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National Drinking Water Database


National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Methyl ethyl ketone


Status: Unregulated - EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for this contaminant.

Methyl ethyl ketone is a synthetic chemical used as a solvent for paints, coatings, adhesives, printing inks, and other industrial and consumer goods; it occurs naturally in some vegetation and forms during ozonation of drinking water.

 
Detected
Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
States
10
-
-
Water utilities
196
-
-
People Served
2,100,060
-
-

Health Concerns for Methyl ethyl ketone:


Methyl ethyl ketone Exposure by State

Water utilities in 10 states have reported detecting Methyl ethyl ketone in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with Methyl ethyl ketone contamination
SystemsPopulation
California291,287,177
Delaware13353,384
New Mexico81296,697
Texas4787,953
Minnesota1027,362
New Jersey227,300
Michigan818,516
New York41,120
Illinois1303
New Hampshire1248
Total1962,100,060

The Most Polluted Communities

196 water utilities reported detecting Methyl ethyl ketone in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Methyl ethyl ketone level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Plainfield Village Water Dist
Plainfield, NH
2481 of 1340 ppb
(340 ppb)
2Meadows AT Cross River
Bedford Hills, NY
6301 of 1230 ppb
(230 ppb)
3Allegan County Services Center
Allegan, MI
1011 of 1145 ppb
(145 ppb)
4Armada
Armada, MI
1,5631 of 2108.5 ppb
(0 to 217 ppb)
5Quail Hollow Mdwua
Tijeras, NM
331 of 1108 ppb
(108 ppb)
6Idlewild Garden Housing
Mt. Pleasant, MI
251 of 264 ppb
(0 to 128 ppb)
7Friendly Oaks Wsc
Fort Worth, TX
1231 of 159.8 ppb
(59.8 ppb)
8Clinton Estates
Clinton, MI
681 of 157 ppb
(57 ppb)
9Covelo Mobile Home Park
Covelo, CA
751 of 149 ppb
(49 ppb)
10Dove Creek Spring
TX
01 of 144.48 ppb
(44.48 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Methyl ethyl ketone

StandardDescriptionLevel
Lifetime health-based limit, non-cancer riskConcentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects for a lifetime of exposure. The Lifetime health-based limit (or Health Advisory, HA) is based on exposure for a a 70-kg adult consuming 2 liters of water per day. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.4000 ppb
Health-Based Screening LevelA benchmark concentration of contaminants in water that may be of potential concern for human health, if exceeded. For noncarcinogens, the HBSL represents the contaminant concentration in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse effects over a lifetime of exposure. For carcinogens, the HBSL range represents the contaminant concentration in drinking water that corresponds to an excess estimated lifetime cancer risk of 1 chance in 1 million to 1 chance in 10 thousand. Source: U.S. Geological Survey.4000 ppb
Children's health-based limit for 10-day exposureConcentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse, noncarcinogenic effects for up to ten days of exposure. The Ten-Day health-based limit (or Health Advisory, HA) is typically set to protect a 10-kg child consuming 1 liter of water per day. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.7500 ppb
Drinking Water Equivalent LevelA lifetime exposure concentration protective of adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects, that assumes all of the exposure to a contaminant is from drinking water. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.20000 ppb
Children's health-based limit for 1-day exposureConcentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects for up to one day of exposure. The One-Day health-based limit (or Health Advisory, HA) is typically set to protect a 10-kg child consuming 1 liter of water per day. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.75000 ppb

Testing Summary for Methyl ethyl ketone

Are tests routinely required for Methyl ethyl ketone by federal law?No
Water suppliers reporting tests for Methyl ethyl ketone (2004-2009):6,083 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.6 per year

