Metabolism

There is limited information on the metabolism of MIBK. In mice and guinea pigs, the MIBK metabolites are 4-hydroxy-4-methyl-2-pentanone (4-hydroxymethyl isobutyl ketone) and 4-methyl-2-pentanol (DiVincenzo et al., 1976; Granvil et al., 1994). 4-Hydroxy-4-methyl-2-pentanone is formed by the oxidation of MIBK, whereas the minor metabolite 4-methyl-2-pentanol is formed by reduction (IPCS, 1990). The majority of absorbed MIBK probably enters the general metabolism and is transformed to simple compounds such as water and carbon dioxide (Hjelm et al., 1990).

Table 18.1 Elimination phases of MIBK (Hjelm et al., 1990)

Half-life (mins)

Time Post Exposure (mins)

Exposure

11

0-30

100 mg/m3 (24 ppm) MIBK

59

60-180

13

0-30

200 mg/m3 (49 ppm) MIBK

74

60-180

12

0-30

200 mg/m3 (24 ppm) MIBK and 150 mg/m3

81

60-180

(40 ppm) toluene

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