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: 631
CCOHS Chemical Name: 2-Methoxyethyl acetate

Acétate de 2-méthoxyéthyle
Acetic acid, 2-methoxyethyl ester
beta-Methoxyethyl acetate
Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate
Methyl cellosolve acetate
Ethylene glycol methyl ether acetate
2-Methoxyethanol acetate
Methyl glycol monoacetate
Methoxyethyl acetate

Chemical Name French: Acétate de méthylglycol
Chemical Name Spanish: Acetato de 2-metoxietilo

Trade Name(s):
Acetyl methyl Cellosolve
Methyl Cellosolve acetate

CAS Registry Number: 110-49-6
UN/NA Number(s): 1189
RTECS Number(s): KL5950000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 203-772-9
Chemical Family: Aliphatic ether alcohol ester / alkoxy alkanoate / aliphatic glycol ether ester / ethylene glycol ether ester
Molecular Formula: C5-H10-O3
Structural Formula: CH3-O-CH2-CH2-O-CO-CH3


Appearance and Odour:
Colourless liquid; pleasant, sweet odour (3,4)

Odour Threshold:
0.34 ppm (perception); 0.64 ppm (50-100% recognition) (3)

Warning Properties:
POOR - TLV is the same order of magnitude and significant skin absorption can occur, contributing to overall exposure.

Some products may contain small quantities (less than 0.1%) of an antioxidant, such as hydroquinone monomethyl ether, to inhibit formation of unstable peroxides.

Uses and Occurrences:
Solvent for waxes, oils, various gums and resins, cellulose acetate and nitrocellulose. Used in photographic films, lacquers, textile printing.


Colourless liquid with a pleasant, sweet odour. COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. Mild central nervous system depressant. May cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion. SUSPECT REPRODUCTIVE HAZARD - may cause fetotoxic and teratogenic effects; may have serious adverse effects on the male reproductive system.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Vapour and mist can probably cause headache, confusion, agitation, disorientation, general weakness and nausea (typical signs of central nervous system depression), breathing difficulties and an increased heart rate. Specific information is not available, but these effects were seen following exposure to 2-methoxyethanol which is the major breakdown product formed in the body. See 2-methoxyethanol CHEMINFO for additional information.

Skin Contact:
Liquid is unlikely to cause significant irritation. Specific human information is not available, but the liquid was not irritating in an animal study.(7)
Animal studies show that 2-methoxyethyl acetate can be absorbed through the skin. Absorption of large quantities may cause effects similar to those described for inhalation.

Eye Contact:
Vapour, mist and liquid may cause mild irritation. Specific human information is not available, but the liquid was a mild irritant in an animal test.(2)

Ingestion may cause confusion, agitation, disorientation, muscle weakness, nausea and other signs of depression of the central nervous system, as well as increased heart rate and deep breathing. Severe exposures may result in coma, kidney failure and death. Specific information is not available, but these effects were seen following ingestion of 2-methoxyethanol, which is the major breakdown product formed in the body. See CHEMINFO 519E.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

REPEATED INHALATION OR SKIN CONTACT: Repeated exposures to concentrations above 5 ppm may cause headache, drowsiness, weakness and other signs of depression of the central nervous system. As well, blood changes such as reduced numbers of red and white blood cells may occur. Specific information is not available, but these effects were seen in workers exposed to 2-methoxyethanol, which is the major breakdown product formed in the body. (See CHEMINFO 519E).

SKIN SENSITIZATION: In one case, an allergic skin response from a non-occupational exposure may have been caused by 2-methoxyethyl acetate.(14) This is the only case reported in the literature.


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 not assigned a carcinogenicity designation to this chemical.

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

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
No human information available. 2-Methoxyethyl acetate was embryotoxic in an animal study where maternal toxicity was not fully evaluated. Animal studies have shown that 2-methoxyethanol, the major breakdown product formed in the body, can cause toxic effects, death and serious malformations in the offspring at doses which are not maternally toxic (see CHEMINFO 519E).

Reproductive Toxicity:
No human information available. Animal studies have shown that 2-methoxyethyl acetate and its major breakdown product, 2-methoxyethanol (CHEMINFO 519E), have caused serious adverse effects (abnormal sperm, decreased fertility, testicular effects) on the male reproductive system.(8)

No human or animal information available. Caused genetic changes in a study with yeast.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
Information not available

Potential for Accumulation:
Probably does not accumulate. 2-Methoxyethyl acetate is broken down (hydrolyzed) in the body, yielding 2-methoxyethanol and acetic acid. These compounds may be further broken down and excreted.

Health Comments:
2-Methoxyethyl acetate and its major breakdown product, 2-methoxyethanol, are thought to produce similar effects at approximately equal doses.(11) See CHEMINFO 519E for a review of the toxicity of 2-methoxyethanol.


Take proper precautions to reduce your own exposure before attempting rescue (e.g., wear appropriate protective equipment). Remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. If breathing has stopped, trained personnel should begin artificial respiration (AR), or if the heart has stopped, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately (avoid mouth-to-mouth contact). Obtain medical attention immediately.

