Acute exposure


Ethyl sec-amyl ketone is irritant to mucous membranes. Exposure to 25 ppm produced a strong odour and mild irritation of the nasal passages. Doses of 50-100 ppm caused headache, nausea and moderate irritation of the eyes, nose and throat (unpublished data, Shell Chemical Company).

Exposure to a high concentration of ethyl sec-amyl ketone causes CNS depression in animals (unpublished data, Shell Chemical Company) and is expected to have the same effect in humans (Hathaway et al., 1996).


Ethyl sec-amyl ketone may cause moderate skin irritation (unpublished data, Shell Chemical Company).

Ethyl sec-amyl ketone has caused eye irritation and transient corneal damage in experimental animals (unpublished data, Shell Chemical Company).


A number of ketones are an aspiration hazard (Panson and Winek, 1980). There is no information on ethyl sec-amyl ketone but it should be considered a potential hazard. Aspiration into the lungs may cause chemical pneumonitis and pulmonary oedema.

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