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CHEMINFO Record Number: 798
CCOHS Chemical Name: Isopropyl lactate

Isopropyl alpha-hydroxypropionate
1-Hydroxyethanecarboxylic acid, 1-methylethyl ester
2-Hydroxypropanoic acid, 1-methylethyl ester
2-Hydroxypropionic acid, isopropyl ester
Lactic acid, isopropyl ester
Lactate d' isopropyle

CAS Registry Number: 617-51-6
RTECS Number(s): OD5600000
Chemical Family: Saturated aliphatic hydroxy carboxylic acid ester / saturated aliphatic hydroxy monocarboxylic acid ester / hydroxyalkanoic acid ester / alkyl hydroxyalkanoate / isopropyl ester / lactate
Molecular Formula: C6-H12-O3
Structural Formula: CH3-CH(OH)-C(=O)-O-CH(CH3)2


Appearance and Odour:
Colourless liquid.(3)

Odour Threshold:
Information is not available.

Warning Properties:
Information not available for evaluation.

Isopropyl lactate can exist in two chemical forms (isomers), isopropyl D- lactate, isopropyl L-lactate. Generally, it is available commercially as a mixture of the two forms, isopropyl DL-lactate.

Uses and Occurrences:
Isopropyl lactate is used in cosmetic formulations and as a solvent.(2,4)


Colourless liquid. COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. May be a skin and/or eye irritant.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Isopropyl lactate has a low vapour pressure. Therefore, it is not expected to form high airborne concentrations, unless it is heated or misted. The potential health effects of isopropyl lactate are unknown. Mild irritation of the nose and throat may occur. Animal toxicity values for related lactates (butyl and methyl) indicate that inhalation toxicity is low.

Skin Contact:
There is not enough information available to draw conclusions about the potential irritancy of isopropyl lactate. Therefore, it should be considered irritating. No human or animal information was located.

Eye Contact:
There is not enough information available to draw conclusions about the potential irritancy of isopropyl lactate. Therefore, it should be considered irritating. No human or animal information was located.

There is no human information available for isopropyl lactate. Based on an animal toxicity value, isopropyl lactate is probably not harmful following ingestion. Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

There is no information available about the potential effects of long-term exposure to isopropyl lactate.


There is no animal or human information available.

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:
There is no animal or human information available.

Reproductive Toxicity:
There is no animal or human information available.

There is no information available.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
There is no information available.

Potential for Accumulation:
There is no specific information available for isopropyl lactate. Based on information reported for ethyl lactate, a closely related lactate ester, isopropyl lactate may be metabolized to lactic acid and isopropanol.(1) L(+)- Lactic acid is a normal metabolic intermediate produced by most mammalian cells.(2)


No health effects expected. If symptoms are experienced, remove source of contamination and have victim move to fresh air. If symptoms persist, obtain medical advice.

Skin Contact:
If irritation occurs, flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 5 minutes. If irritation persists, obtain medical advice. Completely decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use.

Eye Contact:
If irritation occurs, flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 5 minutes. If irritation persist, obtain medical advice.

If irritation or discomfort occur, obtain medical advice immediately.

First Aid Comments:
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:
55 deg C (131 deg F) (closed cup) (form not specified) (1,4); 57 deg C (135 deg F (closed cup) (isopropyl L-lactate) (3,6)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
Not available

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
Not available

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
Not available

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Not sensitive. Stable compound.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
No specific information is available for isopropyl lactate. It will probably not accumulate static charge, since hydroxy esters have high electrical conductivities.

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Incomplete combustion may produce irritating fumes and acrid smoke.

