Ethyl Acetatedetecting-ethyl-acetate

Formula: C4H8O2 | CAS: 141-78-9

Detecting ethyl acetate: Ethyl acetate is highly flammable, as well as toxic when ingestion or inhaled, and this chemical can be seriously damaging to internal organs in the case of repeated or prolonged exposure.

Detecting ethyl acetate in household consumer products

Ethyl acetate is manufactured on a large scale, as over 1 million tons are produced annually in the world. This chemical is used commonly due to its low cost and agreeable aroma. While you may not have heard of ethyl acetate, you’re likely familiar with some of the products it’s used in:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Cigarettes
  • Glue
  • Paint (as an activator or hardener)
  • Confections (as an artificial flavour)
  • Perfume

In addition to the common uses listed above, ethyl acetate is also used in the process of decaffeinating coffee and tea, and it occurs as a byproduct of acetic acid and ethyl alcohol in wine fermentation.

Workers in the industries that use or produce ethyl acetate are at risk of exposure. Consumers can be exposed to ethyl acetate by exposure to air from production and processing facilities using ethyl acetate. Consumers may also be exposed to ethyl acetate when using consumer products containing ethyl acetate (thinners for paint lacquers and enamels, nail preparations, etc) especially if there is not good ventilation, and by drinking wine.
– Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

The main sources of ethyl acetate

Industry sources
The primary sources of ethyl acetate are the industries that manufacture it or use it in production. Some of the industries that manufacture it or use it in production are the chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, manufacturers of paints, varnishes and lacquers. These emissions mainly are to the air.

Diffuse sources, and industry sources included in diffuse emissions data
Other possible emitters of ethyl acetate are vapours and spilling of commercial and household, varnish and lacquer and their removal, preparation of films and film plates, manufacture of artificial leather and silk, and consumer products containing ethyl acetate. These emissions are to the air unless there is a spill.

Natural sources
Natural sources of ethyl acetate are wines and naturally fermented products.

Consumer products
Some of the consumer products containing ethyl acetate are automotive and machinery paints, inks, lubricating oils, moisturising creams, nail polish, enamels and removers, paint thinners, premoistened towelettes, resin and rubber adhesives, and artificial flavourings. It is also found in wines.

Gas Factsheet

Everything you need to know about detecting ethyl acetate

Our Gas Factsheets which is available to download below provides you with key information on the exposure limits and the locations of where potentially harmful gases can occur. We also share information on gas detection monitoring techniques and equipment that can help you manage gas detection in the workplace, for worker and site safety.


Detecting Ethyl acetate

Formula: C4H8O2 | CAS: 141-78-6

Synonyms: ethyl acetate, acetic ester, acetic ether, ethyl ester of acetic acid, ethyl ethanoate, acetidin, acetoxyethane

Ethyl acetate is a powerful and widely used solvent for varnishes, coatings and films such as nitrocellulose. Ethyl acetate is often the target for gas sensors, even though it is non-toxic, due to its wide use and high flammability.

Specification Value/Information
Formula C4H8O2
CAS no. 141-78-6
Gas Response Factor, 11.7 eV 1.40
Gas Response Factor, 10.6 eV 4.50
Gas Response Factor, 10.0 eV 40.00
ppm per mg/m⁻³, (20 °C, 1 bar) 0.273
Molecular Weight, g/mole 88.1
Melting point, °C -84
Boiling point, °C 77
Flash point, °C -4
Upper Explosive Limit, % 12.8
Lower Explosive Limit, % 2.2
Specification Value/Information
Density,⁻³ 0.902
Ionisation Energy, eV 10.01
EH40 TWA, ppm 200
EH40 TWA, mg.m⁻³ 734
EH40 STEL, ppm 400
EH40 STEL, mg.m⁻³ 1468
NIOSH TWA REL, ppm 400
NIOSH TWA REL, mg.m⁻³ 1400
NIOSH IDLH, ppm 2000
OSHA TWA PEL, ppm 400
OSHA TWA PEL, mg.m⁻³ 1400

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