Skin Contact:
Avoid direct contact with this chemical. Wear chemical protective gloves, if necessary. As quickly as possible, flush contaminated area with lukewarm, gently running water for at least 5 minutes, or until the chemical is removed. Under running water, remove contaminated clothing, shoes, and leather goods (e.g., watchbands, belts). If irritation persists, obtain medical advice immediately. Completely decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use or discard.

Eye Contact:
Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective gloves, if necessary. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 5 minutes, or until the chemical is removed, while holding the eyelid(s) open. If irritation persists, repeat flushing. Obtain medical advice immediately.

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. Have victim drink 240 to 300 mL (8 to 10 oz.) of water. If vomiting occurs naturally, rinse mouth and repeat administration of water. If breathing has stopped, trained personnel should begin artificial respiration (AR) or, if the heart has stopped, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately (avoid mouth-to-mouth contact). Obtain medical attention immediately.

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:
49 deg C (120 deg F) (closed cup) (4,6); 60 deg C (140 deg F) (open cup) (14); also reported as 60 deg C (140 deg F) (Tag closed cup) (16)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
1.5% at 93 deg C (6); also reported 1.7% (15)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
12.3% at 93 deg C (6); also reported 8.2% (15)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
393 deg C (740 deg F) (6)

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

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Information not available

Fire Hazard Summary:
Combustible liquid. Can form explosive mixtures with air at, or above, 49 deg C.

Extinguishing Media:
Dry chemical, alcohol foam, polymer foam, carbon dioxide, water spray.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
2-Methoxyethyl acetate is very soluble in water and has a moderate flash point. Water may be used to fight fires involving 2-methoxyethyl acetate because it can cool this compound below its flash point. In addition, water can be used in the form of spray or mist to absorb heat, keep containers cool and protect fire-exposed material. If a leak or spill has not ignited, use water spray to disperse the vapours, dilute the spill to a non-flammable mixture and protect personnel attempting to stop a leak. Water spray may be used to flush spills away from ignition sources.

Protection of Fire Fighters:
This chemical is a suspected reproductive hazard. Firefighters may enter the area if positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (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: 118.13

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 4.82 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.207 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: -65 deg C (-85 deg F) (3)
Boiling Point: 144 deg C (291 deg F) (3)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 1.005 at 20 deg C (water = 1) (3)
Solubility in Water: Soluble in all proportions
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in ethyl alcohol, ether
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Not available
pH Value: Not available. Probably neutral.
Vapour Density: 4.07 (air = 1)
Vapour Pressure: 0.27kPa (2 mmHg) at 20 deg C (4); 0.93kPa (7 mmHg) at 20 deg C (3); 0.67kPa (5 mmHg) at 25 deg (16)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 2632 ppm (0.26%) at 20 deg C; 9212 ppm (0.92%) at 20 deg C; 6580 ppm (0.66%) at 25 deg C (calc.)
Evaporation Rate: 0.3 (n-butyl acetate = 1) (16)
Critical Temperature: Not available


Normally stable. 2-Methoxyethyl acetate may react with air to form explosive peroxides. The rate and extent of this reaction is not known. Some products may contain a antioxidant to inhibit peroxide formation.

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.

OXIDIZING MATERIALS - increased risk of fire; may form peroxides which can be explosive.

STRONG ACIDS - decomposition (hydrolysis) can occur.

STRONG BASES - decomposition (hydrolysis) can occur.

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
2-Methoxyethanol, acetic acid

Conditions to Avoid:
Sparks, temperatures above 49 deg C, air, sunlight.

Corrosivity to Metals:
Not corrosive

Stability and Reactivity Comments:
Some glycol ethers can form explosive peroxides during prolonged storage in contact with air. Formation of peroxides will occur more readily in sunlight. The rate and extent of peroxide formation from 2-methoxyethyl acetate is not known, but one author indicates that an explosion could occur if a peroxide-containing product is distilled or evaporated to dryness.(5)


LD50 (oral, rat): 3.39 g/kg (2); 3.93 g/kg (1)
LD50 (oral, guinea pig): 1.25 g/kg (1)

LD50 (dermal, rabbit): 5.25 mL/kg (5.26 g/kg) (2)

Eye Irritation:

Application of 0.5 mL caused mild irritation in rabbits after 24 hours.(2)

Skin Irritation:

Repeated application of undiluted 2-methoxyethyl acetate did not cause irritation in rabbits.(7)

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

Animals (mice, guinea pigs, rabbits) exposed to 22 mg/L (4000 ppm) for 1 hour developed irritation of the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat). A 3-hour exposure to 22 mg/L was survived by mice and rabbits, but guinea pigs and cats died within 21 days and 7 days respectively following exposure. Symptoms included irritation of mucous membranes, muscle incoordination, and accumulation of fluid in the lungs.(10,11) Two of 6 rats exposed to 7000 ppm for 4 hours died.(2)

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

Guinea pigs and mice survived 6 daily exposures to 500 or 1000 ppm (8 hr/day). Cats exposed daily (8 hr/day) died after 2 or 9 days exposure to 500 ppm or 3 to 4 days exposure to 1000 ppm. Kidney damage was seen in those animals that died.(10,11)

