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Effects of short duration exposures to acetone and methyl ethyl ketone.
Dick-RB; Brown-WD; Setzer-JV; Taylor-BJ; Shukla-R
Toxicol Lett 1988 Oct; 43(1-3):31-49
A group of 137 subjects was tested for neurobehavioral performance changes and biochemical indicators during and after a short duration (4 hours) exposure to either acetone (67641) at 250 parts per million (ppm), methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK) at 200ppm, acetone at 125ppm with MEK at 100ppm, a chemical placebo or ethanol ingestion as a placebo. The subjects ranged in age from 18 to 32 years; equal numbers of males and females were included in each test group. Some small but statistically significant effects were noted during and after a 4 hour exposure to 250ppm acetone. The performance decrements on the psychomotor tests following acetone treatment, however, were not as dramatic as after ethanol ingestion. Performance changes from acetone exposure demonstrated some persistence and paralleled the venous blood levels of acetone indicating that tolerance did not develop. These findings suggest that further research may be needed to determine whether exposures to acetone in concentrations approaching 1,000ppm for at least 4 hours may produce more distinct central nervous system performance decrements. No interpretable statistically significant results were found following exposures to 200ppm MEK. There were also no interaction effects with the combination of acetone and MEK in either neurobehavioral or biochemical measures at the concentrations tested in this study.
NIOSH-Author; Inhalation-studies; Organic-solvents; Neuromotor-activity; Neuropathology; Task-performance; Work-capability; Intoxication; Author Keywords: Acetone; Methyl ethyl ketone; Human exposures; Neurobehavioral testing; Biochemical measurement
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Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division