for 8 hours/day [Haggard et al. 1944].


  1. Alarie Y [1981]. Dose-response analysis in animal studies: prediction of human responses. Environ Health Perspect 42:9-13.
  2. Flury F, Wirth W [1933]. Zur toxikologie der l”sungsmittel (Verschieden ester, aceton, methylalkohol). Arch Gewerbepath Gewerbehyg 5:1-90 (in German).
  3. Freeman JJ, Hayes EP [1985]. Acetone potentiation of acute acetonitrile toxicity in rats. J Toxicol Environ Health 15:609-621.
  4. Haggard HW, Greenberg LA, Turner Jmcc [1944]. The physiological principles governing the action of acetone together with determination of toxicity. J Ind Hyg Toxicol 26(5):133-151.
  5. Molodykh ZV, Buzykin BI, Kudrina MA, Sysoeva LP, Gazetdinova NG, Neklesova ID, Kitaev YP [1980]. Antimicrobial activity of some acyl halide arylhydrazones and carboxylic acid arylhydrazides. Pharm Chem J 14:162-169.
  6. Nelson K, Ege JF Jr, Ross M, Woodman LE, Silverman L [1943]. Sensory response to certain industrial solvent vapors. J Ind Hyg Toxicol 25(7):282-285.
  7. NRC [1984]. Emergency and continuous exposure limits for selected airborne contaminants. Vol. 1. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, Committee on Toxicology, Board on Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, pp. 5-25.
  8. Patty FA, ed. [1963]. Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 1788.
  9. Pozzani UC, Weil CS, Carpenter CP [1959]. The toxicological basis of threshold limit values: 5. The experimental inhalation of vapor mixtures by rats, with notes upon the relationship between single dose inhalation and single dose oral data. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 20:364-369.
  10. Raleigh RL, McGee WA [1972]. Effects of short, high-concentration exposures to acetone as determined by observation in the work area. J Occup Med 14(8):607-610.
  11. WHO [1970]. Acetone: biological data. In: Toxicological evaluation of some solvents and certain other substances. Food and Agriculture Organization Nutrition Meetings Report Series 48A. Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations, World Health Organization, pp. 86-90.