August 5, 2021

New Draft Toxicological Profile for Acetone Published

A new draft toxicological profile for acetone is now available for review and public comment from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. According to ATSDR, workers in certain industries such as commercial painting, plastic manufacturing, household cleaning, and beauty salons may be exposed to higher levels of acetone in the air in the workplace. The agency’s information sheet on acetone advises that a strong scent of acetone and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat are “warning signs of moderate exposure.” Health effects associated with breathing high amounts of acetone during a short period of time can include headaches, confusion, nausea, racing pulse, and unconsciousness, and skin contact with acetone can cause dryness, irritation, and cracking. Studies of long-term acetone exposure among animals have shown effects such as kidney, liver, and nerve damage; birth defects; and male infertility. ATSDR notes that it is not known if long-term exposure to the chemical affects people similarly.

The draft toxicological profile for acetone is available for download from the ATSDR website. New draft toxicological profiles for aldrin and dieldrin, chlorophenols, 3,3'-dichlorobenzidineare, disulfoton, and pentachlorophenol are also available. Comments on the draft profiles are due by Oct. 27.

ATSDR toxicological profiles characterize the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for hazardous substances. Each peer-reviewed profile identifies and reviews the key literature that describes a substance's toxicological properties. Health and toxicologic information on the potential for human exposure; chemical and physical properties; regulations and guidelines; and production, import, use, and disposal can also be found in ATSDR’s toxicological profiles. A full list of toxic substances with published profiles is available on the agency’s website.