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of concern: Reference:
Known human respiratory toxicant EPA Hazardous Air Pollutants
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful Environment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as medium human health priority Environment Canada Domestic Substance List
Limited evidence of respiratory toxicity US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center, 2000
Limited evidence of sense organ toxicity US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center, 2000
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicity Klaassen, C, 1996
Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicity California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003
Limited evidence of kidney toxicity California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003
One or more animal studies show classified as toxic effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTs
One or more animal studies show sense organ effects at high doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology 1943
One or more animal studies show sense organ effects at high doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicity US EPA, 9204
Limited evidence of developmental toxicity US EPA, 9204

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Type of concern: Reference:
Classified as irritant European Union - Classification & Labelling
One or more animal studies show skin irritation at low doses RTECS®- Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology 1943
One or more animal studies show skin irritation at moderate doses RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971
One or more animal studies show skin irritation at moderate doses RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1962

Occupational hazards

Type of concern: Reference:
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2006
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- MSHA STANDARD-air: 3,29,1971
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Gen Indu): 29,1910 1994
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Construc): 29,1926 1994
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Shipyard): 29,1915 1993
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Fed Cont): 41,50-204 1994
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007

Cancer

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more in vitro tests non-mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECS®- Mutation Research 1985
Not likely to be carcinogenic in humans EPA Water Disinfection By-Products Carcinogenicity

Ecotoxicology

Type of concern: Reference:
Not suspected to be an environmental toxin Environment Canada Domestic Substance List

Miscellaneous

Type of concern: Reference:
Occupational hazards related to handling European Union - Classification & Labelling

Neurotoxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
nervous system - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox study National Library of Medicine HazMap

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Type of concern: Reference:
Not suspected to be bioaccumulative Environment Canada Domestic Substance List

Multiple, additive exposure sources

Type of concern: Reference:
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food FDA Everything Added to Food



