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CHEMINFO Record Number: 507
CCOHS Chemical Name: Isopropyl acetate

Acetic acid, isopropyl ester
Acetic acid, 1-methylethyl ester
1-Methylethyl acetate
2-Propyl acetate
Propyl acetate (non-specific name)
2-Propyl ethanoate
Acetate d'isopropyle

Chemical Name French: Acétate d'isopropyle
Chemical Name Spanish: Acetato de isopropilo
2 - Acetoxipropano
Acido acético, éster isopropílico
Acido acético, éster metiletílico
CAS Registry Number: 108-21-4
UN/NA Number(s): 1220
RTECS Number(s): AI4930000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 203-561-1
Chemical Family: Aliphatic carboxylic acid ester / saturated aliphatic carboxylic acid ester / saturated aliphatic monocarboxylic acid ester / alkyl alkanoate / acetic acid ester / acetate / isopropyl ester
Molecular Formula: C5-H10-O2
Structural Formula: CH3-C(=O)-O-CH(CH3)-CH3


Appearance and Odour:
Colourless liquid, fruity odour (2,13)

Odour Threshold:
0.5-34 ppm (detection); 0.91-42 ppm (recognition) (15)

Warning Properties:
POOR - odour threshold values reported are extremely variable.

Uses and Occurrences:
Solvent for coatings, for many synthetic resins, such as nitrocellulose, ethylcellulose, cellulose acetate butyrate, some vinyl copolymers, polystyrene, and methacrylate resins, printing inks, gums, lacquers, plastics, oils and fats; component of paints; organic synthesis; odourant in perfumes; used in recovery of acetic acid from dilute aqueous solutions.(1,2)


Colourless liquid with a fruity odour. FLAMMABLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. Vapour is heavier than air and may spread long distances. Distant ignition and flashback are possible. May be an eye irritant. Mild central nervous system depression. High vapour concentrations may cause headache, nausea, dizziness, incoordination and confusion.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

High concentrations of the vapour may be irritating to the nose and throat. In one study, nose and throat irritation did not occur at 200 ppm, and there was little objection to the odour.(3)
Based on animal information and the effects of related acetates, high concentrations of vapour can probably cause headache, dizziness, drowsiness, shortness of breath and other signs of depression of the central nervous system.

Skin Contact:
There is no human information available. Based on animal information, the liquid may cause mild skin irritation.(4,5)

Eye Contact:
The vapour is irritating to the eye. Human subjects exposed to 200 ppm vapour for 15 minutes experienced irritation.(3) The liquid may be irritating, but animal information indicates it only causes mild irritation. Two incidences have been reported where liquid isopropyl acetate caused eye burns in humans which healed slowly (3 to 10 days), with no permanent damage.(6) Insufficient details are available to verify this report.

There is no human information available. Based on animal data, ingestion of large quantities may produce signs of central nervous system depression (shortness of breath, headache, drowsiness, dizziness and unconsciousness). Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

There is no specific human or animal information available.
SKIN: Repeated or prolonged contact may cause irritation and drying.


There is no human or animal information available. Isopropyl acetate is probably not carcinogenic. Metabolites of isopropyl acetate (isopropanol and acetic acid) have not been shown to be carcinogenic.

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:
There is no human or animal information available. Probably not teratogenic or embryotoxic.

Reproductive Toxicity:
There is no human or animal information available. Probably not a reproductive hazard.

No human or animal information available. Isopropyl acetate gave negative results in one bacteria study.(7)

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
No information is available

Potential for Accumulation:
Probably does not accumulate. Animal studies suggest that isopropyl acetate is rapidly broken down (metabolized) and excreted from the body. Based on studies with other, similar acetates, it is probably broken down to isopropanol and acetic acid, which are metabolized further.


This chemical is flammable. Take proper precautions (e.g. remove any sources of ignition). If the victim is unconscious or does not respond, take proper precautions to ensure your own safety before attempting rescue; e.g., wear appropriate protective equipment, use the "buddy" system. Remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. If breathing has stopped, trained personnel should begin artificial respiration or, if the heart has stopped, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately. Obtain medical attention immediately.

Skin Contact:
As quickly as possible, flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 5 minutes or until the chemical is removed. Obtain medical advice.

Eye Contact:
Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 20 minutes or until the chemical is removed, while holding the eyelid(s) open. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the non-affected eye or onto the face. Obtain medical attention immediately.

NEVER give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, is unconscious or convulsing. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 240 to 300 mL (8 to 10 oz.) of water to dilute material in the stomach. If vomiting occurs naturally, rinse mouth and repeat administration of water. If breathing has stopped, trained personnel should begin artificial respiration or, if the heart has stopped, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately. 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:
2 deg C (36 deg F) (closed cup) (12,13)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
1.8% at 38 deg C (1)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
8.0% (1)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
460 deg C (860 deg F) (1)

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Not sensitive, since it is a stable compound.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Probably will not accumulate static charge, since acetates have high electrical conductivities. Vapours in the flammable range may be ignited by a static discharge of sufficient energy.

