Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

celluloid, photographic, and explosives industries; and in the manufacture of artificial silk and leather.

Acetone may be found in such products as solvents, cooking fuels, corn remover, drawing inks, fuel-system deicer, glue, nail-polish remover, paint-brush cleaners, paint and varnish removers, and china, film, fishing-rod, metal, plastic, and shoe cements. U.S. production of acetone in 1973 was a billion pounds.



Several pertinent examples of effects on humans of uncontrolled and controlled exposure to acetone are listed in Tables 2 and 3.


Acute, Subchronic, and Chronic Exposure

Results of acute, subchronic, and chronic exposure of animals to acetone are summarized in Table 4. Excretion of this relatively nontoxic substance prevents its accumulation, unless doses are overwhelming. The rate of elimination is about 2.3%/h (Haggard et al., 1944).

Carcinogenicity, Mutagenicity, and Teratogenicity

McLaughlin et al. (1963) injected 0.05 ml of undiluted acetone into the yolk sac of fertile chick eggs before incubation. The hatch yield was 70%, with no evidence of teratogenicity. The same investigators (1964) similarly injected 39 and 78 mg of acetone into the yolk sac of fertile chick eggs before incubation. The hatch yields were 80% and 50%, respectively, again with no evidence of teratogenicity.

Caujolle et al. (1966) exposed 72- and 96-h-old chick embryos to various doses of acetone. The LD50 and ED50 values for malformations were 48.6 mg and 18.0 mg, respectively, for the 72-h-old embryos and 28.7 mg and 25.0 mg for the 96-h-old embryos.

Park and Koprowska (1968) painted the cervical tissue of virgin C3H/HcJ mice with acetone for up to 5 mo; no tumors resulted. A 1% solution of benzo[a]pyrene in acetone induced invasive carcinoma in all the test animals.

Mazzucco (1975) reported that acetone, often used as a vehicle for skin carcinogens, did not lower the skin collagen content of mice (unlike benzene and toluene). Stenback et al. (1977) reported that p-amino-o-nitrophenol, p-phenylenediamine, and sodium thioglycollate were nontoxic when applied to mouse and rabbit skin in acetone solution.

In a study of the carcinogenic potential of prostaglandins, control male albino Swiss mice treated topically with only acetone

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement