Cinnaminson, NJ, December 8th, 2015
Acetone is a widely used manufactured chemical that can also be found naturally in the environment. It is a colorless liquid that evaporates easily, dissolves in water and is flammable. Acetone is commonly used as a solvent to dissolve other substances, such as paints, varnishes, lacquers, fats, oils, waxes, resins, printing inks, plastics and glues. Acetone is also used to make plastics, fibers, drugs, rayon, photographic film, smokeless powder and other chemicals, as well as for cleaning and drying precision parts.
Acetone is present in vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke and many landfill sites. In fact, it has been found in over a third of the National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). People living near a landfill site that contains acetone, residing by busy roads or living close to other facilities, such as incinerators that release acetone emissions, could be at risk of exposure. Exposure can also occur in smokers or those exposed to second-hand smoke.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, exposure to high levels of acetone can cause death, coma, unconsciousness, seizures and respiratory distress. It can also damage a person’s kidneys, skin and eyes. Breathing moderate-to-high levels for short periods of time can cause nose, throat, lung and eye irritation. It can also cause intoxication, headaches, fatigue, stupor, light-headedness, dizziness, confusion, increased pulse rate, nausea, vomiting and other conditions.
“People can be exposed to acetone by breathing it, ingesting it or absorbing it through their skin,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In residential settings, people can be exposed to acetone by using nail polish remover, household cleaners, paints, adhesives, rubber cement, particle board or other products that contain acetone. In occupational settings, workers may be exposed to acetone if they are employed at a facility that manufactures paints, plastics, chemicals, artificial fibers and even shoes. Employees can also be exposed if they work with solvents, paints, glues and commercial cleaning products.”
To help identify and prevent exposure risks, EMSL offers testing services for acetone and a wide range of other chemicals. EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about acetone and potential exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/UFMdVVVocNw.
To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.