The following information has been extracted from our CHEMINFO database, which also contains hazard control and regulatory information. [More about...] [Sample Record]

Access the complete CHEMINFO database by contacting CCOHS Client Services.


CHEMINFO Record Number: 452
CCOHS Chemical Name: 2-Ethyl-1-butanol

Ethyl butanol (non-specific name)
2-Ethyl butan-1-ol
2-Ethylbutyl alcohol
sec-Hexyl alcohol
Pseudohexyl alcohol

Chemical Name French: 2-éthylbutane-1-ol
Chemical Name Spanish: 2-etilbutan-1-ol
CAS Registry Number: 97-95-0
UN/NA Number(s): 2275
RTECS Number(s): EL3850000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 202-621-4
Chemical Family: Saturated primary aliphatic alcohol / primary alkanol / primary alkyl alcohol / hexanol / hexyl alcohol
Molecular Formula: C6-H14-O
Structural Formula: CH3-CH2-CH(CH2-CH3)-CH2-OH


Appearance and Odour:
Colourless liquid; sweet musty odour (5,6)

Odour Threshold:
0.07 ppm (0.29 mg/m3) (perception); 0.77 ppm (3.21 mg/m3) (50% and 100% recognition) (5,6)

Warning Properties:
Insufficient information for evaluation.

Uses and Occurrences:
2-Ethyl-1-butanol is used as a solvent for oils, resins, waxes, dyes and printing inks; as a flow improver for paints and varnishes; as a diluent; as a component in the manufacture of penetrating oils and corrosion inhibitors; in the manufacture of plasticizers, as a cleaning agent for printed circuits; in flavouring agents; and used in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and perfumes.(3,4)


Colourless liquid with a sweet, musty odour. COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. Mild central nervous system depressant. High vapour or mist concentrations may cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, incoordination and confusion. EYE IRRITANT. Causes severe eye irritation. Aspiration hazard. Swallowing or vomiting of the liquid may cause aspiration (breathing) into the lungs.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Inhalation can cause irritation of the nose and throat. Higher exposures may cause headache, drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness. These are symptoms of depression of the central nervous system (CNS).
There is no specific information for 2-ethyl-1-butanol, but these effects have been observed with related alcohols.

Skin Contact:
The liquid is a mild skin irritant, based on animal information. There is no human information available.
2-Ethyl-1-butanol can be absorbed through the skin to a slight extent. Prolonged or intense exposure may result in symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) depression, as described for "Inhalation" above.

Eye Contact:
The liquid is a severe irritant, based on animal information. The vapour can probably cause eye irritation, based on comparison to related alcohols.

2-Ethyl-1-butanol is expected to cause effects resembling "alcohol" intoxication such as headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea and vomiting. In severe cases, unconsciousness can occur.
2-Ethyl-1-butanol may be aspirated into the lungs during ingestion or vomiting, based on its viscosity and surface tension, and comparison to related alcohols. Severe lung injury with edema (accumulation of fluid in the lungs), respiratory arrest and death may result.
Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

Long-term exposure is not expected to cause problems other than those seen with short-term exposure.

Repeated or prolonged exposure to liquid can cause dermatitis (dry, cracked, red, thickened skin).


No human or animal information was located.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has not evaluated the carcinogenicity of this chemical.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has no listing for this chemical.

The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has not listed this chemical in its report on carcinogens.

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
No human or animal information was located.

Reproductive Toxicity:
No human or animal information was located.

No information was located.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
Alcohols may interact synergistically with chlorinated solvents (e.g. carbon tetrachloride) aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g. xylene) or dithiocarbamates (e.g. disulfiram).

Potential for Accumulation:
There is no evidence that 2-ethyl-1-butanol accumulates in the body. In a rabbit, 40% of ingested 2-ethyl-1-butanol is oxidized to 2-ethylbutyric acid, which is conjugated with glucuronic acid to form diethyl acetyl glucuronide, which is then excreted in the urine. A small amount of the oxidation product, ethyl n-propyl ketone is also excreted in the urine.(22)


If symptoms are experienced, remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. Obtain medical advice.

Skin Contact:
Remove contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 5 minutes. If irritation persists, repeat flushing. Obtain medical advice. Complete decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use or discard.

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 irrigation or attempt to remove the lens. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the unaffected eye or onto the face. Immediately obtain medical attention.

NEVER give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, is unconscious or convulsing. Have victim rinse mouth thoroughly with water. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim lean forward to reduce risk of aspiration. Have victim rinse mouth with water again. Immediately obtain medical attention.

