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Neurotoxicity

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High concentrations of ethyl acetate vapor can produce acute transient sedation.  Well-conducted rat studies have found no cumulative or enduring neurotoxic effects of ethyl acetate exposure.

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Additional information

No performance deficits in simple and choice reaction time, or in short-term memory, were detected during or after exposure in sixteen male volunteers exposed for four hours to 402 ppm ethyl acetate or to half this concentration in combination with acetone (Seeber, 1992a). The only significant finding reported was complaints that the volunteers found the exposures annoying and uncomfortable. Significant correlations were reported between subjective measures of ‘annoyance’ and ‘complaints’ and objective measures of urinary excretion of ethyl acetate (Seeber, 1992b).

The neurotoxicity of ethyl acetate has been evaluated in acute, repeated dose, and subchronic inhalation studies in rats. Diminished response to delivery of an alerting stimuli was noted during exposure at ethyl acetate concentrations of 750 ppm and above. The acute NOEC for neurobehavioural changes in this study was 600 ppm, and exceeded the NOEC for general toxicity (body weight loss). No cumulative or enduring effects to the nervous system were seen in 90-day rat studies that included exposures to 1500 ppm and evaluations of motor activity and functional observational battery, as well as schedule controlled operant behavior (Christoph, 2003).

The reported threshold limit for depressive effects of ethyl acetate on the vestibulo reflex in female Sprague-Dawley rats is 44 mg/l in blood (Tham, 1984). The reported neurotoxic dose in rabbits by the oral route is 4493 mg/kg (Munch, 1972) and the narcotic thresholds for mice and cats are reportedly 18 mg/l and 43 mg/l respectively by inhalation (Flury, 1933).

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