Government, industry, academic studies and classifications

government/industry list/academic study appears on list as classification(s)
European Union - Classification & LabellingBUTANONE;;ETHYL METHYL KETONE•Highly flammable
•Highly flammable
•Irritant (eyes, skin, or lungs)
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsMETHYL ETHYL KETONE• S
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsMETHYL ETHYL KETONE• S
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsMETHYL ETHYL KETONE• S
EPA Water Disinfection By-Products CarcinogenicityBUTANONE•Low concern for potential carcinogenicity
FDA Everything Added to Food2-BUTANONE• Fully up-to-date toxicology information has been sought.
Environment Canada Domestic Substance List2-BUTANONE•This chemical was deemed a moderate human health priority and was flagged by CEPA for further attention. The chemical was flagged for suspected persistence.
EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)METHYL ETHYL KETONE (MEK)Data are inadequate for an assessment of human carcinogenic potential
IFRA Fragrance Ingredient List2-BUTANONE•The chemical has been reported as used in fragrance compounds by IFRA affiliated member companies in 2008.
EPA Hazardous Air PollutantsMETHYL ETHYL KETONE (2-BUTANONE)•Hazardous air pollutant under Clean Air Act
National Library of Medicine HazMap2-BUTANONE•Neurotoxin: CNS Solvent Syndrome;
•PEL (OSHA) - Permissible exposure limit (OSHA): 200 ppm;
•STEL (ACGIH) - Short-term exposure limits (ACGIH): 300 ppm;
•LC50 - Lethal concentration in 50% of animals tested: 21333 ppm;
•TLV (ACGIH) - Threshold limit value (ACGIH): 200 ppm;
•BEI - Biological Exposure Indices (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygiene, ACGIH): MEK in urine = 2 mg/L; sample at end of shift;;
•Flammability (NFPA) - NFPA flammability code: 0 = will not burn; 1 = must be preheated; 2 = high ambient temp required; 3 = may ignite at ambient temp; 4 = burn readily: 3: may ignite at ambient temperature;
•IDLH (NIOSH) - Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health: 3000 ppm;
•Odor Threshold High - The lowest concentration at which a substance can be detected or recognized using the sense of smell: 85 ppm;
•Odor Threshold Low - The lowest concentration at which a substance can be detected or recognized using the sense of smell: 2 ppm;
•MAK - Maximum Allowable Concentration (Federal Republic of Germany): 200 ppm;
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsMETHYL ETHYL KETONE•Toxic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxics Release Inventory programs
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center, 2000METHYL ETHYL KETONE•Respiratory toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center, 2000METHYL ETHYL KETONE•Skin or sense organ toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, 9204METHYL ETHYL KETONE•Reproductive toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, 9204METHYL ETHYL KETONE•Developmental toxicity hazards: suspected
Klaassen, C, 1996METHYL ETHYL KETONE•Cardiovascular or blood toxicity hazards: suspected
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003METHYL ETHYL KETONE•Gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards: suspected
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003METHYL ETHYL KETONE•Kidney toxicity hazards: suspected
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2006METHYL ETHYL KETONE• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007METHYL ETHYL KETONE• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1962METHYL ETHYL KETONE• skin - Primary skin irritant (rabbit )
RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1962METHYL ETHYL KETONE• skin - Primary skin irritant (rabbit )
RTECS®- Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology 1943METHYL ETHYL KETONE• sense organ - Primary eye irritant ( human )
• skin - Primary skin irritant (rabbit )
RTECS®- MSHA STANDARD-air: 3,29,1971METHYL ETHYL KETONE• occupationally related - MSHA STANDARD-air (human TWA)
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1985METHYL ETHYL KETONE• mutagenic - Positive mutation assay: Sex Chromosome Loss and Nondisjunction (Saccharomyces cerevisiae )
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1985METHYL ETHYL KETONE• mutagenic - Positive mutation assay: Sex Chromosome Loss and Nondisjunction (Saccharomyces cerevisiae )
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Construc): 29,1926 1994METHYL ETHYL KETONE• occupationally related - OSHA PEL (Construc) (human TWA)
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Fed Cont): 41,50-204 1994METHYL ETHYL KETONE• occupationally related - OSHA PEL (Fed Cont) (human TWA)
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Gen Indu): 29,1910 1994METHYL ETHYL KETONE• occupationally related - OSHA PEL (Gen Indu) (human TWA)
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Shipyard): 29,1915 1993METHYL ETHYL KETONE• occupationally related - OSHA PEL (Shipyard) (human TWA)
RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971METHYL ETHYL KETONE• sense organ - Primary eye irritant (rabbit )
• skin - Primary skin irritant (rabbit )
RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971METHYL ETHYL KETONE• sense organ - Primary eye irritant (rabbit )
• skin - Primary skin irritant (rabbit )



