chemical information


Chemical Class:

Semivolatile organic compounds

Chemical SubClass


Found in these people:

Andrea Martin, Bill Moyers, Davis Baltz, Lucy Waletsky, Michael Lerner, Sharyle Patton, Lexi Rome, Monique Harden, Charlotte Brody

Found in these locations:

Sausalito, CA; NJ, USA; Berkeley, CA; Pleasantville, NY; Bolinas, CA; Mill Valley, CA; New Orleans, LA; Round Hill, VA


Laboratory animals. The primary target of 2-hexanone is the nervous system. Specific effects include loss of coordination, axon swelling, nerve demyelination, nerve degeneration, abnormal pupil response to light, and decreased motor conduction velocity. Behavioral neurotoxicity, such as decreased exploratory and avoidance conditioning behavior, results from fetal exposure. Higher doses of 2-hexanone cause fetal death, low birth weight, testicular toxicity and possible alterations of liver and immune function (ATSDR 1992).

Humans. In 1973, it was reported that workers exposed to 2-hexanone for 10 months during the production of plastic-coated and color-printed fabrics lost weight and developed nerve disease. The workers developed muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, slower nerve conduction velocities and reduced alibility discriminate pain, touch, temperature, or vibration in hands and feet (ATSDR 1992).


Industrial solvent; in humans, damages nervous system; in animals, fetal and adult exposure causes significant neurotoxicity.

2-Hexanone has been found in 9 of the 9 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies.

Results for 2-Hexanone

Showing results from EWG/Commonweal Study #1, industrial chemicals and pesticides in adults

EWG/Commonweal results

  • found in 9 of 9 people in the group

found in 9 of 9 people, but not quantified