Fire Hazard Summary:
Flammable liquid. Can form vapours that form explosive mixtures with air at, or above 2 deg C. Vapour is heavier than air and may travel a considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back to a leak or open container. During a fire, irritating/toxic gases may be generated. Can accumulate in confined spaces, resulting in a toxicity and flammability hazard. Concentrated solutions in water may be flammable. Closed containers may rupture violently when heated.

Extinguishing Media:
Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, alcohol foam, polymer foam. Water may be ineffective because it will not cool isopropyl acetate below its flash point. Fire fighting foams are the extinguishing agent of choice for most flammable liquid fires.(14)

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid hazardous vapours and toxic decomposition products.
Stop leak before attempting to stop the fire. If the leak cannot be stopped, and if there is no risk to the surrounding area, let the fire burn itself out. If the flames are extinguished without stopping the leak, vapours could form explosive mixtures with air and reignite.
Water can extinguish the fire if used under favourable conditions and when hose streams are applied by experienced firefighters trained in fighting all types of flammable liquid fires.
Isolate materials not yet involved in the fire and protect personnel. Move containers from fire area if this can be done without risk. Otherwise, fire- exposed containers or tanks should be cooled by application of hose streams and this should begin as soon as possible (within the first several minutes) and should concentrate on any unwetted portions of the container. 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, to protect personnel attempting to stop a leak. Water spray can be used to dilute spills to nonflammable mixtures and to flush spills away from ignition sources. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material. For a massive fire in a large area,and allow fire to burn. Stay away from ends of tanks. 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: 3 - Liquids and solids that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions.
NFPA - Instability: 0 - Normally stable, even under fire conditions, and not reactive with water.


Molecular Weight: 102.13

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 4.17 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.240 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: -73.4 deg C (-100 deg F) (Freezing point) (1,7)
Boiling Point: 90 deg C (194 deg F) (1,13,16)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.872 at 20 deg C (water = 1) (1,2,14)
Solubility in Water: Moderately soluble (1.8 g/100 mL at 20 deg C; 3.09 g/1OO mL at 20 deg C) (16)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in all proportions in ethanol and diethyl ether (12); soluble in acetone and most organic solvents.(2)
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Not available
pH Value: Not available. Probably neutral.
Vapour Density: 3.52 (air = 1)
Vapour Pressure: 6.33 kPa (47.5 mm Hg) at 20 deg C (16); 7.89 kPa (59.2 mm Hg); 9.73 kPa (77 mmHg) at 25 deg C (2,16)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 62510 ppm (6.25%) at 20 deg; 77910 to 96100 ppm (7.8 to 9.6%) at 25 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: 5.0 (butyl acetate = 1)
Critical Temperature: 265 deg C (509 deg F) (23)

Other Physical Properties:
VISCOSITY-DYNAMIC: 0.49 mPa.s (0.49 centipoises) at 25 deg C (2)
SURFACE TENSION: 26 mN/m (26 dynes/cm) at 20 deg C (2)
CRITICAL PRESSURE: 3648 kPa (36 atm) (2)


Stable in the anhydrous state. May slowly hydrolyze to isopropanol and acetic acid in the presence of water.(1)

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. nitrates, perchlorates, peroxides) - reaction can be violent. Increased risk of fire and explosion.(2,13,14)
STRONG ACIDS (e.g. sulfuric acid, oleum, and chlorosulfonic acid), STRONG BASES - decomposition (hydrolysis) can occur, releasing heat. The reaction may be vigorous.(13,14)
POTASSIUM TERT-BUTOXIDE - contact with isopropyl acetate vapour may cause ignition.

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
Isopropanol, acetic acid

Conditions to Avoid:
Flames, sparks, electrostatic discharge, heat and other ignition sources, moisture.

Corrosivity to Metals:
Not corrosive to iron, steel, aluminum, copper, bronze and nickel- molybdenum alloys.(17)

Stability and Reactivity Comments:
Can attack some plastics.(1,18)


LC50 (rat): 17100 ppm (71550 mg/m3) (4-hour exposure); cited as 50.6 mg/L( (8-hour exposure) (8)

LD50 (oral, rat): 6160-7380 mg/kg (4)
LD50 (oral, rabbit): 7060 mg/kg (9)

LD50 (dermal, rabbit): greater than 17490 mg/kg (cited as 20 mL/kg (4)

Eye Irritation:

Application of 0.5 mL caused mild irritation in rabbits after 24 hours.(4)

Skin Irritation:

Application of 0.01 mL caused very slight irritation in rabbits after 24 hours.(4) In a standard Draize test, application of 500 mg produced mild irritation in rabbits after 24 hours.(5, unconfirmed)

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

Rats survived exposure to air saturated with isopropyl acetate vapours for 30 minutes. Five out of 6 rats exposed to 32000 ppm for 4 hours died within 14 days.(4) Mice exposed to 1374-2000 ppm isopropyl acetate vapour for a single 4-hour period showed concentration-related behavioural abnormalities in a test involving swimming patterns.(10) This test is an early indicator of central nervous system depression.

