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Environmental Assessment

IRIS Toxicological Review of 2-Hexanone (Interagency Science Discussion Draft)

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On September 25, 2009, the IRIS Summary and Toxicological Review of 2-hexanone was finalized and loaded onto the IRIS database. The Toxicological Review of 2-hexanone was reviewed internally by EPA, by other federal agencies and White House Offices, by expert external peer reviewers, and by the public. In the new IRIS process, introduced by the EPA Administrator, all written comments on IRIS assessments submitted by other federal agencies and White House Offices will be made publicly available. Accordingly, interagency comments and the interagency draft of the 2-hexanone IRIS assessment are posted on this site.

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Karen A. Hammerstrom
  • by phone at:   703-347-8642
  • by email at:  hammerstrom.karen@epa.gov


The draft Toxicological Review of 2-hexanone provides scientific support and rationale for the hazard identification and dose-response assessment pertaining to chronic exposure to 2-hexanone. 2-Hexanone has been used as a solvent for lacquers, ink thinners, nitrocellulose, resins, oils, fats and waxes. The only U.S. producer of 2-hexanone, the Tennessee Eastman Company division of Eastman Kodak, discontinued its production of 2-hexanone in 1979 and sold its remaining reserves by 1981. Exposure to 2-hexanone is most likely to occur from living near or working in plants that make gas from coal, process oil shale, or produce wood pulp. People living near hazardous waste sites with 2-hexanone can also be exposed. This chemical has been found in at least 199 of 1,416 National Priority List Superfund sites identified by the EPA.

This assessment contains [the derivation of a chronic reference dose and a chronic reference concentration, as well as a cancer characterization.


2005EPA began developing the Toxicological Review of 2-hexanone.
Mar 2008EPA released an External Review Draft for public comment and review.
Apr 2008EPA announced the external peer review panel meeting.
Aug 2009EPA hosted an interagency science discussion on the draft IRIS Summary and Toxicological Review of 2-hexanone. These comments are provided on this web site.
Sep 2009EPA released the Final Toxicological Review (PDF) and accompanying 2-hexanone Summary to the IRIS Web site.

Next Steps

The assessment has been finalized and loaded onto the IRIS database.


U.S. EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review of 2-Hexanone (Interagency Science Discussion Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., 2009.


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