Male mice were fed 62.5-2000 mg/kg 2-methoxyethyl acetate, 5 days/week for 5 weeks. Changes in the blood were not observed at doses of 500 mg/kg or lower. At 1000 and 2000 mg/kg, a reduced number of white blood cells (leukopenia) was seen. Red blood cell levels were not affected.(8)

Teratogenicity, Embryotoxicity and/or Fetotoxicity:
Complete fetal death was seen in mice fed 1.2 g/kg/day for several days during pregnancy. This dose did not cause any deaths in the mothers. No other evaluation of maternal health was reported.(13)

Reproductive Toxicity:
Male mice were fed 62.5-2000 mg/kg, 5 days/week for 5 weeks. Effects on the male reproductive system were not seen at doses of 250 mg/kg or lower. At 500 mg/kg there were significant decreases in testicular weight and retardation of sperm development. These effects became more pronounced at higher concentrations. Other toxic effects were not reported.(8)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Smyth, H.F., et al. The single dose toxicity of some glycols and derivatives. Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. Vol. 23, no. 6 (June 1941). p. 259-268
(2) Smyth, H.F., et al. Further experience with the range finding test in the industrial toxicology laboratory. Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. Vol. 30, no. 1 (Jan. 1948). p. 63-68
(3) Verschueren, K. Handbook of environmental data on organic chemicals. 2nd ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983. p. 652-653
(4) Hawley's condensed chemical dictionary. 11th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1987. p. 489
(5) Bretherick, L. Bretherick's handbook of reactive chemical hazards. 4th ed. Butterworths, 1990. p. 1747-1750
(6) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325
(7) Toxicology and hygiene of industrial solvents. The Williams & Wilkins Company, 1943. p. 287-289
(8) Nagano, K., et al. Mouse testicular atrophy induced by ethylene glycol monoalkyl ethers. Japan Journal of Industrial Health. Vol. 21 (1979). p. 29-35
(9) Zimmermann, F.K., et al. Acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, ethyl acetate, acetonitrile and other polar aprotic solvents are strong inducers of aneuploidy in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mutation Research. Vol. 149 (1985). p. 339-351
(10) Illing, H.P.A., et al. Glycol ethers (toxicity review 10). Health and Safety Executive, 1985. p. 83-84
(11) Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological exposure indices. 5th ed. ACGIH, 1986. p. 366
(12) Forsberg, K., et al. Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing. 4th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2002
(13) Hardin, B.D., et al. Evaluation of 60 chemicals in a preliminary developmental toxicity test. Teratogenesis, Carcinogenesis, and Mutagenesis. Vol. 7 (1987). p. 29-48
(14) Patty's industrial hygiene and toxicology. 3rd rev. ed. Vol. 2C. John Wiley & Sons, 1982. p. 4009, 4022-4024
(15) NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards. NIOSH, June 1994. p. 202-203
(16) Paustenback, D.J. Assessment of the developmental risks resulting from occupational exposure to select glycol ethers within the semiconductor industry. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Vol. 23 (1988). p. 29-75
(17) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 2-Methoxyethanol, 2-Methoxyethyl Acetate, 2-Ethoxyethanol, 2-Ethoxyethyl Acetate. In: OSHA Analytical Methods Manual. Revision Date: Oct. 31, 2001. Available at: <>
(18) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Methyl Cellosolve Acetate. 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: 1991-06-10

Revision Indicators:
Family 1993-03-01
Structural formula 1993-03-01
Appearance/odour 1993-03-01
Acute exposure (eyes) 1993-03-01
Acute exposure (skin) 1993-03-01
Reproductive toxicity 1993-03-01
Emergency overview 1993-03-01
First aid (eyes) 1993-03-01
First aid (comments) 1993-03-01
NFPA (comments) 1993-03-01
Flash point 1993-03-01
Fire hazard comments 1993-03-01
PEL-TWA 1993-03-01
PEL comments 1993-03-01
Solubility in other liquids 1993-03-01
Vapour pressure 1993-03-01
Conversion factor 1993-03-01
Saturation 1993-03-01
Relative density 1993-03-01
Evaporation 1993-03-01
Conditions to avoid 1993-03-01
TDG 1994-02-01
Fire fighting instructions 1995-01-01
Sampling 1996-06-01
Respiratory guidelines 1996-06-01
EU number 1996-06-01
EU class 1996-06-01
EU risk 1996-06-01
EU safety 1996-06-01
US transport 1998-03-01
TLV comments 1998-08-01
NFPA (health) 2003-03-27
NFPA (reactivity) 2003-03-27
Carcinogenicity 2003-07-24
PEL-TWA final 2003-10-30
PEL transitional comments 2003-10-30
Resistance of materials for PPE 2004-03-28
TLV proposed changes 2005-02-18
Bibliography 2005-04-10
Passive Sampling Devices 2005-04-10
Sampling/analysis 2005-04-10
TLV-TWA 2006-02-14
TLV proposed changes 2006-02-14
Warning properties 2006-02-14

©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