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Ethyl Acetate

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Ethyl Acetate is a colorless liquid with a smell similar to glue or nail polish that is used as an industrial solvent.


Just the facts

Physical Information

Name: Ethyl Acetate

Synonyms: ethyl ester, ethyl acetate, acetic ester, ester of ethanol, Ethyl acetic ester, acetoxyethane, vinegar naphtha, acetidin, Aceticester

Chemical Formula: CH 3 CH 2 OC(O)CH 3

Use: industrial solvent

Melting Point (°C): -83.6

Boiling Point (°C): 77.1

Source: synthetic chemistry

Recommended daily intake: none

Absorption: dermal, inhalation, ingestion

Sensitive individuals: workers, consumers living around production facilities,

Chemical Structure


Chemical Description

Ethyl acetate is a flammable colorless liquid with a fruity odor (#OSHA).


Ethyl Acetate is used as a solvent for chemical reactions. Because of its odor it is often used in cosmetics and its smell is associated with nail polishes. Additionally, it is used in confectionery, perfumes, and fruits because it evaporates at a fast rate, leaving but the scent of the perfume on the skin.

Ethyl acetate is an effective poison for use in insect collector as its vapors are a respiratory tract irritant whose vapors can kill the insect quickly without destroying it, leaving it intact for study.

It is also present in wines (#NPI).

Health Effects

Short-term exposure to high levels of ethyl acetate results first in irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, followed by headache, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and unconsciousness. Very high concentrations may cause a stupor, but it is relatively non-toxic (#EPA, 2007). Prolonged exposures may cause clouding of the eye, damage to the lungs and heart and kidney and liver problems (#NPI). Its carcinogenic properties are not known.

Environmental Effects

Ethyl Acetate enters the environment through evaporation and is a volatile organic chemical (VOC).

External Links


Australian Government Department of the Environment and Water Resources. "Ethyl Acetate Fact Sheet". Accessed 6-28-07.

Occupational and Safety and Health Administration. [OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH GUIDELINE FOR ETHYL ACETATE|

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