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Environmental Assessment

IRIS Toxicological Review of Methyl Ethyl Ketone (2003 Final)

Report Information

EPA is announcing the release of the final report, "Toxicological Review of Methyl Ethyl Ketone: in support of the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)". The updated Summary for Methyl Ethyl Ketone and accompanying Quickview have also been added to the IRIS Database.

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Methyl Ethyl Ketone is used as a solvent in the application of protective coatings (varnishes) and adhesives (glues and cements), in magnetic tape production, in smokeless powder manufacture, in the dewaxing of lubricating oil, in vinyl film manufacture, and in food processing. Its use as a component in adhesives used to join PVC pipes is a potential route for entry of the chemical into potable water (ATSDR, 1992). It is also commonly used in paint removers, cleaning fluids, acrylic coatings, pharmaceutical production, and colorless synthetic resins, and as a printing catalyst and carrier (Merck Index, 2001). MEK may be found in soil and water in the vicinity of some hazardous waste sites. MEK has been detected as a natural component of numerous foods, including: raw chicken breast, milk, nuts (roasted filberts), cheese (Beaufort, Gruyere, and cheddar), bread dough and nectarines at concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 19 ppm (ATSDR, 1992; HSDB, 1999; WHO, 1992). MEK is also found in tobacco smoke and volatile releases from building materials and consumer products (ATSDR, 1992).


March 2003EPA released the draft report for external peer review.
September 2003EPA released the final tox report and summary document and posted these to the IRIS database.


U.S. EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review of Methyl Ethyl Ketone (2003 Final). 2003.


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