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CHEMINFO Record Number: 563
CCOHS Chemical Name: 2-Ethylhexyl acetate

2-Ethyl-1-hexanol acetate
2-Ethyl-1-hexyl acetate
2-Ethylhexanyl acetate
2-Ethylhexyl ethanoate
Acetic acid, 2-ethylhexyl ester
beta-Ethylhexyl acetate
Ethylhexyl acetate (non-specific name)
Octyl acetate (non-specific name)
Acetic acid, alpha-ethylhexyl ester

CAS Registry Number: 103-09-3
RTECS Number(s): AH5600000
Chemical Family: Aliphatic carboxylic acid ester / saturated aliphatic carboxylic acid ester / saturated aliphatic monocarboxylic acid ester / alkyl alkanoate / acetic acid ester / acetate / ethylhexyl ester
Molecular Formula: C1O-H2O-O2
Structural Formula: CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH(CH2-CH3)-CH2-O-C(=O)-CH3


Appearance and Odour:
Water-white liquid with a sweet odour.(6,7)

Odour Threshold:
0.07-0.207 ppm (0.513-1.48 mg/m3 ) (methods not specified) (7)

Warning Properties:
Insufficient information for evaluation

2-Ethylhexyl acetate is available commercially in grades of 95-99+%.(6,8) 2-Ethylhexyl acetate is a chemical form of octyl acetate.

Uses and Occurrences:
2-Ethylhexyl acetate is used as a solvent for nitrocellulose, some resins, lacquers, waxes, oils and baking finishes; in fragrances; as a high boiling retarder solvent in lacquers, emulsions, and silk-screen inks; as a flow-control agent in baking enamels: as a dispersant for vinyl organosols; and as a coalescing aid for latex paints.(1,6,12)


Water-white liquid with a sweet odour. COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. Can release vapours that form explosive mixtures with air at or above 71 deg C (160 deg F). May be a skin irritant.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

2-Ethylhexyl acetate does not form high vapour concentrations at normal room temperatures and therefore, does not present a vapour hazard in normally ventilated areas. Also, it is also detectable by odour at very low concentrations. 2-Ethylhexyl acetate vapours or mists can probably cause eye, nose and throat irritation. At higher concentrations, symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) depression (headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion) may occur based on comparison to other acetates.

Skin Contact:
2-Ethylhexyl acetate may cause moderate irritation, based on limited animal information. No irritation was experienced by humans following application of a 4% solution in petrolatum under a closed patch for 48 hours.(2)
2-Ethylhexyl acetate may be absorbed through the skin to a very slight extent, but harmful effects are not expected by this route of exposure.

Eye Contact:
2-Ethylhexyl acetate may cause mild irritation, based on animal information. There is no human information available.

2-Ethylhexyl acetate may cause irritation of the mouth and throat, based on information for other acetates. Low toxicity has been observed in animals. There is no human information available. Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

2-Ethylhexyl acetate can probably remove natural oils from the skin, resulting in dryness, redness and itching (dermatitis), based on comparison to other acetates.

Skin Sensitization:
Negative results (no sensitization reactions) were obtained when a 4% solution in petrolatum was tested in a maximization test with 29 volunteers.(2)


There is no human or animal 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 human or animal information available for pure 2-ethylhexyl acetate. One animal study suggests that octyl acetates do not cause developmental effects, in the absence of harmful effects on mothers. 2-Ethylhexyl acetate is a chemical form (isomer) of octyl acetate.

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

There is no information available.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
There is no information available.

Potential for Accumulation:
2-Ethylhexyl acetate probably does not accumulate in the body, based on information for related acetates. It is expected to be hydrolyzed in the body to form 2-ethylhexanol and acetic acid.


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

Skin Contact:
Wash gently and thoroughly with water and non-abrasive soap for 5 minutes or until chemical is removed. If irritation persists, obtain advice. Completely decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use or discard.

Eye Contact:
Quickly and gently blot or brush away excess chemical. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 5 minutes or until the chemical is removed, while holding the eyelid(s) open. Obtain medical advice immediately.

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:
71 deg C (160 deg F) (closed cup) (12-15)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
0.76% (12-15)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
8.14% (12-15)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
268 deg C (515 deg F) (12-15)

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
No specific information available. Probably not sensitive. Stable material.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
No specific information is available. 2-Ethylhexyl acetate will probably not accumulate static charge, since related acetates have high electrical conductivities. Since the flash point of 2-ethylhexyl acetate is high, vapour in the flammable range will probably not be ignited by a static discharge.

Electrical Conductivity:
Not available

Minimum Ignition Energy:
Not available

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Incomplete combustion may also produce irritating fumes and acrid smoke.

