ATSDR | Toxicological Profile for Acetone


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Acetone is a colorless volatile liquid at room temperature. It is water soluble and will volatize from soil and water. Acetone is used primarily as an intermediate in chemical production and as a solvent (ICIS 2017). It is used in many products, including paints and coatings, cleaning products, personal care products, and industrial products such as lubricants and plastics (CDR 2012, 2016).

In addition to its anthropogenic sources, acetone occurs naturally in the environment. Plants, trees, insects, and microbes emit acetone (Graedel et al. 1986; Isidorov et al. 1985; Khalil and Rasmussen 1992). Acetone is produced during human-made and natural combustion such as volcanic eruptions (Isidorov et al. 1990), forest fires (Graedel et al. 1986), vehicular exhaust (Graedel et al. 1986), trash incineration (Graedel et al. 1986), and smoking tobacco (Manning et al. 1983).

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