IRIS Toxicological Review of Tert-Butyl Alcohol (TBA) (Preliminary Assessment Materials, 2013)

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In August 2013, EPA released the draft literature searches and associated search strategies, evidence tables, and exposure response arrays for tert-Butyl Alcohol (tBA) to obtain input from stakeholders and the public prior to developing the draft IRIS assessment. Specifically, EPA was interested in comments on the following:
  • Draft literature search strategies
    • The approach for identifying studies
    • The screening process for selecting pertinent studies
    • The resulting list of pertinent studies
  • Preliminary evidence tables
    • The process for selecting studies to include in evidence tables
    • The quality of the studies in the evidence tables
The literature search strategy, which describes the processes for identifying scientific literature, contains the studies that EPA considered and selected to include in the evidence tables. The preliminary evidence tables and exposure-response arrays present the key study data in a standardized format. The evidence tables summarize the available critical scientific literature. The exposure-response figures provide a graphical representation of the responses at different levels of exposure for each study in the evidence table.

tert-Butyl Alcohol (tBA) is used as a solvent; as a denaturant for ethanol and several other alcohols; in the manufacture of flotation agents, fruit essences, and perfumes; as an octane booster in gasoline; as a dehydrating agent; and as a chemical intermediate in the manufacture of methyl methacrylate. tBA's production for industrial uses may result in its direct release to the environment through various waste streams. tBA is also a likely degradation product of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). Probable routes of human exposure to tBA include inhalation, ingestion, and skin or eye contact.


EPA is undertaking a new health assessment for t-butyl alcohol (TBA) for the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). The outcome of this project will be a Toxicological Review and IRIS and IRIS Summary of TBA that will be entered on the IRIS database. IRIS is an EPA database containing Agency scientific positions on potential adverse human health effects that may result from chronic (or lifetime) exposure to chemicals in the environment. IRIS contains chemical-specific summaries of qualitative and quantitative health information to evaluate potential public health risks associated with environmental contaminants. The IRIS database is relied on for the development of risk assessments, site-specific environmental decisions, and rule making.


U.S. EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review of Tert-Butyl Alcohol (TBA) (Preliminary Assessment Materials, 2013). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/635/R-13/107, 2013.


Date Description
01-Aug 2013EPA released Preliminary Assessment Materials (draft literature searches and associated search strategies, evidence tables and exposure response arrays) for discussion at an IRIS Public Science Meeting.
02-Dec 2013EPA discussed tBA at the December 12-13, 2013 IRIS Public Science Meeting.

Additional Information

Comments on the assessment may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Web site. From the site, select “Environmental Protection Agency” and the keyword “EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0111” (for the docket ID) to comment on this report.


Comments on the assessment may be submitted and reviewed using the Docket ID EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0111