First Aid Comments:
Provide general supportive measures (comfort, warmth, rest).
Consult a doctor and/or the nearest Poison Control Centre for all exposures except minor instances of inhalation or skin contact.
All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the material and its conditions of use in the workplace.


Flash Point:
58 deg C (136.4 deg F) (closed cup) (8,9)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
1.2% (7,10); 1.9% (10)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
7.7% (10); 8.3% (7); 8.8% (10)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
304 deg C (580 deg F) (estimated) (10)

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Probably not sensitive. Stable material.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
2-Ethyl-1-butanol will probably not accumulate static charge based on its moderate dielectric constant (8) and comparison to the closely related alcohol, 1-hexanol, which has a high electrical conductivity. 2-Ethyl-1-butanol vapour will not be ignited by a static discharge at room temperature due to its relatively high flash point.

Electrical Conductivity:
Not available.

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other irritant gases, which may include unburned alcohol and toxic constituents.

Fire Hazard Summary:
Combustible liquid. Can form explosive mixtures with air. During a fire, irritating/toxic smoke and fumes may be generated. Closed containers may rupture violently and suddenly release large amounts of product when exposed to fire or excessive heat for a sufficient period of time.

Extinguishing Media:
Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, appropriate foam, water spray or fog. Special multipurpose, alcohol resistant fire-fighting foams are recommended for use with any polar combustible liquid that is slightly soluble in water, like 2-ethyl-1-butanol.(10) Fire fighting foam manufacturers should be consulted for recommendations regarding types of foams and application rates.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid toxic decomposition products.
If possible, isolate materials not yet involved in the fire, and move containers from the fire area if this can be done without risk, and protect personnel. Closed containers may rupture violently when exposed to the heat of a fire. Therefore, fire-exposed containers or tanks should be cooled by application of hose streams. Application should begin as soon as possible (within the first several minutes) and should concentrate on any unwetted portions of the container. Apply water from the side and from a safe distance until well after the fire is out. Stay away from ends of tanks, involved in fire, but be aware that flying material from ruptured tanks may travel in any direction. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discolouration of tank due to fire. Cooling should continue until well after the fire is out. If this is not possible, use unmanned monitor nozzles and immediately evacuate the area.
If a leak or spill has not ignited, use water spray in large quantities to disperse the vapours and to protect personnel attempting to stop a leak. Water spray can be used to flush spills away from ignition sources and to dilute spills to non-flammable mixtures. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material.
For an advanced or massive fire in a large area, use unmanned hose holder or monitor nozzles; if this is not possible withdraw from fire area and allow fire to burn.
Tanks or drums should not be approached directly after they have been involved in a fire, until they have been completely cooled down.

Protection of Fire Fighters:
2-Ethyl-1-butanol is slightly hazardous to health. Firefighters may enter the area if positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (NIOSH approved or equivalent) and full Bunker Gear is worn.


NFPA - Health: 3 - Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury.
NFPA - Flammability: 2 - Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperatures before ignition can occur.
NFPA - Instability: 0 - Normally stable, even under fire conditions, and not reactive with water.


Molecular Weight: 102.17

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 4.17 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.24 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: -114.4 deg C (-173.9 deg F) (7,12)
Boiling Point: 146.5 deg C (295.7 deg F) (7,12)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.833-0.835 at 20 deg C (water = 1) (12,13); 0.829 at 25 deg C (7,12)
Solubility in Water: Slightly soluble (430 mg/100 mL at 20 deg C; 630 mg/100 mL at 24 deg C (5))
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in ethanol, diethyl ether and chloroform.(16)
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): No measured values are available. Estimated value: Log P(oct) = 1.75 (14)
pH Value: Not available. Alcohols are both weak acids and weak bases.
Viscosity-Dynamic: 5.63 mPa.s (5.63 centipoises) at 20 deg C (11); Also reported as 5.89 mPa.s (5.89 centipoises) at 25 deg C (8,12)
Viscosity-Kinematic: 6.74 mm2/s (6.74 centistokes) at 20 deg C (calculated); also 7.10 mm2/s (7.10 centistokes) at 25 deg C (calculated)
Saybolt Universal Viscosity: 447.9 Saybolt Universal Seconds at 37.8 deg C (100 deg F) (calculated)
Surface Tension: 25.06 mN/m (25.06 dynes/cm) at 15 deg C; 24.32 mN/m (24.32 dynes/cm) at 25 deg C (8,25)
Vapour Density: 3.53 (air = 1) (calculated)
Vapour Pressure: 0.16 kPa (1.2 mm Hg) at 20 deg C (9); 0.204 kPa (1.53 mm Hg) at 25 deg C (7,15); Also reported as 0.51 kPa (3.8 mm Hg) at 25 deg C (25)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 1580 (0.16%) at 20 deg C; approximately 2000 ppm (0.2%) at 25 deg C (calculated); Also 5000 ppm (0.5%)at 25 deg C (calculated; based on reported vapour pressure of 0.51 kPa)
Evaporation Rate: 0.08 (n-butyl acetate = 1) (12)
Henry's Law Constant: Not available.