Fire Hazard Summary:
Combustible liquid. Can form explosive mixtures with air at, or above, 55 deg C. During a fire irritating/toxic gases may be formed. Closed containers may rupture violently or explode 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, alcohol foam, polymer foam, or water spray or fog.(3) Alcohol-resistant fire-fighting foam is recommended for use on all water-soluble liquids, or polar-type solvents.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid hazardous and toxic decomposition products.
If possible, isolate materials not yet involved in the fire, and move containers from fire area if this can be done without risk, and protect personnel. Otherwise, fire-exposed containers or tanks should be cooled by application of hose streams. Application should begin as soon as possible and should concentrate on any unwetted portions of the container. Cool containers from the side until well after the fire is out. If the above cooling procedure 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 dilute spills to nonflammable mixtures and flush spills away from ignition sources. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material.
For a 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. Stay away from ends of tanks, 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.
Firefighters may enter the area if positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (MSHA/NIOSH approved or equivalent) and full Bunker Gear is worn.


NFPA - Health: 2 - Intense or continued (but not chronic) exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible 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: 132.16

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 5.39 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.185 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: Not available
Boiling Point: 157 deg C (314.6 deg F) (4); 166-168 deg C (330.8-334.4 deg F) (2,6,7)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.998 at 20 deg C (2,6,7); 0.98 at 20 deg C (4) (water = 1)
Solubility in Water: Soluble (2,6,7)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in ethanol, diethyl ether and benzene (2,6,7)
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Not available
pH Value: Not available
Viscosity-Dynamic: 2.9 mPa.s (2.9 centipoise) at 20 deg C (4)
Viscosity-Kinematic: 2.91 mm2/s (2.91 centistokes) at 20 deg C (calculated) Not available
Vapour Density: 4.2 (air = 1) (5)
Vapour Pressure: 0.1 kPa (0.75 mm Hg) at 20 deg C (1,4)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 987 ppm (0.099%) at 20 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: Not available


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. hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate, or chromates), or STRONG REDUCING AGENTS (e.g. hydrogen iodide, lithium aluminum hydride or sodium borohydride) - may react vigorously or violently, with risk of fire and explosion.(3)
STRONG ACIDS (e.g. sulfuric or nitric acids) or BASES (e.g. sodium or potassium hydroxide) - decomposition (hydrolysis) can occur, releasing heat. The reaction may be vigorous or violent.(3)

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
Not available

Conditions to Avoid:
Heat, open flames

Corrosivity to Metals:
No specific information is available for isopropyl lactate. Based on the corrosivity of other lactates, isopropyl lactate is probably not corrosive to the common metals, such as steel, cast iron, stainless steel, copper and its alloys, nickel and its alloys, and aluminum.


LD50 (oral, rat): Greater than 2000 mg/kg (1 citing unpublished data)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Criteria Group for Occupational Standards, National Institute for Working Life. Consensus report for lactates. In: Scientific Basis for Swedish Occupational Standards XVI. Edited by P. Lundberg. Arbete Och Halsa. Vol. 19 (1995). p. 68-73
(2) Final report on the safety assessment of glycolic acid, ammonium, calcium, potassium, and sodium glycolates, methyl, ethyl, propyl, and butyl glycolates, and lactic acid, ammonium, calcium, potassium, sodium, and TEA- lactates, methyl, ethyl, isopropyl, and butyl lactates, and lauryl, myristyl, and cetyl lactates. International Journal of Toxicology. Thirty-fourth report of the Cosmetic Review Expert Panel. Vol. 17, suppl. 1 (1998). p. 1-241
(3) The Sigma-Aldrich library of chemical safety data. Edition II. Volume 1. Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, 1988. p. 2037D
(4) Stoye, D., et al. Solvents. In: Ullman's encyclopedia of industrial chemistry. 5th revised edition. Vol. A 24. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, 1993. p. 448-454, 481
(5) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325
(6) Dean, J.A. Lange's handbook of chemistry. 14th edition. McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1992. p. 1.236
(7) Weast, R.C., ed. Handbook of chemistry and physics. 66th edition. CRC Press, 1985-1986. p. C-334

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: 2000-04-04

Revision Indicators:
Bibliography 2003-04-18
WHMIS disclosure list 2003-07-13
Short-term skin contact 2006-01-25
Short-term eye contact 2006-01-25
Emergency overview 2006-01-25
Eye/face protection 2006-01-31
Skin protection 2006-01-31
Handling 2006-01-31

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