Doses of 3100 mg/kg (cited as 30 millimoles/kg) caused stupor and loss of voluntary movements in half the exposed rabbits. Larger doses caused loss of corneal reflexes, nystagmus (constant, involuntary movement of the eyeball), breathing difficulties and lowered heart beat.(9)

Negative results were found in an in vitro test with bacteria (Ames test).(7)
Negative results were found in an in vitro test with bacteria (Ames test).(7)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Tau, K.D., et al. Esters, organic. In: Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. 4th Edition. Vol. 9. John Wiley and Sons, 1994. p. 781-812
(2) HSDB record for isopropyl acetate. Date of last update: 9505
(3) Silverman, L., et al. Further studies on sensory response to certain industrial solvent vapors. Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. Vol. 28, no. 6 (November, 1946). p. 262-266
(4) Smyth, H.F., et al. Range-finding toxicity data : list V. A.M.A. Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Medicine. Vol. 10 (1954). p. 61-68
(5) RTECS record for acetic acid, isopropyl ester. Date of last update: 9504
(6) McLaughlin, R.S. Chemical burns of the human cornea. American Journal of Ophthalmology. Vol. 29, no. 11 (November, 1946). p. 1355-1362
(7) Isopropyl acetate. In: Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological exposure indices. 6th edition. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 1991. p. 826-827
(8) Pozzani, U.C., et al. The toxicological basis of threshold limit values: 5. The experimental inhalation of vapor mixtures by rats, with notes upon the relationship between single dose inhalation and single dose oral data. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. Vol. 20, no. 5 (October, 1959). p. 364-369
(9) Munch, J.C. Aliphatic alcohols and alkyl esters: narcotic and lethal potencies to tadpoles and to rabbits. IMIS: The International Journal of Industrial Medicine and Surgery. Vol. 41, no. 4 (April, 1972). P. 31-33
(10) De Ceaurriz, J., et al. Concentration-dependent behavioral changes in mice following short-term inhalation exposure to various industrial solvents. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Vol. 67 (1983). p. 383-389
(11) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325
(12) The Merck index: an encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs, and biologicals. 11th edition. Merck & Co., 1989. p. 820
(13) NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, June, 1994. p. 180-181
(14) The Sigma-Aldrich library of chemical safety data. Edition II. Vol. 1. Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, 1988. p. 2030D
(15) Odor thresholds for chemicals with established occupational health standards. American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1989. p. 21, 64
(16) Verschueren, K. Handbook of environmental data on organic chemicals. 2nd edition. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1983. p. 777-778
(17) Corrosion data survey: metals section. 6th edition. National Association of Corrosion Engineers, 1985. p. 74-75
(18) Chemical safety sheets: working safely with hazardous chemicals. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991. p. 511
(19) Forsberg, K., et al. Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing. 4th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2002
(20) European Communities. Commission Directive 98/98/EC. December 15, 1998
(21) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Organic Vapors. In: OSHA Analytical Methods Manual. Revision Date: Oct. 31, 2001. Available at: <>
(22) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Isopropyl 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: 1995-11-28

Revision Indicators:
Sampling 1996-03-01
Respiratory guidelines 1996-03-01
EU number 1996-03-01
EU comments 1996-03-01
US transport 1998-03-01
Resistance of materials 1998-06-01
Bibliography 1998-06-01
TLV-TWA 1999-03-01
TLV-STEL 1999-03-01
TLV comments 1999-03-01
Bibliography 2000-04-01
EU Class 2000-04-01
EU Risk 2000-04-01
EU Safety 2000-04-01
EU Comments 2000-04-01
Bibliography 2003-04-15
NFPA (health) 2003-04-15
TLV-TWA 2003-05-22
TLV-STEL 2003-05-22
TLV proposed changes 2003-05-22
TLV basis 2003-05-22
PEL transitional comments 2003-11-18
PEL-TWA final 2003-11-18
PEL-STEL final 2003-11-18
Resistance of materials for PPE 2004-03-31
Bibliography 2005-03-20
Passive Sampling Devices 2005-03-20
Sampling/analysis 2005-03-20

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