Acetophenone is the organic compound with the formula C6H5C(O)CH3. It is the simplest aromatic ketone. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][1] Is a colourless or yellow-tinted liquid with a sweet, strong odour. [2]


Uses [3]


Acetophenone is used in perfumery as a fragrance ingredient in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, and perfumes; as a flavouring agent in foods, non-alcoholic beverages, and tobacco; as a specialty solvent for plastics and resins; as a catalyst for the polymerisation of olefins; and in organic syntheses as a photosensitiser.


Sources & Routes of Exposure


Sources of Exposure [3]


  • Occupational exposure to acetophenone may occur during its manufacture and use.
  • Acetophenone has been detected in ambient air and drinking water; exposure of the general public may occur through the inhalation of contaminated air or the consumption of contaminated water.


Routes of Exposure [4]


Acetophenone can be absorbed into the body by inhalation, through the skin and by ingestion. A harmful contamination of the air will be reached rather slowly on evaporation of this substance at 20°C; on spraying or dispersing, however, much faster and may pose a risk via inhalation.


Health Effects


Acute Effects


  • Acute exposure of humans to acetophenone vapour may produce skin irritation and transient corneal injury. One study noted a decrease in light sensitivity in exposed humans.
  • Acute oral exposure has been observed to cause hypnotic or sedative effects, haematological effects, and a weakened pulse in humans.
  • Congestion of the lungs, kidneys, and liver were reported in rats acutely exposed to high levels of acetophenone via inhalation.
  • Tests involving acute exposure of rats, mice, and rabbits have demonstrated acetophenone to have moderate acute toxicity from oral or dermal exposure.


Chronic Effects


  • No information is available on the chronic effects of acetophenone in humans.
  • Degeneration of olfactory bulb cells was reported in rats chronically exposed via inhalation. In another study, chronic inhalation exposure of rats produced haematological effects and, at high doses, congestion of cardiac vessels and pronounced dystrophy of the liver.
  • In two studies, no effects were observed in rats chronically exposed to acetophenone in their diet.
  • EPA has not established a Reference Concentration (RfC) for acetophenone.
  • The Reference Dose (RfD) for acetophenone is 0.1 milligram per kilogram body weight per day (mg/kg/d) based on general toxicity in rats.


Reproductive/Developmental Effects


  • No information is available on the reproductive or developmental effects of acetophenone in humans.
  • In one study of pregnant rats exposed dermally, no effects on reproduction or development were noted.


Cancer Risk


  • No information is available on the carcinogenic effects of acetophenone in humans or animals.
  • EPA has classified acetophenone as a Group D, not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity.


Safety [5]


First Aid Measures


  • Eye Contact: Check for and remove any contact lenses. Immediately flush eyes with running water for at least 15 minutes, keeping eyelids open. Cold water may be used. Get medical attention immediately.
  • Skin Contact: In case of contact, immediately flush skin with plenty of water. Cover the irritated skin with an emollient. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes. Cold water may be used. Wash clothing before reuse. Thoroughly clean shoes before reuse. Get medical attention.
  • Serious Skin Contact: Wash with a disinfectant soap and cover the contaminated skin with an anti-bacterial cream. Seek immediate medical attention.
  • Inhalation: If inhaled, remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical attention.
  • Ingestion: Do NOT induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. If large quantities of this material are swallowed, call a physician immediately. Loosen tight clothing such as a collar, tie, belt or waistband.


Fire & Explosion Information


  • Acetophenone is Combustible.
  • Auto-Ignition Temperature: 570°C (1058°F)
  • Flash Points: Closed Cup: 77°C (170.6°F)

Open Cup: 82.2°C (180°F)

  • Acetophenone is flammable in presence of open flames and sparks, of heat, of oxidising materials.
  • Dry chemical powder should be used to extinguish small fires
  • Water spray, fog or foam should be used to extinguish large fires.
  • Do not use water jet.
  • Acetophenone should be stored away from direct sunlight. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and fumes.


Exposure Controls & Personal Protection


Engineering Controls


  • Exhaust ventilation or other engineering controls should be provided to keep the airborne concentrations of acetophenone vapours below their respective threshold limit value.
  • Ensure that eyewash stations and safety showers are proximal to the workstation location.


Personal Protective Equipment


The following personal protective equipment should be used when handling acetophenone:

  • Splash goggles;
  • Lab coat;
  • Gloves


Personal Protection in Case of a Large Spill:

  • Splash goggles;
  • Full suit;
  • Boots;
  • Gloves;
  • Suggested protective clothing might not be sufficient; consult a specialist BEFORE handling this product




United States [6]


ACGIH: The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists has set a Threshold Limit Value (TLV) for acetophenone of 10 ppm, 49 mg/m3 Time Weighted Average