Methyl ethyl ketone, also known as C4H8O or CH3CH3COCH2CH3, is an odorless, flammable liquid. It may be hazardous if consumed, breathed in, or applied to the skin or eyes. Methyl ethyl ketone exposure may be harmful to workers. The dosage, timeframe, and kind of work determine the exposure level.

Several sectors employ methyl ethyl ketone. In addition to being utilized as a solvent, it is also employed to create various chemical products, including paraffin wax and synthetic rubber. The following are some instances of employees who may be exposed to methyl ethyl ketone:

  • Personnel who work in printing facilities
  • Workers who were exposed to certain paints, coatings, or glues
  • Factory workers for shoes and sports goods
  • Workers in the manufacturing industry who produce synthetic rubber items


When breathed in or absorbed via the skin, methyl ethyl ketone exposure may have negative effects on you. Methyl ethyl ketone may irritate the skin and cause a rash or a burning sensation when touched. The skin may get dry and crack with repeated exposure. Contact may cause the eyes to become permanently burned and irritated.

Methyl ethyl ketone may irritate the nose and throat, which can lead to coughing and wheezing when inhaled.

Other symptoms include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Fainting

High exposure levels over time may harm the neurological system and perhaps the brain.


Methyl ethyl ketone exposure or its degradation products can be measured in the blood, breath and urine. These assays are useful only for recent exposure since Methyl ethyl ketone and its degradation products exit the body quickly.


Methyl ethyl ketone exposure has no known cure. Treatment is dependent on the exposure kind. But you may limit hazardous exposures by using excellent work practices, among the following are suggested:

  • Workers need to change into clean clothes right once if their clothing has been contaminated with methyl ethyl ketone.
  • In the local work area, there should be eye wash stations available for use in an emergency.
  • Take a shower or bath if you contact methyl ethyl ketone. At the end of the shift, wash any body parts that may have touched methyl ethyl ketone.
  • Before using the bathroom, smoking, drinking, or eating, wash your hands thoroughly.

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