Other Physical Properties:
DIELECTRIC CONSTANT: 6.19 at 90 deg C (8,12)


Normally stable

Hazardous Polymerization:
Does not occur

Incompatibility - Materials to Avoid:

NOTE: Chemical reactions that could result in a hazardous situation (e.g. generation of flammable or toxic chemicals, fire or detonation) are listed here. Many of these reactions can be done safely if specific control measures (e.g. cooling of the reaction) are in place. Although not intended to be complete, an overview of important reactions involving common chemicals is provided to assist in the development of safe work practices.

STRONG OXIDIZING AGENTS (e.g. calcium hypochlorite, chlorine oxides, chromium trioxide, hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid or nitrates) - may react violently or explosively. Increased risk of fire and explosion.(10,17)
HALOGENS (e.g. bromine or chlorine) - reaction may be vigorous or violent, resulting in explosions.(10,17)
PERCHLORIC ACID or METAL PERCHLORATES (e.g. barium perchlorate) - may form shock-sensitive or explosive compounds.(10,17)
ACIDS, ACID ANHYDRIDES, or ACID CHLORIDES - reaction may be vigorous or violent, with the evolution of heat.
LITHIUM ALUMINUM HYDRIDE - reaction may be vigorous.(10)
ISOCYANATES (e.g. toluene diisocyanate, hexamethylene diisocyanate or methyl isocyanate) - may react vigorously, violently or explosively with the generation of heat.(10)
Mixtures or reactions of alcohols with the following materials may cause explosions: acetaldehyde, dialkylmagnesiums, N-haloimides (e.g. N- bromosuccinimide or N-chlorosuccinimide), ethylene oxide, hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid, hypochlorous acid, nitrogen tetraoxide, nitryl hypochlorite, permonosulfuric acid and tri-isobutyl aluminum.(10,17)

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported

Conditions to Avoid:
Open flames, heat, temperatures above 58 deg C and other ignition sources.

Corrosivity to Metals:
No specific information is available for 2-ethyl-1-butanol. The related alcohols, hexanol (isomer not specified) and tert-hexanol, are not corrosive to the common metals, such as stainless steel (e.g. 300 series and 400 series), aluminum (e.g. types 3003 and Cast B-356), carbon steel (e.g. types 1010, 1020 and 1075), cast iron (e.g. gray, ductile and high nickel), nickel, nickel-base alloys, Monel, Hastelloy, copper, brass, bronze, tantalum, titanium and zirconium at least up to 93 deg C.(18,19)

Corrosivity to Non-Metals:
2-Ethyl-1-butanol does not attack elastomers, like fluorocarbons, Teflon and Viton, nitrile Buna N (NBR), butyl rubber (isobutylene-isoprene), isoprene, natural rubber and chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSM).(23) There is no specific information available regarding the resistance of plastics to 2-ethyl-1-butanol. The related alcohol, tert-hexanol, attacks some plastics, like acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).(20) The related alcohols, 1-hexanol and tert-hexanol, do not attack plastics, like Teflon and other fluorocarbons, e.g. polyvinylidene fluoride (Kynar), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polypropylene, nylon and high-density polyethylene.(20,24)


LD50 (oral, rabbit): 1000 mg/kg; cited as 1.2 mL/kg (1)
LD50 (oral, female rat): 1850 mg/kg (2)

LD50 (dermal, rabbit): 1050 mg/kg; cited as 1.26 mL/kg (2)

Eye Irritation:

2-Ethyl-1-butanol is a severe irritant.

Application of in excess of a 5% solution cause severe injury in rabbits (scored over 5 where 5 is severe injury; graded 9/10).(2)

Skin Irritation:

2-Ethyl-1-butanol is a mild irritant.

