Ethyl acetate

(Acetic acid ethyl ester, ethyl ethanoate, acetoxyethane)

CAS 141-78-6





Physical Properties

Colorless liquid

bp 77 °C, mp -84 °C

Moderately soluble in water (9 g/100 mL)



Pleasant fruity odor detectable at 7 to 50 ppm (mean = 18 ppm)

Vapor Density

3.0 (air = 1.0)


Vapor Pressure

76 mmHg at 20 °C


Flash Point

-4 °C


Autoignition Temperature

427 °C


Toxicity Data

LD50 oral (rat)

5620 mg/kg


LC50 inhal (rat)

1600 ppm (8 h)



400 ppm (1400 mg/m3)



400 ppm (1440 mg/m3)

Major Hazards

Flammable liquid and vapor


The acute toxicity of ethyl acetate is low. Ethyl acetate vapor causes eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation at concentrations above 400 ppm. Exposure to high concentrations may lead to headache, nausea, blurred vision, central nervous system depression, dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue. Ingestion of ethyl acetate may cause gastrointestinal irritation and, with larger amounts, central nervous system depression. Eye contact with the liquid can produce temporary irritation and lacrimation. Skin contact produces irritation. Ethyl acetate is regarded as a substance with good warning properties.

No chronic systemic effects have been reported in humans, and ethyl acetate has not been shown to be a human carcinogen, reproductive, or developmental toxin.

Flammability and Explosibility

Ethyl acetate is a flammable liquid (NFPA rating = 3), and its vapor can travel a considerable distance to an ignition source and "flash back." Ethyl acetate vapor forms explosive mixtures with air at concentrations of 2 to 11.5% (by volume). Hazardous gases produced in ethyl acetate fires include carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers should be used for ethyl acetate fires.

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