references

government/industry list/academic study reference
European Union - Classification & LabellingCPS&Q (Consumer Products Safety & Quality) formely known as ECB (European Chemicals Bureau). 2008. Classification and Labelling: Chemicals: Annex VI of Directive 67/548/EEC through the 31st ATP.
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsAOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
EPA Water Disinfection By-Products CarcinogenicityEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2006. EPA Water Disinfection By-Products with Carcinogenicity Estimates. Last updated: 10 April 2006.
FDA Everything Added to FoodFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListEC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2008. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Evidence for human carcinogenicity based on 1986-2005 guidelines.
IFRA Fragrance Ingredient ListIFRA (International Fragrance Assocication). 2010. IFRA Fragrance Ingredient List based on 2008 Use Survey. Accessed online 01/04/2010: http://www.ifraorg.org/Home/News/Latest-News/page.aspx/66?xf_itemId=43&xf_selectionDatapartId=25
EPA Hazardous Air PollutantsEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2005. Office of Air. The 112(b)1 Hazardous Air Pollutants List (as modified). Last modified: 12 Dec 2005.
National Library of Medicine HazMapNLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationUS EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center. Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/hapindex.html, California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Acute Reference Exposure Levels (RELs), Averaging Times, and Toxicologic Endpoints. Includes all Acute Reference Exposure Levels (ARELs) developed by OEHHA through May 2000http://www.oehha.org/air/acute_rels/allAcRELs.html, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. See Environmental Defense's Suspect Hazard Identification documentation.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationUS EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center. Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/hapindex.html, California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Acute Reference Exposure Levels (RELs), Averaging Times, and Toxicologic Endpoints. Includes all Acute Reference Exposure Levels (ARELs) developed by OEHHA through May 2000http://www.oehha.org/air/acute_rels/allAcRELs.html, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. See Environmental Defense's Suspect Hazard Identification documentation.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationUS EPA. Roadmaps to Sources of Information on Chemicals Listed in the Emergency Planning Community and Community Right-to-Know Act (Also Known as SARA Title 3), Section 313 Toxic Release Inventory (for Microcomputers). (Report Number EPADFDK92040). 1991. Data file distributed in 2 diskettes by Office of Pollution, Prevention, and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. NOTE: Datasource no longer being maintained by EPA; not currently available online., Frazier , L. and M. L. Hage (eds.). Reproductive Hazards of the Workplace, Wiley Europe, 1998. Table 10 (Partial List of Reproductive Toxicants) available at http://www.pharmacy.ohio-state.edu/homepage/safety/chemhygiene_table_repro.pdf.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationUS EPA. Roadmaps to Sources of Information on Chemicals Listed in the Emergency Planning Community and Community Right-to-Know Act (Also Known as SARA Title 3), Section 313 Toxic Release Inventory (for Microcomputers). (Report Number EPADFDK92040). 1991. Data file distributed in 2 diskettes by Office of Pollution, Prevention, and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. NOTE: Datasource no longer being maintained by EPA; not currently available online., Jankovic, J. A Screening Method for Occupational Reproductive Health Risk. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. 57: 641-649. 1996.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationKlaassen, C., M. Amdur and J. Doull (eds.). Casarett and Doull's Toxicology. The Basic Science of Poisons, 5th Ed. Pergamon Press, NY. 1996.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationCalifornia EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Risk Assessment Guidelines, Part III: Technical Support Document 'Determination of Noncancer Chronic Reference Exposure Levels'. Includes all Chronic Reference Exposure Levels (CRELs) adopted by OEHHA as of August 2003 (http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/chronic_rels/AllChrels.html, plus draft CRELS proposed through March 2004 (http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/chronic_rels/index.html.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationCalifornia EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Risk Assessment Guidelines, Part III: Technical Support Document 'Determination of Noncancer Chronic Reference Exposure Levels'. Includes all Chronic Reference Exposure Levels (CRELs) adopted by OEHHA as of August 2003 (http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/chronic_rels/AllChrels.html, plus draft CRELS proposed through March 2004 (http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/chronic_rels/index.html.
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2006RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2006
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007
RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1962RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. (AIHA, 475 Wolf Ledges Pkwy., Akron, OH 44311) V.19- 1958- 23,95,1962
RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1962RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. (AIHA, 475 Wolf Ledges Pkwy., Akron, OH 44311) V.19- 23,95,1962
RTECS®- Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology 1943RTECS®- Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. (Cambridge, MA) V.18-31, 1936-49. For publisher information, see AEHLAU. 25,282,1943
RTECS®- MSHA STANDARD-air: 3,29,1971RTECS®- MSHA STANDARD-air: 3,29,1971
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1985RTECS®- Mutation Research. (Elsevier Science Pub. B.V., POB 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands) V.1- 149,339,1985
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1985RTECS®- Mutation Research. (Elsevier Science Pub. B.V., POB 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands) V.1- -1964 149,339,1985
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Construc): 29,1926 1994RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Construc): 29,1926.55,1994
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Fed Cont): 41,50-204 1994RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Fed Cont): 41,50-204.50,1994
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Gen Indu): 29,1910 1994RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Gen Indu): 29,1910.1000,1994
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Shipyard): 29,1915 1993RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Shipyard): 29,1915.1000,1993
RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. (Academic Press, Inc., 1 E. First St., Duluth, MN 55802) V.1- 1959- 19,276,1971
RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. (Academic Press, Inc., 1 E. First St., Duluth, MN 55802) V.1- 19,276,1971

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