Center for Chemical Hazard Assessment, Syracuse Research Corporation, Syracuse, New York 1982 Feb:12 pages
Information on the potential occupational hazard from methyl-tert- butyl-ether (1634044) was reviewed. Topics discussed included physical and chemical properties, production, use, manufacturers, manufacturing processes, potential occupational exposure, and biological effects. Studies have indicated that the production of methyl-tert-butyl-ether is on the upswing with future production expected to increase primarily due to the use of the chemical as a gasoline antiknock additive. A list of manufacturers and prospective manufacturers of the chemical along with their capacities and current status of production is presented. Since manufacturing operations are closed system processes, occupational exposure is most likely to occur from fugitive emissions, spills and leaks. The number of workers potentially exposed to unblended methyl-tert-butyl-ether is not known, but was estimated to be between 300 and 500. Animal studies have indicated an oral median lethal dose (LD50) for rats of about 4g/kg, a dermal LD50 for rabbits of greater than 10g/kg, and a 4 hour inhalation LD50 for albino rats of 85mg/l. While slightly irritating to the eyes, the compound is not a primary irritant to the skin of rabbits. Subacute exposure to 1000 and 3000 parts per million causes ocular irritation, reduced reaction to auditory stimuli, histologic inflammation of the nasal mucosa and trachea, and increased liver weights in rats. The Ames assay showed no mutagenic potential and no positive effects were noted in a sister chromatid exchange assay.
Center for Chemical Hazard Assessment, Syracuse Research Corporation, Syracuse, New York