Methyl n-butyl ketone is readily absorbed through the skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. However, in industrial exposure the major routes of absorption are via inhalation and the skin. In a volunteer study 7592% of an inhaled dose of methyl n-butyl ketone was absorbed after inhalation exposure to 10 or 50 ppm for 7.5 hours and to 100 ppm for four hours (DiVincenzo et al., 1978).

The rate of absorption through the skin in volunteers was found to be 4.2-8.0 |g/min/cm2 (DiVincenzo et al., 1978). In an average human male (height 175 cm, weight 70 kg, body surface area 1.85 m2) immersion of both hands (4% of the body surface area, absorption rate 5 |lg/min/cm2) in methyl n-butyl ketone for 1 hour could result in absorption of 222 mg. In comparison, inhalation of 25 ppm for one hour (minute volume 20 l/minute and 75% absorption) could result in absorption of 92 mg of methyl n-butyl ketone (DiVincenzo et al., 1978).

The dermal absorption rate of a mixture of methyl ethyl ketone and methyl n-butyl ketone (9:1) was approximately the same as that for methyl n-butyl ketone alone (DiVincenzo et al., 1978).

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