Fire Hazard Summary:
COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID. Can form explosive mixtures with air, at, or above 71 deg C (160 deg F). 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, "alcohol resistant fire-fighting foams", water spray or fog.(12,16) 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.
Closed containers may rupture violently when exposed to the heat of fire and suddenly release large amounts of products. Stay away from ends of tanks, but be aware that flying material (shrapnel) from ruptured tanks may travel in any direction.
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, cool fire-exposed containers, tanks or equipment by applying hose streams. Cooling should begin as soon as possible (within several minutes) and should concentrate on any unwetted portions of the container. Apply water from the side and a safe distance. 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. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material.
For an advanced or massive fire in a large area, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is not possible withdraw from fire area and allow the fire to burn. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discolouration of tank.

Protection of Fire Fighters:
2-Ethylhexyl acetate 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: 1 - Exposure would cause significant irritation, but only minor 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: 172.27

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 7.03 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.14 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: -80 deg C (-112 deg F) (14,15,17)
Boiling Point: 199 deg C (390 deg F) (12,14,15,17)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.872 at 20 deg C (14,15); 0.869 at 25 deg C (18) (water = 1)
Solubility in Water: Very slightly soluble (9.84 mg/100 mL at 25 deg C ) (19)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Very soluble in ethanol, diethyl ether and oils (8,14)
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Log P(oct) = 3.74 (estimated) (20)
pH Value: Not applicable
Acidity: Probably neutral
Viscosity-Dynamic: Not available
Surface Tension: Not available
Vapour Density: 5.93 (air = 1)
Vapour Pressure: 0.031 kPa (0.23 mm Hg) at 25 deg C (from experimentally derived coefficients) (8,17,18,19)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 300 ppm (0.03%) at 25 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: Not available
Henry's Law Constant: 153 Pa.m3/mol (cited as 1.5 x 10(-3) atm.m3/mol) at 25 deg C (estimated) (8,17); log H = -1.21 (dimensionless constant; calculated)


Stable in the anhydrous state. May slowly hydrolyze to acetic acid and 2-ethylhexanol in the presence of water.(12)

Hazardous Polymerization:
Does not polymerize.

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.

OXIDIZING AGENTS (e.g. nitrates, perchlorates, peroxides) - reaction can be violent. Increased risk of fire and explosion.(16)
STRONG ACIDS (e.g. sulfuric acid, oleum, and chlorosulfonic acid) or STRONG BASES (e.g. potassium hydroxide) - decomposition (hydrolysis) can occur, releasing heat. The reaction may be vigorous and there is a risk of fire and explosions.

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
Acetic acid.

Conditions to Avoid:
Open flames, sparks, temperatures above 71 deg C, heat and other ignition sources.

Corrosivity to Metals:
Octyl acetate (isomer not specified) is not corrosive to most metals at normal temperatures, such as carbon steel, cast iron, stainless steels (such as types 304/347 and 316), nickel and its alloys, aluminum, copper, bronze and brass, tantalum and titanium.(21)

Corrosivity to Non-Metals:
No specific information is available for 2-ethylhexyl acetate. Amyl acetate (isomer(s) not specified), a related acetate, can attack plastics, such as acetonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), acrylics, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, polymethyl methacrylate, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride and styrene-acrylonitrile (SA), elastomers, such as Butyl GR-1, ethylene-propylene terpolymer (EPT), Viton A (FKM), isoprene, Koroseal, natural rubber, neoprene, Nitrile Buna-N (NBR), Nordel (EPDM), polyether-urethane, polyurethane and silicone rubbers, and various epoxy coatings, such as coal tar epoxy, epoxy general purpose and epoxy chemical resistant. It does not attack fluorocarbons, such as FEP and Teflon, nylon, Halar, Tefzel, chlorinated polyether, Kynar, Chemraz, Hypalon, Kalrez, polyester, polyethylene and polyvinylidene chloride.(22,23)


LD50 (oral, rat): 3000 mg/kg (1)

LD50 (dermal, rabbit): greater than 5000 mg/kg (2, unconfirmed)

Eye Irritation:

2-Ethylhexyl acetate is probably a mild irritant.

Application of 0.5 mL of undiluted 2-ethylhexyl acetate caused no to very mild injury in rabbits (grade 1/10).(9) An unconfirmed report describes severe irritation in rabbits following application of 0.25 mg for 24 hours.(11)

Skin Irritation:

2-Ethylhexyl acetate may be a moderate irritant, based on unconfirmed information.

Undiluted 2-ethylhexyl acetate produced moderate irritation in rabbits following application to intact or abraded skin for 24 hours, under a covering.(2 citing an unpublished study)

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

Low toxicity has been observed in a 13-week study with rats orally exposed to an unspecified commercial mixture of octyl acetates. 2-Ethylhexyl acetate is a chemical form (isomer) of octyl acetate.

The following results were obtained for commercial octyl acetate, a mixture of acetates with branched alkyl groups, with C8 as the main constituent. Slight reductions in body weight and food consumption, increased liver and kidney weights, and evidence of a harmful effect on the kidneys that is specific to male rats were observed following oral administration of 1000 mg/kg/day for 13 weeks. The increased liver weight was judged to reflect a non-harmful response. No harmful effects were observed at 100 or 500 mg/kg/day.(10)

Teratogenicity, Embryotoxicity and/or Fetotoxicity:
A teratogenic effect was observed at a dose that also cause a harmful effect on the mothers exposed to an unspecified commercial mixture of octyl acetates. 2-Ethylhexyl acetate is a chemical form (isomer) of octyl acetate. Harmful effects were not observed in the offspring at doses that did not produce maternal toxicity.
There is no information available for 2-ethylhexyl acetate specifically. The following results were obtained for commercial octyl acetate, a mixture of acetates with branched alkyl groups, with C8 as the main constituent. Teratogenicity (an increase in litters with at least one malformed fetus and in the average proportion of offspring in each litter that were malformed) was observed in rats following oral administration of 1000 mg/kg/day during pregnancy. Maternal toxicity (2 deaths and obvious signs of toxicity) was observed at this dose level. No harmful effects on the embryo or fetus were observed at 100 or 500 mg/kg/day.(3)

NOTE: 2-Ethylhexyl acetate is a chemical form (isomer) of octyl acetate.


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Smyth, H.F., Jr., et al. The place of the range finding test in the industrial toxicology laboratory. Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. Vol. 26, no. 8 (Oct., 1944). p. 269-273
(2) Opdyke, D.L.J. 2-Ethylhexyl acetate. In: Monographs on fragrance raw materials. Special issue V. Food and Cosmetics Toxicology. Vol. 17, Suppl. (Dec., 1979). p. 779
(3) Daughtrey, W.C., et al. Evaluation of the teratogenic potential of octyl acetate in rats. Fundamental and Applied Toxicology. Vol. 13, no. 2 (1989). p. 303-309
(4) Browning, E. Toxicity and metabolism of industrial solvents. Elsevier Publishing, 1965. p. 552-553
(5) Von Oettingen, W.F. The aliphatic acids and their esters: toxicity and potential dangers. A.M.A. Archives of Industrial Health. Vol. 21 (Jan. 1960). p. 40/28-77/65
(6) Lewis, Sr., R.J., ed. 2-Ethylhexyl acetate. Hawley's condensed chemical dictionary. [CD-ROM]. 14th ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2002
(7) Ruth, J.H. Odor thresholds and irritation levels of several chemical substances: a review. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. Vol. 47 (Mar., 1986). p. A-146
(8) US National Library of Medicine. 2-Ethylhexylacetate. Last revision date: 2001-08-09. In: Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). CHEMpendium. [CD-ROM]. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Also available at: <>
(9) Carpenter, C.P., et al. Chemical burns of the rabbit cornea. American Journal of Ophthalmology. Vol. 29 (1946). p. 1363-1372
(10) Daughtrey, W.C., et al. A subchronic toxicity study of octyl acetate in rats. Fundamental and Applied Toxicology. Vol. 12, no. 2 (1989). p. 313-320
(11) US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Acetic acid, 2-ethylhexyl ester. Last updated: 1997-10. In: Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS(R)). [CD-ROM]. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Also available at: <>
(12) Tau, K. D, et al. Esters, organic. In: Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. 4th ed. Vol. 9. John Wiley and Sons, 1994. p. 781-812
(13) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325
(14) Lide, D., ed. Handbook of chemistry and physics. (CD-ROM). Chapman and Hall/CRCnetBASE, 1999
(15) Dean, J.A. Lange's handbook of chemistry. 15th ed. McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1999. p. 1.219, 5.143
(16) 2-Ethylhexyl acetate, 99+%. In: Sigma-Aldrich Fine Chemicals: technical library [online]. Sigma-Aldrich Corporation. MSDS. Valid 2002-02 - 2002-04. Available at: <> (Password required)
(17) Syracuse Research Corporation. The Physical Properties Database (PHYSPROP). Interactive PhysProp Database Demo. Date unknown. Available at: <>
(18) 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. 20, 46
(19) Syracuse Research Corporation. Environmental Fate Database: CHEMFATE Chemical Search [online]. Last updated: 2002-03-19. Available at: <>
(20) Syracuse Research Corporation. Interactive LogKow (KowWin) Database Demo [online]. Date unknown. Available at: <>
(21) Corrosion data survey: metals section. 6th ed. National Association of Corrosion Engineers, 1985. p. 92-1 to 93-1
(22) Schweitzer, P.A. Corrosion resistance tables: metals, nonmetals, coatings, mortars, plastics, elastomers and linings, and fabrics. 4th ed. Part A, A-D. Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1995. p. 277-280
(23) Corrosion data survey: nonmetals section. 5th ed. National Association of Corrosion Engineers, 1983. p. 49 (1-18) to 50 (1-6)
(24) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Organics in Air. In: OSHA Analytical Methods Manual. Revision Date: Oct. 31, 2001. Available at: <>
(25) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Esters 1. 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: 2003-10-07

Revision Indicators:
Emergency overview 2004-05-19

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