Application of undiluted 2-ethyl-1-butanol produced mild irritation in rabbits (graded 2/10).(2)

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

Rats survived an 8-hour inhalation exposure to concentrated vapours (approximately 1580-2000 ppm; saturated vapour concentration).(2)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Draize, J.H., et al. Methods for the study of irritation and toxicity of substances applied topically to the skin and mucous membranes. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Vol. 82, no. 4 (Dec. 1944). p. 377-390
(2) Smyth, H.F. Jr., et al. Range-finding toxicity data : List V. A.M.A. Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Medicine. Vol. 10 (July 1954). p. 61
(3) Bevan, C. Monohydric alcohols - C1 to C6: 2-ethyl-1-butanol. In: Patty's toxicology. 5th ed. Edited by E. Bingham, et al. Vol. 6. John Wiley and Sons, 2001. p. 376, 441-442
(4) 2-Ethylbutyl alcohol. Hawley's condensed chemical dictionary. [CD-ROM]. 14th ed. Edited by R.J. Lewis, Sr. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2002
(5) Verschueren, K. Handbook of environmental data on organic chemicals. 4th ed. Vol. 1. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2001. p. 1082-1083
(6) Ruth, J.H. Odor thresholds and irritation levels of several chemical substances: a review. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. Vol. 47 (Mar. 1985). p. A 146
(7) Yaws, C.L. Handbook of chemical compound data for process safety: comprehensive safety and health-related data for hydrocarbons and organic chemicals: selected data for inorganic chemicals. Library of physico-chemical property data. Gulf Publishing Company, 1997. p. 14, 40, 67, 95
(8) Dean, J.A. Lange's handbook of chemistry. 15th ed. McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1999. p. 1.215, 5.96, 5,116
(9) Stoye, D. Solvents. In: Ullmann's encyclopedia of industrial chemistry. 7th ed. John Wiley and Sons, 2005. Available at: <> {Subscription required}
(10) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325; NFPA 491 (Alcohols); NFPA 497
(11) Sullivan, D. A. Solvents, industrial. In: Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. John Wiley and Sons, 2005. Available at: <> {Subscription required}
(12) Riddick, J.A., et al. Organic solvents: physical properties and methods of purification. 4th ed. Techniques of organic chemistry. Vol. II. John Wiley and Sons, 1986. p. 223-224, 894
(13) Falbe, J. et al. Alcohols, aliphatic. In: Ullmann's encyclopedia of industrial chemistry. 7th ed. John Wiley and Sons, 2005. Available at: <> {Subscription required}
(14) Syracuse Research Corporation. Interactive LogKow (KowWin) Database Demo. Date unknown. Available at: <>
(15) Daubert, T.E., et al. Physical and thermodynamic properties of pure chemicals: data compilation. Design Institute For Physical Property Data, American Institute Of Chemical Engineers. Hemisphere Publishers Corp., 1989
(16) Handbook of chemistry and physics. [CD-ROM]. Edited by D.R. Lide. Chapman and Hall/CRCnetBASE, 1999
(17) Bretherick's reactive chemical hazards database. [CD-ROM]. 6th ed. Version 3.0. Edited by P.G. Urben. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd., 1999
(18) Corrosion data survey: metals section. 6th ed. National Association of Corrosion Engineers, 1985. p. 66-13 to 67-13
(19) Pruett, K.M. Chemical resistance guide to metals and alloys: a guide to chemical resistance of metals and alloys. Compass Publications, 1995. p. 158-169
(20) Schweitzer, P.A. Corrosion resistance tables: metals, nonmetals, coatings, mortars, plastics, elastomers and linings, and fabrics. 4th ed. Part B, E-O. Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1995. p. 1445-1448
(21) European Economic Community. Commission Directive 93/72/EEC. Sept. 1, 1993
(22) Kamil, I.A., et al. Studies in detoxication. 47. The formation of ester glucuronides of aliphatic acids during the metabolism of 2-ethylbutanol and 2-ethylhexanol. Biochemical Journal. Vol. 53 (1953). p. 137-140
(23) Pruett, K.M. Chemical resistance guide for elastomers II: a guide to chemical resistance of rubber and elastomeric compounds. Compass Publications, 1994. p. C-140 to C-145
(24) Pruett, K.M. Chemical resistance guide for plastics: a guide to chemical resistance of engineering thermoplastics, fluoroplastics, fibers and thermoset resins. Compass Publications, 2000. p. 230-241
(25) Hovorka, F., et al. Thermodynamic properties of the hexyl alcohols. V. 2,2-Dimethylbutanol-1 and 2-ethylbutanol-1. Journal of the American Chemical Society. Vol. 62 (Sept. 1940). p. 2372-2374
(26) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Alcohols III. In: NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM(R)). 4th ed. Edited by M.E. Cassinelli, et al. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 94-113. Aug. 1994. Available at: <>

Information on chemicals reviewed in the CHEMINFO database is drawn from a number of publicly available sources. A list of general references used to compile CHEMINFO records is available in the database Help.

Review/Preparation Date: 2005-07-03

©2007 Canadian  Centre  for  Occupational  Health  &  Safety  E-mail:  Fax: (905) 572-2206  Phone: (905) 572-2981  
Mail:  250  Main  Street  East,  Hamilton  Ontario  L8N  1H6